Biden has decided to keep space command in Colorado, refusing to move to Alabama, officials tell the AP.

Biden has decided to keep space command in Colorado, refusing to move to Alabama, officials tell the AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has decided to keep the United States Space Command Headquarters In Colorado, she reversed a recent decision by the Trump administration to move him to Alabama and end months of political wrangling, according to senior US officials.

The officials said Biden is persuaded by the head of Space Command, Gen. James Dickinson, who has argued that moving his headquarters now would jeopardize military readiness. However, Dickinson’s view was in contrast to the Air Force command, which had studied the issue at length and decided that moving to Huntsville, Alabama, was the right move.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the decision before making the announcement.

They said the president believes retaining the command in Colorado Springs would avoid the disruption to readiness that the move would cause, especially at a time when the United States is racing to compete with China in space. They said Biden firmly believes that maintaining stability will help the military be more capable of responding in space over the next decade. These factors, they said, outweighed what the president believed would be any secondary benefits of moving to Alabama.

Biden’s decision is sure to anger Alabama lawmakers and fuel accusations that abortion policy played a role in the choice. Controversy over the site has become embroiled in the ongoing battle between Alabama Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville and the Department of Defense about its move to provide travel for soldiers seeking reproductive health care. Tuberville opposed this policy of withholding hundreds of military promotions in protest.

US officials said the abortion issue had absolutely no bearing on Biden’s decision. And they said the President fully anticipated that there would be different views on the matter within the Department of Defense.

The command was formally created in August 2019, temporarily based in Colorado, and the Air Force and Space Forces commanders initially recommended they stay there. In the final days of his presidency, Donald Trump decided to base himself in Huntsville.

The change sparked a number of revisions.

Proponents of retaining the command in Colorado have argued that moving it to Huntsville and creating a new headquarters would hinder its progress at a time when it needs to move quickly to be in a position to match the rise of China’s military space. And Colorado Springs is also home to the Air Force Academy, which now graduates Space Force Rangers, and more than 24 military space missions, including three Space Force bases.

Officials also argued that any new Alabama headquarters would not be completed until sometime after 2030, forcing a lengthy transition period.

However, Huntsville scored higher than Colorado Springs in the Government Accountability Office’s assessment of potential sites, and has long been home to some of the oldest rockets used in the nation’s space programs, including the Saturn V. It is home to the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command.

According to officials, Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, who had ordered his own review of the matter, leaned toward Huntsville, while Dickinson was strongly in favor of staying put. The officials said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin offered both options to Biden.

The decision was good news for Colorado lawmakers.

“For two and a half years we’ve known that any objective analysis of this base decision would come to the same conclusion we did, which is that Space Force Base Peterson is the best home for Space Command,” Sen. John Hickenlooper, de Colo. “More importantly, this resolution firmly rejects the notion that politics – rather than national security – should determine the core decisions central to our national security,” he said in a statement.

Democratic Senator Michael Bennett said the resolution “restores integrity to the base-creation process at the Pentagon and sends a powerful message that national security and the readiness of our armed forces drive our military decisions.”

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