HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The future location of US Space Command is under formal review from the office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense.
Governor Kay Ivey said she welcomes the scrutiny.
Now, we’re awaiting the results of a DoD investigation into how Huntsville was selected as Space Command’s headquarters.
The investigative team is going to check into several things including making sure the selection followed DoD and Air Force guidelines. Investigators will also look at the cost and objectivity of the decision.
Since the announcement on January 13th, Colorado lawmakers claim former President Donald Trump swayed the decision to move Space Command to Huntsville. But elected officials in Alabama remain hopeful the headquarters is coming to the Rocket City.
Governor Kay Ivey said, “”Alabama welcomes the Inspector General’s review of the decision to name the Redstone Region the preferred location for the permanent headquarters for Space Command, a decision made after a thorough review, and a selection process was conducted. Our state was chosen based on merit, and an independent review of a decision of this magnitude will confirm this. We remain confident that just as the Air Force discovered, Huntsville’s Redstone Region will provide our warfighters with the greatest space capability at the best value to the taxpayers.
“Alabama has played an integral role throughout the history of our nation’s defense and civil space programs. Deep Space Exploration is part of our DNA in Alabama, from building the rockets to first take man to the moon, to producing the Atlas V rocket that took the Perseverance Rover to Mars just last week! Alabama is winning on every page when it comes to furthering our nation’s space exploration and defense and we are a natural fit for the permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command.”
The Inspector General’s office will investigate whether the relocation from Colorado to Alabama was based on proper evaluations of competing locations and if the relocation complied with Air Force and Pentagon policies.
Madison County Chairman said the data speaks for itself on why Redstone Arsenal was selected. “At the end of the day it should be about capabilities and that is what I am looking at,” said Chairman Dale Strong. “Madison County has a lot to offer- our cost of living, our educational level, recruiting from colleges all over the country.”
A spokesperson for Senator Tuberville’s office said, “”Based on multiple briefings by the Air Force, Senator Tuberville is confident the inspector general’s report will affirm that this decision was merit based and with the strategic interests of the United States top of mind. Huntsville is the best fit for Space Command given its robust aerospace sector, low cost of living, good schools, and continuously evolving job opportunities. But it’s also the right decision for our national security and for the taxpayers of this country.”
Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle singing the same tune, telling 48 News “Huntsville is proud of Redstone’s selection as the nation’s top site for the U.S Space Command, and we welcome any inquiries into the process. The Air Force’s exhaustive two-year site review meticulously analyzed every conceivable factor in its decision to choose the Redstone region on its merits. Huntsville has a highly successful track record in locating commands here, and any visitor to our city knows the strength and depth of our space work and space legacy. When you factor in the capabilities of the Redstone Federal campus, our many innovative businesses (both large and small), the low cost of doing business, high quality of life, strong education system and skilled workforce, it’s easy to see why Huntsville is the number one choice time and time again.”
And Senator Shelby’s Office said, “The Senator welcomes an evaluation by the Pentagon’s Inspector General to ensure that Huntsville was selected for the right reasons and in the interest of national security, as he would any other decision by the Department.”
Officials with the Huntsville-Madison Chamber of Commerce said they were expecting this review and it is not a surprise.
One of the next steps to confirm that the headquarters will be in Huntsville is an environmental study, Chairman Strong told us that is currently in the works.