Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal region has been selected as the preferred site by the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Space Command Headquarters, Gov. Kay Ivey’s office and the U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Instillations Bob Moriarity called Ivey Wednesday morning to tell her of U.S. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett’s decision, according to a press release from Ivey’s office.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to learn that Alabama will be the new home to the United States Space Command!” Ivey said in a statement. “Our state has long provided exceptional support for our military and their families as well as a rich and storied history when it comes to space exploration.”
“This combination only enhances the outstanding relationships we have with the 65 diverse federal agencies on Redstone Arsenal, not to mention the growing presence of the FBI and other federal installations. The bottom line is simple, the Redstone Region is the most natural choice to become home to such an important mission for our country,” Ivey continued.
The U.S. Air Force in a statement Wednesday after Ivey’s statement was released said that while Huntsville is the preferred site, the final decision is still to be made.
“The Department of the Air Force anticipates making a final decision for the location of U.S. Space Command Headquarters in spring 2023, pending the results from the required environmental impact analysis,” the statement reads.
Air Force officials required that to be selected the community must be within 25 miles of a military base, reside in one of the top 150 most populous metropolitan areas and score at least 50 out of 100 points on the American Association of Retired Persons’ Livability Index.
If Huntsville is ultimately selected, it could mean at least 1,600 new jobs for the Huntsville region, but the jobs won’t come quickly. Colorado Springs, Colorado, is to remain the location for the provisional headquarters until the permanent headquarters is built, which the U.S. Space Force predicts could occur by 2026.
The Department of the Air Force in November announced six locations had been selected for the headquarters, including include Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Offutt AFB, Nebraska, Patrick AFB, Florida, Peterson AFB, Colorado, Port San Antonio, Texas and the Redstone Army Airfield.