President Joe Biden is overturning the Trump administration’s decision to move the U.S. Space Command headquarters to Alabama, choosing instead to keep it in Colorado.

Since 2019 the headquarters have been in Colorado while the search for a permanent site continued.

During the final days of his administration, former President Donald Trump “single-handedly” decided to move the headquarters to Alabama, a state that overwhelmingly supported him in 2020.

“(They) said they were looking for a home and I single-handedly said, ‘let’s go to Alabama.’ They wanted it. I said, ‘let’s go to Alabama.’ I love Alabama,” he said.

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama took aim at Biden for undoing Trump’s order and “inserting politics” into his decision to keep the headquarters in Colorado, a left-leaning state.

“The top three choices for Space Command headquarters were all in red states — Alabama, Nebraska, and Texas. Colorado didn’t even come close,” Tuberville said. “This decision to bypass the three most qualified sites looks like blatant patronage politics, and it sets a dangerous precedent that military bases are now to be used as rewards for political supporters rather than for our security.”

“This is absolutely not over,” Tuberville said. “I will continue to fight this as long as it takes to bring Space Command where it would be best served — Huntsville, Alabama.”

Other Alabama congressional leaders also opposed Biden’s decision, including Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., who said his state is “united against this administration’s careless attempt to place politics over national security.”

This decision escalates pre-existing tensions between Biden and Tuberville. The Alabama senator has spent the last few months stalling the confirmation of military promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s policy over abortion, as Deseret News reported.

Federal law prohibits the Pentagon from paying for abortions, except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

But in February, the Pentagon said it would pay for service members to receive an abortion out of state if their access is restricted.

As House passes defense bill, Sen. Mike Lee voices support for changes to Pentagon abortion policy

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III called Tuberville in July to discuss the impact his hold on promotions will have on military readiness, with the nominations of more than 260 general and flag officers delayed.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Tuberville Tuesday for “endlessly” holding up the confirmations.

“He’s meddling with American security—all because he wants to block service members from accessing reproductive health care,” Schumer said.

At the same time, Schumer has refused to use floor time to confirm the promotions one by one.

While Tuberville accused Biden of keeping the Space Command in Colorado as “politically motivated,” a senior Biden administration official told ABC News that the abortion policy issue did not impact the president’s decision. The focus was on “operational readiness and what is in the best interest of our national security,” the official said.

But Biden did call Tuberville’s decision to stall nominations “totally inappropriate” and “outrageous” in a press conference last week.

President Trump reveals the Space Force logo. It’s basically a Star Trek knockoff

Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said the Biden administration consulted with Austin, the defense secretary, as well as senior military leaders before notifying the Department of Defense about the decision on Monday.

“Locating Headquarters U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs ultimately ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period,” Ryder said in a statement. “It will also enable the command to most effectively plan, execute and integrate military spacepower into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression and defend national interests.”

In 2019, the Air Force identified six military bases that could potentially house the Space Command. Four of these locations were in Colorado while the other two were in Alabama and California.

The Air Force announced Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, Alabama, as the preferred location for the headquarters in 2021. The Air Force secretary at the time said in a statement that the conclusion was made “based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.”

“Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community, providing a large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs,” the statement said, adding the community offered a facility for the headquarters while a permanent one was under construction.

Utah congressmen weigh in on defense spending bill, as House Republicans take on ‘woke’ military policies

Meanwhile, Colorado lawmakers argued that building the command in Huntsville would create delays as the project wouldn’t be finished until at least 2030, leading the U.S. to lag behind other countries in space military advancements, as The Associated Press reported. Plus, the Air Force Academy, which also trains Space Force guardians, is based in Colorado Springs.

Biden was presented with the option of Colorado and Alabama. He ultimately chose to “avoid any disruption to its operational capability” by keeping the Space Command in Colorado Springs, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said.

Colorado Sens. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, were delighted to hear the news.

“Giddy up!” said Hickenlooper in a social media post, before acknowledging his colleagues who pushed to keep the headquarters in Colorado.

“After two investigations and rigorous review by the Department of Defense, the administration has made the decision that’s in our country’s best interest,” he said in another social media post.

View Comments

“Most importantly, this decision firmly rejects the idea that politics — instead of national security — should determine basing decisions central to our national security.”

Bennet said that the decision restored “integrity to the Pentagon’s basing process.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, a conservative Republican from Colorado, also praised Biden’s decision in a statement to Newsweek.

“When Russia and China are developing lasers to destroy U.S. satellites, we should not be wasting time considering moving Space Command’s headquarters for political reasons,” she said.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.