The Biden administration will keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs, reversing a Trump-era decision to move the headquarters to Alabama that has embroiled lawmakers and the White House in a yearslong debate over the command’s future.
The headquarters in Colorado is slated to achieve full operational capability later this month. A move to Alabama would have forced the command to undergo a transition process that would not have been completed until the mid-2030s, which Biden found unacceptable, the official said.
The decision brings to a close a two-and-a-half-year process that began January 2021 when then-President Donald Trump, in the final days of his administration, decided to relocate the headquarters to Alabama. At the time, Trump said he alone made the decision to do so.
A subsequent report from the Government Accountability Office found no fault with the decision. But the Biden administration put the move on hold until now, which gave lawmakers from both states — and Ohio — the chance to advocate for housing Space Command.
Colorado lawmakers argued moving the headquarters would disrupt its operations and threaten national security — the same rationale that Biden has reportedly embraced.
“Over the past two and half years, we have repeatedly made the case that the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command was misguided. Today’s decision restores integrity to the Pentagon’s basing process and sends a strong message that national security and the readiness of our Armed Forces drive our military decisions. Colorado is the rightful home for U.S. Space Command, and our state will continue to lead America in space for years to come,” Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., said in a press release.
But members of the Alabama delegation argued that Huntsville was better suited to house Space Command, having scored higher than Colorado according to the Government Accountability Office’s criteria. They accused the Biden administration of playing politics with the decision over Alabama’s strict abortion laws.
The issue of abortion and the military has taken center stage in Congress in recent months, as Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville continues to hold up the promotions of hundreds of high-ranking military officers, including Biden’s pick for commandant of the Marine Corps, over the Pentagon’s abortion policies.