President Joe Biden has reversed a decision from former President Donald Trump that would have relocated the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Alabama.
In a Monday press release, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that Biden had made the decision following a “thorough and deliberate evaluation process” — alongside consultation with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and input from senior military leaders. However, conservative lawmakers argue that the decision was “political.”
National Security Adviser John Kirby, a retired Navy rear admiral, also spoke about the decision during an appearance on CNN — claiming that Biden’s decision was solely based on “operational readiness.”
“When it came down to it, he believes it is in the best national security interests of the country if we leave Space Command in Colorado,” he added.
Kirby went on to claim that “at a critical time in the space domain when the [People’s Republic of China] is developing incredible capabilities in that regard. Moving it could have a negative effect on Space Command’s readiness and the president finds that unacceptable.”
Kirby: The President believes it's in the best national security interest if we leave space command in Colorado pic.twitter.com/73FxHPuS2W
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 31, 2023
Colorado is home to six military bases. U.S. Space Command, which is separate from the Space Force, is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado — though there are bases with personnel and functions in both Nebraska and California. The Space Command, which was revived under the Trump administration, employs joint forces from all military branches to provide “space capabilities” to U.S. forces.
It was announced in Trump’s final days in office in January 2021 that the Air Force would be moving the headquarters of Space Command to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama — which is the same area that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) has suggested as a possible location for the FBI to relocate its headquarters.
Colorado politicians are celebrating Biden’s decision, including the state’s far-left Gov. Jared Polis.
“This is great news for Colorado and our national security — keeping U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is an exciting outcome for our state, military families, jobs, and businesses,” Polis tweeted.
This is great news for Colorado and our national security — keeping U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is an exciting outcome for our state, military families, jobs, and businesses. pic.twitter.com/feVK2UmumJ
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) July 31, 2023
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) also thanked Biden for reversing Trump’s decision in a statement released on Twitter.
“I applaud the decision today by the Biden Administration to keep U.S. Space Command where it belongs — Colorado,” the statement read. “Our entire Congressional Delegation, both Republicans and Democrats, have worked together for years to achieve this important result. Colorado already has the pre-existing infrastructure, first-rate workforce, private-sector support, and communication platforms necessary to provide for our national security mission in space.”
My statement regarding President Biden’s decision to keep the U.S Space Command headquartered in Colorado ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/G4Toab1HKO
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) July 31, 2023
Meanwhile, Alabama lawmakers are outraged about the reversal — blasting the Biden administration and vowing to push back.
“The White House choosing to not locate Space Command Headquarters in Alabama – the rightful selection – is very simply the wrong decision for national security,” tweeted Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R).
The White House choosing to not locate Space Command Headquarters in Alabama – the rightful selection – is very simply the wrong decision for national security. The fact that a CNN reporter is who first delivered the news to Alabama should say all.
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) July 31, 2023
“I will be continuing my investigation into Biden’s deliberate, political, taxpayer-funded meddling in this decision. This is not over, and Colorado Springs will not be the permanent location for US Space Command,” Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) tweeted.
I will be continuing my investigation into Biden's deliberate, political, taxpayer-funded meddling in this decision. This is not over, and Colorado Springs will not be the permanent location for US Space Command. https://t.co/MH1m1WXdlq
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogersAL) July 31, 2023
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) released a statement in response to the decision, vowing to continue to fight” the Biden administration.
“As soon as Joe Biden took office, he paused movement on that decision and inserted politics into what had been a fair and objective competition—not because the facts had changed, but because the political party of the sitting President had changed,” he wrote.