Several members of the Colorado congressional delegations have reached out to President-elect Joe Biden in the hopes he will reverse the Trump administration’s “horrendous decision” to base the United States Space Command’s headquarters at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama instead of Colorado, as earlier thought.
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Co) lamented in a letter to Biden that the decision will “materially damage our national security,” particularly as the US is working on maintaining a front against Russia and China’s efforts on developing a technology that could attack the US in orbit.
“I call on you to use your authority upon taking office as our nation’s commoner-in-chief to reverse this foolish and hastily made decision,” he wrote.
Colorado Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper also released a statement of their own, expressing their intention to ensure that the Biden administration will review the decision.
Alabama Welcomes US Space Command
Meanwhile, Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey expressed her happiness over the decision, tweeting that the Redstone Region “is the most natural choice to become home to such an important mission for our country.”
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) January 13, 2021
The Lieutenant Governor of Alabama, Will Ainsworth, also posted on Twitter to welcome the US Space Command to Alabama.
“Alabama-made rockets first launched Americans into space and later carried them safely to the moon. Huntsville’s selection as the headquarters for the US Space Command further solidifies Alabama as the national leader in aerospace research and development,” he wrote.
We are happy to officially welcome U.S. Space Command to Alabama!
Please see my full statement below: pic.twitter.com/obCIfcYZxO
— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) January 13, 2021
Conflicting Reports of Trump’s Involvement
There are conflicting accounts of Trump’s involvement throughout the selection process. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that while the Air Force chose to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs, Trump ordered it to be moved to Alabama. The article also noted that Trump won Alabama in the general election and that several elected officials from the state backed his efforts to block the election’s certification.
According to Politico, however, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy John Henderson stated that Trump was involved in the process and provided feedback but did not pressure the Air Force to make a decision.
US Space Force
The Trump administration designated the Space Force as an independent military branch in December 2019. Its goal is to develop a military advantage in space “to counteract hostile actors’ aggressive efforts in developing anti-satellite technology that neutralizes America’s intelligence advantage,” leading to a possible war in space.
The administration has begun formulating a space strategy with tactics including space-based, world-wide intelligence and troop deployment capabilities, and the development of “satellite killer” satellite weapons to disable enemy intelligence.