U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) is calling on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the basing process for U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) after choosing not to set up in Huntsville.

In July, the Biden administration announced the headquarters for SPACECOM would remain in Colorado, reversing a Trump-era decision to move the HQ to Huntsville.

Former President Donald Trump's administration picked the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the new permanent home for SPACECOM. The Arsenal has since repeatedly ranked at the top of the list of potential locations for SPACECOM over its current location in Colorado.

In May, NBC News reported that two unnamed U.S. officials and one official with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) said Biden had been delaying the decision on SPACECOM due to Alabama's "restrictive" abortion laws, which went into effect June 24, 2022, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Huntsville has repeatedly been ranked the number one choice for Space Command by U.S. Air Force surveys.

The report led to months-long condemnation from Alabama’s federal delegation and the heads of Alabama’s executive and legislative branches.

It was also later revealed that SPACECOM Gen. James Dickinson purchased a $1.5 million house and property near the base months before the Biden administration made its official decision.

In his letter, Rogers, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, requested an investigation into why the administration chose to keep SPACECOM in Colorado.

“National security decisions of this magnitude and significant economic interest require the process to be standardized, repeatable, transparent, and deliberate,” Rogers said in his letter.  “Based on numerous administration officials talking to the press, the decision by President Biden appears to be anything but. Preferential decision-making by the President because of certain state laws has widely been publicized as a major factor but was never included in the basing requirements.”

He continued, “I respectfully request GAO get to the bottom of this potentially political process that appears, in the final analysis, anything but standardized, repeatable, transparent, and deliberate. Please expeditiously report on outstanding questions that inform the public trust during processes as important as headquarters basing decisions for combatant commands.”

Rogers’ letter requests, at minimum, answers to the following questions:

1. What were the requirements used during the initial selection process for USSPACECOM headquarters?
2. Did those requirements change during the selection process, whether prior to GAO’s previous work or afterwards?

a. If they changed, what were the new factors?
b. How did they differ from original requirements?
c. Who in DoD leadership directed those changes, or were these changes directed from elsewhere in the Administration?

Additionally, because reporting indicates the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin presented final options to the President:

  1. How did the previously publicly attested process that assigned the Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall as the deciding government official alter at the last minute?

  2. Why wasn’t Secretary Kendall’s decision the final decision, as Secretary Kendall had publicly said was his to make?

  3. Did Secretary Austin remove this decision from Secretary Kendall, or was the decision unilaterally removed from Secretary Kendall by the White House?

  4. In what ways was General Dickinson, SPACECOM Commander, involved in the decision process?

  5. Are there emails, briefing material, or other documentation that shows how the basing process was altered, who altered it, and how the final decision was eventually made that GAO can evaluate in its reporting?

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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