President Donald Trump made history on December 20, 2019, by enacting the National Defense Authorization Act for 2020, which led to the establishment of the US Space Force. This marked the first time a new service branch had been created since the US Air Force (USAF) was organized from the US Army Air Forces, nearly two years after the end of World War II.
In 2020, the sixth military service branch, the US Space Force, was initially based at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, which was previously a USAF installation. However, towards the end of his presidency, Trump advocated for relocating the operational command from Colorado to Alabama.
Before departing from office in January 2021, Trump was unable to achieve this goal. President Joe Biden has since declined the plan, following objections from numerous GOP lawmakers.
Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder released a statement on July 31, stating that President Biden informed Defense Department officials of his decision to choose Colorado Springs as the permanent location for the Space Command Headquarters.
After a comprehensive and careful evaluation process, President Biden made his decision in consultation with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III. The statement highlighted that maintaining the headquarters in Colorado Springs was crucial for maintaining optimal operational readiness during a critical period. It also emphasized that this decision would enable the command to efficiently strategize and carry out military space operations globally, deterring aggression and safeguarding national interests.
Additionally, the statement from Gen. Ryder mentioned that Defense Secretary Austin, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III, and Space Command head Gen. James Dickinson all expressed their support for the president’s choice.
As anticipated, Republican lawmakers swiftly responded to the announcement, expressing their opposition to the decision. Senator Tommy Tuberville, for instance, released a statement criticizing President Biden’s choice to maintain the Space Command in Colorado Springs instead of adhering to the prior decision to move it to Huntsville, Alabama.
Tuberville accused the president of injecting politics into what should have been an impartial and unbiased competition. He further alleged that the Biden administration’s actions were detrimental to military preparedness, asserting that tax dollars were being misused to advance an extremist social agenda, leading to a decline in recruitment levels, and turning the military into a tool for political purposes.
In addition, Tuberville accused the Biden Administration of intentionally delaying the announcement of the president’s decision until after Congress had approved the 2024 defense budget and gone on summer recess. He pointed out that the top three options for the permanent headquarters location were in the red states of Alabama, Texas, and Nebraska.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), supported this view and retweeted a statement from fellow Republican committee members. He asserted that the battle for the permanent location of the Space Force headquarters was far from being concluded, implying that the effort to challenge the decision would continue.