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Space Command headquarters will remain in Colorado Springs

President Donald Trump’s administration, in the final day of his presidency, ordered the HQ moved to Alabama
The flag of the U.S. Space Command is unfurled at the White House in a presentation with President Donald J. Trump, the incoming commander of U.S. Space Command, Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, and Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Roger Towberman, Washington, D.C. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

The headquarters of U.S. Space Command will remain in Colorado Springs, the White House told Colorado’s congressional delegation Monday, reversing a Trump administration decision to relocate the multimillion-dollar economic driver to Alabama.

The decision, confirmed by Colorado’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, is a win for Democrats and Republicans alike in Colorado who have been urging the Biden administration for more than two and a half years to keep the headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Colorado politicians – from the state’s congressional delegation to Gov. Jared Polis to the mayor of Colorado Springs – argued the decision to move Space Command to Huntsville, Alabama, made during President Donald Trump’s final days in office, was politically motivated. Colorado voted overwhelmingly for Biden during the 2020 election, while Alabama backed Trump by a large margin.

Prior to the election, Trump appeared poised to keep the headquarters in Colorado.

Colorado leaders also said keeping the headquarters in Colorado Springs made the most national security sense. They highlighted the state’s aerospace industry and the fact that the headquarters is already operating in Colorado. The U.S. Air Force Academy and several military bases are also in Colorado Springs.

“For two and a half years we’ve known any objective analysis of this basing decision would reach the same conclusion we did, that Peterson Space Force Base is the best home for Space Command,” U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper said in a written statement. “This decision firmly rejects the idea that politics – instead of national security – should determine basing decisions central to our national security. We’re grateful to the service members and civilians who serve at Space Command, keeping us safe at the cutting edge of this new frontier.”

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said President Biden’s decision “sends a strong message that our national security and the readiness of our armed forces drive our military decisions.” Polis called the outcome “exciting … for our state, military families, jobs and businesses.”

The governor’s office estimated more than 274,000 people across Colorado are employed in national-security aerospace and said the state leads the nation in per capita employment in private aerospace.

Biden’s decision is sure to enrage Alabama lawmakers and fuel accusations that abortion politics played a role in the choice. The location debate has become entangled in the ongoing battle between Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville and the Defense Department over the move to provide travel for troops seeking reproductive health care.

Tuberville, who opposed the policy, is blocking hundreds of military promotions in protest, including that of Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, who has been nominated as the next U.S. Space Command commander, and Lt. Gen. Gregory Guillot, nominated to lead the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Space Command, formally created in 2019, is made up of representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force. It focuses on using satellites to facilitate military navigation and troop communication, and it’s also tasked with tracking missile launches. The command is separate from the Space Force, which is its own branch of the military and has a base in Aurora.

The command has temporarily been housed at Peterson Air Force in Colorado Springs, and it was slated to stay there through 2026.

An investigation by the General Accounting Office, Congress’ nonpartisan investigative arm, found the Trump administration’s headquarters selection process flawed, in part because it went contrary to the recommendation of top military officials. The Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Defense, however, found the decision reasonable.

Huntsville has a long aerospace history. Some of earliest missiles used in the nation’s space programs, including the Saturn V rocket, are from there and the city is home to the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.