Top Republican launches investigation into delayed Spacecom relocation
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has launched an investigation into the delayed relocation of U.S. Space Command (Spacecom) from Colorado to Alabama.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) on Thursday sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Spacecom Commander Gen. James Dickinson expressing concern about apparent “changes” to the planned relocation of Space Command’s headquarters to Huntsville.
“These apparently sweeping unilateral changes to policies and posture seem to have been made with zero civilian oversight at the Department of Defense,” Rogers wrote.
Rogers is asking for all documents and communications since the beginning of the Biden administration related to Spacecom’s mission or headquarters.
Former President Trump resurrected Spacecom in 2019 after its discontinuation in 2002 and announced a temporary headquarters in Colorado Springs.
A permanent location was eventually slated for Huntsville, known as Rocket City for its long history as a location developing space rockets, including Saturn V, which brought the first humans to the moon in 1969.
While there was some speculation that Trump may have chosen Huntsville for political reasons, as he enjoys more support in Alabama, reviews ordered under the Biden administration on why the decision was made have found nothing improper.
The slow finalization of the new Spacecom headquarters for the past two years under President Biden has infuriated Alabama lawmakers looking for the boost in jobs and business brought by a relocation.
In his letter, Rogers said Kendall, the Air Force secretary who oversees Spacecom, recently met with a bipartisan delegation of congressional lawmakers from Alabama.
According to Rogers, Kendall said he did not make any decision to change the planned relocation and was not informed of any change to the relocation.
Earlier this month, NBC News reported the plan to relocate the headquarters might be scrapped entirely out of concern about restrictive abortion laws in Alabama.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who has frequently spoken out against the delay and any change to the planned relocation, said he supported Rogers’s investigation of the incident.
“It seems DoD leaders are letting partisan politics undermine our military readiness and national security,” Tuberville tweeted Thursday.
Tuberville is also holding up almost 200 Pentagon nominees over concern about a Defense Department policy providing reimbursement for travel costs for service members who elect to get an abortion, though both the White House and the senator have agreed that issue is separate from Spacecom.
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