Top officials in the Biden White House faced intense grilling by Republicans in the House Armed Services Committee Thursday over the president’s decision to move Space Command from Alabama to Colorado in what they said was political payback.
Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Gen. James Dickinson, head of Space Command, defended stopping the move to Huntsville, Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal back to Colorado Springs, Colorado, saying it would maintain military readiness.
“Readiness manifests itself in the transition process of moving to another location,” Kendall said, according to The Hill. The process of “losing civilian workforce and having to reestablish a trained workforce at the new location” would impact military operational capabilities, he added.
Huntsville was chosen for the permanent site after then-President Donald Trump revived Space Command in 2019. Trump allowed for the temporary location in Colorado.
But Biden reversed course, and Alabama politicians cried foul, blaming the move on the state’s abortion ban following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade and Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s block on military promotions.
Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., pointed to Huntsville’s cheaper cost-of-living, its multitude of engineers and a history as a space center — the city is where Dr. Wehrner von Braun led a team of former German rocket scientists to help send Americans to orbit Earth and eventually to the moon.
“No place is more equipped, competent, capable and better suited to headquarter the Space Command,” Sewell said. “We’ve made a political decision over a competency decision. … This is simply unfair.”
Committee members from other states, mostly Republicans, joined the criticism over the process, The Hill noted.
“This has been a horrible process,” Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the committee’s ranking member said, adding that Americans are owed an explanation for “how exactly we bollocksed up a decision to build a command headquarters.”
Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Ala., called the argument that relocation to his state would harm readiness “fabricated.” He said he intendes to make sure there are no funds allocated for a permanent headquarters in Colorado.
Jack Gournell ✉
Jack Gournell, a Newsmax general assignment writer and editor, covering news, politics, media, and culture. He has over 35 years of experience in journalism.
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