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Lt. Gov. Ainsworth: Huntsville preferred location for Space Command ‘based on merit and based on policies’

Since Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth took office in 2019, he has made improving conditions for the families of Alabama’s military personnel a priority.

Those efforts have benefited military families stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex in Montgomery, Fort Rucker in Daleville, the Fort McClellan Training Center and Army Depot near Anniston and the Coast Guard Aviation Base near Mobile.

However, in addition to that, they may have given Alabama a head start in competing for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters.

Ainsworth told Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 that Alabama was able to correct some of the deficiencies to improve its standing over its competitors in this arena, including Colorado.

“There was an article — I forget where it was — but it highlighted why we got that,” he explained. “Some other states, in particular, Colorado, which is one of our biggest competitors in aerospace, they just got beat, right? And they got beat because when you look at all the criteria, Alabama only had four areas where we were deficient. One of those was license reciprocity, which we fixed. Another one was education opportunities. We fixed that. And so, we only have two, where Colorado had 10. The idea that this was somehow based on politics or President Trump with Space Command coming to Huntsville — that’s just not accurate.”

“And so, we got it based on merit and based on policies,” Ainsworth continued. “The good thing for Alabama is we’ve already fixed where we’re deficient, which is license reciprocity. Yeah, there are more engineers with PhDs per capita in the Huntsville area than anywhere in the world. And the thing that is exciting — you look at Airbus that is down in y’all’s part of the state, Boeing and the amount of suppliers they have and what that will do for all the counties in our state. Alabama will be the aerospace capital of the country and the world. And when you’re looking at what’s going on with us going to Mars, with us going to the moon, what’s going on with us being able to protect our assets in space because look, another country takes out our satellite or a GPS and we’re in big trouble.”

“So, there’s going to be a huge emphasis on putting defense dollars into protecting our assets in space, which is what Space Force will be engaged in,” he added. “And when you look at that, you know, Alabama is going to be the leader in the world in protecting that, and what a great opportunity for protecting students if they have an interest in that to do it. What a great opportunity for our state. I’m really excited.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.