HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Space Command will be moving from Colorado Springs to Alabama, as Huntsville has been chosen as the permanent home for the command.
The economic impact will be a big one, according to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers who was disappointed by the announcement.
“Over time it’s billions and billions of dollars, there’s no question about that,” he said.
During Wednesday’s press conference, Suthers said he’s not giving up quite yet.
“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,” Mayor Suthers said.
When asked if the move was perceived as personal the Mayor said absolutely.
“We have sources in the Air Force saying the Air Force recommendation was Colorado Springs and the President directed us in another direction,” said Suthers. “If that’s the case, if you’re asking me if I would attribute personal motives to the President? Absolutely.”
Mayor Suthers said President-elect Biden could quickly reverse the decision to move Space Command, saying no money has been appropriated at this time. Mayor Suthers said meetings have also been scheduled between the Biden transition team and members of Colorado’s Congressional Delegation.
Governor Jared Polis shared his disappointment in the decision as well, sending out a statement including the following:
“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.”
And, perhaps the most extreme reaction came from U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, who represents Colorado Springs. 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 command has been temporarily housed at Peterson Air Force Base since it was re-launched in the fall of 2019. Peterson was also the home of the previous Space Command, which operated from 1985 to 2002.
In May, the Air Force announced Colorado Springs would be the provisional headquarters of the command for the next six years.
In November, the Air Force announced six finalists, including Colorado Springs and Huntsville, for the permanent home of the command.
FOX21 spoke with a source with ties to U.S Space Command, they were “blown away” by the decision and say it makes no sense for the branch’s peacetime headquarters to be in Alabama even though the wartime headquarters will still be in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC President Dirk D. Draper estimates the annual impact of US Space Command is about $450 million a year.
“External pressure from the President was placed to award the permanent home of US Space Command to a state that once again the President has close political ties, you watch the events of last week and this week and recognize that. If there was ever a ‘Trumped Up’ decision this feels like one,” Draper said.