With the future home of U.S. Space Command Headquarters still up in the air, members of Alabama's federal delegation are putting more pressure on the U.S. Air Force to announce its decision.
On Thursday, during a hearing on the Department of the Air Force's Fiscal Year 2024 budget request, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, grilled Air Force officials about why it continues to delay.
"[W]e are beyond the point of frustration with the continued delay in announcing the final decision on SPACECOM basing," Rogers said.
"Twenty-seven months ago, the Air Force made the right decision to go with Huntsville, Alabama. Twelve months ago, the GAO and the DoD IG affirmed that decision." Rogers continued. "There is only one state that is still protesting, and that state came in fifth. The political games must end. Your continued handwringing is delaying SPACECOM's full operational capability and undermining our ability to defend this nation. You need to end this charade and make the announcement."
U.S. Rep. Dale Strong also questioned Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall about the holdup.
"In May 2022 you testified that you were hoping to move forward with a final decision as quickly as you could. Last month you testified you're expecting a decision 'fairly soon.' Why on earth have we not received a final decision regarding U.S. Space Command headquarters?"
Rogers and Strong also released a statement Thursday along with U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), further advocating for Huntsville as the best place for Space Command.
"Today, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing, we questioned Air Force officials on why they continue to delay finalizing the decision to move Space Command Headquarters to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama," the statement said. "Ensuring our country's space defense is headquartered in the best possible location is of the utmost importance to the Space Force's overall mission and success. The Air Force closely scrutinized multiple locations based on multiple factors to decide where Space Command Headquarters should be, and Huntsville was the indisputable winner in both the Evaluation and Selection phases. The fact is that Redstone Arsenal offers the best possible location for Space Command Headquarters and it is in our country's best national security interest to make this move immediately."
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