On Thursday, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its public report showing that Redstone Arsenal was chosen fairly as Space Command Headquarters.
The report reiterates that Huntsville ranked first in the qualitative and quantitative phases used by the Air Force in determining the outcome. Senate candidate Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL05) and U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville both applauded the news.
The GAO and the Department of Defense Inspector General were both asked by members of the Colorado delegation to review why Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal was selected as the preferred location for Space Command headquarters. The Inspector General had already released a report showing that the process was not tainted by politics.
"The GAO‘s report backs up what has already been said many times: that Huntsville ranked #1 across the board in the legal and merit-based competition for SPACECOM HQ,” Brooks said. “The Tennessee Valley community compared favorably to the other five potential locations, providing a large, qualified workforce, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs. Ultimately, Huntsville is not only the best option to support the Command and our national security priorities in the near term but far into the future as well.”
“My office was briefed on the GAO report this morning and, overall, we are pleased with its findings,” Sen. Tuberville said. “So, 16 months later we know that the Air Force selection process was robust and objective, the investigations extensive, and the conclusion the same throughout: Redstone Arsenal is the best place for Space Command.
“The Air Force chose Huntsville, Alabama as the new home of SPACECOM, which will eventually be home to more than 1,400 personnel. But that was 16 months ago. Since then, the decision has been tied up in government reviews by the Inspector General at the Department of Defense and the Government Accountability Office at the request of other lawmakers. We finally received the results of both reviews this week. I’m glad to report both reviews were positive.”
Brooks and Tuberville called for the end of this political vendetta by members of the Colorado delegation.
“My message to my colleagues is simple, ‘It’s time to fully embrace the Air Force’s decision, and move forward together,'” Tuberville said. “The Air Force needs and deserves our full support.”
“I look forward to politics being pushed aside and - upon the conclusion of the Environmental Impact Study in 2023 - beginning construction on SPACECOM HQ,” Brooks said.
The GAO confirmed that during the U.S. Air Force’s comprehensive process, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama was the highest-scoring location in the Evaluation Phase, the highest-ranked location in the Selection Phase, and the location with the most advantages in the final decision matrix. That is why the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force ultimately selected Redstone as the preferred location for SPACECOM HQ. The GAO was critical of eleventh-hour attempts to elevate a much lower-ranked installation into the number two position. That artificial action gave the appearance of bias.
Space Command has been largely an Air Force asset for decades. Now that the Space Force has been created most, but not all, of the personnel at Space Command will be in the Space Force – which is its own branch of the armed forces. As part of this restructuring, it was decided by the Pentagon to move Space Command from Colorado to Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, which was already home to the Missile Defense Agency. Redstone Arsenal has played a major role in missile and rocket development in the U.S. for decades.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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