Public officials in Madison County were alarmed by the information revealed Thursday after the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services announced it would launch an investigation into the ongoing delays in choosing a permanent U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) Headquarters.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Madison County Commission chair Mac McCutcheon and Madison Mayor Paul Finley issued a joint statement Friday expressing concerns about an apparent "shadowy attempt" to deny Redstone Arsenal's claim as the No. 1 pick for SPACECOM.
"As one of the nation's leading military communities, we are gravely concerned about revelations regarding the post-site selection process for U.S. Space Command headquarters, as outlined in an investigation announced by the House Committee on Armed Services," the statement read. "Conversations between Alabama's bipartisan congressional delegation and the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force further illuminate a shadowy attempt to undermine an objective process that identified Huntsville-Redstone as the best location for SPACECOM headquarters. "
The three officials accused the Department of Defense under the Biden administration of employing "questionable tactics" to undo former President Donald Trump's decision to move SPACECOM to Alabama in favor of keeping it at its current, temporary location in Colorado.
"Changing the rules in this critical decision-making process, seemingly day to day without any civilian oversight, shakes the foundational pillars of trust between the American public and the Department of Defense (DOD)," they said. "A blatant attempt to skew independent findings and use highly questionable tactics to award SPACECOM headquarters to a 5th place nominee should be an affront to the DOD and U.S. Air Force. It is not in the best interest of our military, the safety and security of our warfighter, our country, and our allies. It breaks our trust in everything we know to be right and true."
The statement continued, "Huntsville-Redstone met the objective criteria related to the needs of our national defense following an exhaustive multi-year selection process. We were chosen because we could best provide for the mission's vital, long-term strategic interests. To have this process dishonored, dismissed, and invalidated is highly alarming.
"The promise of SPACECOM has sadly been politicized and highjacked by unseen individuals who would seemingly and selfishly rather jeopardize national security than do the right thing. Now, the integrity of the DOD and future success of this mission is at stake. A swift, thorough, and transparent investigation will help to restore credibility in SPACECOM and our military partners. We commend the House Committee on Armed Services for beginning this effort."
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