MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday said she welcomes a federal review of the decision to move the Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Huntsville, saying she believes it will confirm the decision to move it to her state.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s inspector general announced Friday that it was reviewing the Trump administration’s last-minute decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
“Our state was chosen based on merit, and an independent review of a decision of this magnitude will confirm this. We remain confident that just as the Air Force discovered, Huntsville’s Redstone Region will provide our warfighters with the greatest space capability at the best value to the taxpayers,” Ivey said in a statement.
The U.S. Air Force announced last month that the new U.S. Space Command headquarters will be in Huntsville, Alabama. The state was selected over five others competing for the project, including Colorado, where Space Command is provisionally located.
The role of Space Command is to conduct operations such as enabling satellite-based navigation and troop communication and providing warning of missile launches. That is different from the Space Force, which is a distinct military service like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Huntsville is home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The city’s nickname is Rocket City, after Wernher von Braun and his team of fellow German-born rocketeers who settled there in the 1950s.
“Deep Space Exploration is part of our DNA in Alabama, from building the rockets to first take man to the moon, to producing the Atlas V rocket that took the Perseverance Rover to Mars just last week,” Ivey said.
The decision to locate in Alabama was announced in the final days of the Trump administration, and Colorado officials raised concerns that the process was flawed.
On Friday, the inspector general’s office announced it was investigating whether the relocation complied with Air Force and Pentagon policy and was based on proper evaluations of competing locations.
Colorado officials welcomed the review.
“It is imperative that we thoroughly review what I believe will prove to be a fundamentally flawed process that focused on bean-counting rather than American space dominance,” Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Republican whose district includes Space Command, said previously.