The editorial team at The Washington Examiner has joined the critics of former President Donald Trump's decision to locate Space Command headquarters in Huntsville.
Given the imminent threats posed by Russia and China, The Examiner argued that Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado is a better strategic option for national security and said that Alabama's Redstone Arsenal was a "reckless" choice.
"The nation must ensure that the Space Command is on the surest possible footing for future success," The Examiner wrote. "This is crucially important to remember as the Biden administration considers whether to reverse former President Donald Trump's politically contemptuous and strategically reckless directive to relocate the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado to the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama."
The Examiner continued, "Trump, imply to reward the loyalty of Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), ordered that Space Force headquarters be relocated from Colorado to Alabama. As one senior Trump administration official told reporters shortly before Trump left office, 'It is undeniable at this point that Trump loves Tuberville and [then-Rep.] Mo Brooks, and this was a big ask from both of them that was important.'"
Tuberville pushed back against the Examiner's claims and doubled down on his support for Huntsville.
"Using misleading Democrat talking points, today the [Washington Examiner] wrote the latest attack on [Space Commandd]’s move to Huntsville," he tweeted. "Here’s the reality: moving SPACECOM is based on facts. Data proved Huntsville is the #1 choice. CO didn't make the top 3."
Former U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks told 1819 News he's proud of his role in helping bring Space Command to Alabama and that it's proven to be the best place for it.
"I agree with those detractors who claim I worked hard and was instrumental in the decision to locate Space Force at Alabama's Redstone Arsenal," Brooks said. "Every chance I met with the President [Trump], anyone else at the White House or from the Pentagon, and my fellow Congressmen, I brought up and emphasized why Alabama was unquestionably was, in the name of national security, the best place for Space Force.
"Let me be unequivocally clear. Alabama and Redstone Arsenal won Space Force based on the merits against stiff but weaker competition."
Brooks added he's confident Alabama's current congressional delegation would devise a plan to bring Space Command to Alabama and "prevent politicians and politics from undermining America's national security by moving Space Force to a less effective locale."
U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) agreed with Brooks, saying the decision should be left to the U.S. Air Force, which has found Huntsville to be the top choice over "some fifth-place finisher."
"Huntsville finished first in both the Air Force's Evaluation Phase and Selection Phase, leaving no doubt that the Air Force's decision to choose Redstone as the preferred basing location was correct purely on the merits," Britt said. "That decision should remain in the Air Force's hands and should not be politicized. Selecting a fifth-place finisher would obviously prioritize partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization, and force readiness. Alabama's world-class aerospace and defense workforce, capabilities, and synergies stand ready to fulfill the mission and strengthen our national security long into the future."
Unlike Trump's decision, Britt's communications director Sean Ross said Biden intervening would be "purely political," and he blasted The Examiner piece being "embarrassingly misinformed."
"This op-ed is embarrassingly misinformed, which is underscored by its confusion of Space Command and Space Force," Ross told 1819 News. "Advocating for President Biden to intervene and overturn the merit-based decision of the Air Force would be a purely political move – and one that does not serve the national security interest of the United States."
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle had also been consistent in asserting the Rocket City as the best place for Space Command.
"The results of two exhaustive, data-driven studies determined Huntsville is the best location for Space Command headquarters... It is indisputable that Huntsville has twice been named by the Air Force as the best spot for USSPACECOM. Colorado never made it to the top three," Battle said. "Politics did not enter into a decision based on facts and facts alone. It is time to put the political grandstanding aside and focus on what is best for the future of USSPACECOM and the security of the United States and our allies."
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated with comment from U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn).
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