HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - State and city leaders are excited about Huntsville as a potential landing spot for U.S. Space Command.
The U.S. Air Force announced Thursday that Redstone Arsenal is a top candidate for the headquarters.
Outgoing Senator Doug Jones said Alabama is the best place for the Space Command Headquarters, because the Rocket City has the right infrastructure and strong community support.
Huntsville has survived the first round of cuts and is still under consideration to become the new headquarters for US Space Command. “The military involving space, the private sector involving space, you got NASA,” said Senator Doug Jones.
In 2019, the Airforce released a list of potential headquarters. But the Secretary of Defense at the time, decided to open the nominations again and give other cities another chance. Colorado Springs and Huntsville are the only cities that made the shortlist both in 2019 and 2020.
“We are clearly one of the front runners for this location. I don’t think there is any question about that. I thought that when we made the list first. Clearly having made it a second time, we got to be one of the front runners for this location.”
Although at times, the competition has become politically contentious, Senator Jones is confident the Secretary of Defense was doing his due diligence. “This is a big deal; this is something that is going to last for a long long time. They want to make sure they got it right.”
The Department of the Air Force evaluated each location and will now conduct both virtual and on-site visits. The review team will consider things like factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense.
“Mayor Battle and the other local mayors and the county commission, and Chamber of Commerce is going to put Madison County’s best foot forward.”
A spokesperson said, “We are honored to be considered, and proud to be a part of the Huntsville/Madison county community. Until the final decision is made by the Department of Defense, it would be inappropriate to discuss further. As always, our priority is to ensure that all tenants of Redstone Arsenal receive world-class service and support that enables them to meet their missions.”
The Space Command headquarters will be selected in early 2021. Senator Jones said we could know by mid-January.
Until then, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs will remain the Command’s provisional headquarters.