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Shelby touts Huntsville landing FBI, Space Command — ‘They like what you have’

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) provided a “Washington Update” Monday at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

Shelby, the dean of Alabama’s congressional delegation, will retire in January after serving nearly four decades in the U.S. Senate.

In his address, Shelby, vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, praised the FBI’s $2.4 billion investment in its Redstone Arsenal location.

Alabama’s senior senator, who has been instrumental in securing federal dollars for the Yellowhammer State, said the bureau liked what it saw in the Rocket City.

“They (the FBI) like what you have here,” said Shelby, according to WAFF 48. “Everything is on the cutting edge that is going to come here.”

“They’re hoping down the road they’ll get 5,000 employees,” WAAY 31 quoted Shelby as saying. “Scientists and engineers that will be doing cyber security, facial recognition, all the cutting edge technology in law enforcement.”

Shelby also praised the Air Force’s decision to relocate the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Redstone Arsenal. While warning that a final announcement was pending, the statesman said Huntsville held positive momentum regarding the combatant command coming to North Alabama.

“The Space Command decision to locate it here in Huntsville I thought was a wise one,” said Shelby. “I thought the selection committee did it on merit. When they’ve gone back and looked on it that’s been reinforced so far. Politics does play a role here. We have to be alert that it’s not here yet but we hope it will come.

“Things are in place. The steps thus far are good.”

Since the announcement to relocate Space Command was made in 2020, the decision has been subjected to an extensive review process stemming from members of Colorado’s congressional delegation scrutinizing the move.

A series of reviews conducted by the federal government this year found the Air Force’s relocation decision was based on sound judgement.

In closing out his final term of service in the upper chamber of Congress, Shelby has yet to take his foot off the pedal in directing federal investment to Alabama.

RELATED: Shelby secures $17.8M in FAA grants for Alabama airports

ALSO RELATED: Shelby lands $27M in federal transportation grants for Alabama infrastructure

In June, Shelby requested $664 million in earmarks for his home state. The senator has been widely praised for his mastery of the appropriations process.

“I give a lot of thanks for letting me be one of your two U.S. senators for so long,” said Shelby in his address. “We have a few months left and I hope we have a good finish on the way out.”

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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