Colorado Springs, state leaders react to Space Command decision

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Local and state leaders are reacting to the decision to move the U.S. Space Command from its temporary headquarters in Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama.


Gov. Jared Polis said the decision “threatens jobs, could cause serious economic damage, and upend the lives of hundreds of military and civilian families that were counting on U.S Space Command staying at home in Colorado Springs.”

“This misguided decision would cost American taxpayers potentially billions of dollars and would be fiscally irresponsible if it is allowed to stand,” he said in a statement.

“Colorado’s proud military heritage, unparalleled aerospace ecosystem, and unmatched quality of life for our service members and their families make us the epicenter of national security space and the only permanent home for U.S. Space Command. Reports that the in-depth military process found Colorado Springs to be the best location for military readiness and cost and recommended Colorado to the President only to be overruled for politically motivated reasons are deeply concerning. This move threatens jobs, could cause serious economic damage, and upend the lives of hundreds of military and civilian families that were counting on U.S Space Command staying at home in Colorado Springs as well as harm military readiness. It would negatively impact the mission which Colorado Springs has been flawlessly executing, ensuring our national security in the space domain. This misguided decision would cost American taxpayers potentially billions of dollars and would be fiscally irresponsible if it is allowed to stand. We pledge to work with our federal delegation to restore integrity to the process as it unfolds. The work of so many partners in Colorado Springs and across the state has been critical to the shared effort to keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado, and we are grateful for their partnership.”

Statement from Gov. Jared Polis

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn said he is “disappointed by the horrendous decision to rip U.S. Space Command out of its home in Colorado Springs and move it to a new location.”

Lamborn, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office next week, asking him to reverse the decision.


The city of Colorado Springs said “Sources at the White House and the Air Force have confirmed the Air Force’s site selection team recommended the permanent headquarters be located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs” and “The Chamber & EDC will work with state and federal leaders to encourage the incoming Biden administration to accept the U.S. Air Force’s recommendation.”

This announcement concludes an evaluation process underway since late 2018. During the past four weeks the U.S. Air Force conducted two site visits, virtually and on-the-ground, and a virtual community engagement to measure Peterson Air Force Base’s infrastructure and community assets, and to fulfill its responsibility to recommend the best site for USSPACECOM. Sources at the White House and the Air Force have confirmed the Air Force’s site selection team recommended the permanent headquarters be located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. President Trump ignored their recommendation and selected Redstone Arsenal.

The Chamber & EDC will work with state and federal leaders to encourage the incoming Biden administration to accept the U.S. Air Force’s recommendation.

“I am extremely disappointed by this development,” said Mayor John Suthers. “I have said from the beginning, that if this was a merit decision, Colorado Springs would prevail. It is not in the interest of national security and the American taxpayer to move Space Command. We made an extremely strong case for the city, and we had every indication that the Air Force was impressed by the community commitments we made in support of Space Command’s future. My concern is that politics played a significant role in this result. It would be wholly appropriate, and we would request, that Congress and the Biden administration direct the U.S. Air Force to provide full details regarding the recommendations it made and make public the role President Trump played in this decision.”

Statement from the City of Colorado Springs

The statement continued:

The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and its “Winning USSPACECOM” campaign team commit to continued perseverance in converting the final decision to Peterson Air Force Base. The team has full support from Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. John Hickenlooper, Congressman Doug Lamborn, and Gov. Polis. The working group consists of leaders from the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the Chamber & EDC, and its Military Affairs Council, retired military leaders, and the broader business and defense community.

The City of Colorado Springs offers hundreds of millions of dollars of existing investment and infrastructure in support of U.S. Space Command. It is the only city in the nation with a history as host to U.S. Space Command and with a long legacy of military space operations prior to creation of the sixth branch. Redundant communications and security assets already in place due to Colorado Springs’ lengthy military history ensure superior security and operational consistency. Colorado Springs’ overwhelmingly strong military support networks is second to none.

Statement from the City of Colorado Springs

The El Paso County Board of County Commissioners called the decision “extremely disappointing” and said the county “will work with policymakers, stakeholders, and community partners to reverse this decision.”

Today’s news regarding Space Command is extremely disappointing. Housing the permanent headquarters for U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs is right for our national security, our men and women in uniform, and is in line with the military’s own recommendation. Our region has the right infrastructure, work force, and community commitment to support this mission. Keeping USSPACECOM in Colorado Springs will also save taxpayer money. El Paso County remains committed to bringing U.S. Space Command to Colorado Springs and will work with policymakers, stakeholders, and community partners to reverse this decision.

Statement from Board of County Commissioners Chair Stan VanderWerf

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released a joint statement saying they “will work closely with the Colorado delegation to ensure the Biden Administration reviews this purported decision.”

We are deeply disappointed the Trump Administration is trying to move Space Command from Colorado to Alabama. We do not believe this decision reflects the best choice, or even a rational choice, for our national security and ability to confront threats in space. We are concerned by rumors that the Trump White House influenced this decision for political reasons. 

In the spring of 2019, the Air Force named six finalists for the permanent home of Space Command––four of them in Colorado. For reasons that were never clear, in the spring of 2020, the Air Force announced a subsequent process that eventually resulted in six new finalists, this time including only one in Colorado. And now, just as President Trump is leaving office, Colorado was not selected despite reports that it was the Air Force’s top choice. We will work closely with the Colorado delegation to ensure the Biden Administration reviews this purported decision. We believe a process based on the merits will keep Space Command in Colorado. There is no role for politics when it comes to our national security.” 

Statement from Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper

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