Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee on defense, on Wednesday praised the Air Force’s selection of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville as the permanent location for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, following a two-year competition for the decision.
“Redstone Arsenal will be the new home to U.S. Space Command. This is outstanding news, not only for our state but also for the Air Force. This long-awaited decision by the Air Force is a true testament to all that Alabama has to offer. Huntsville is the right pick for a host of reasons – our skilled workforce, proximity to supporting space entities, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life, among other things. I am thrilled that the Air Force has chosen Redstone and look forward to the vast economic impact this will have on Alabama and the benefits this will bring to the Air Force.”
Shelby has advocated for the selection of Redstone Arsenal for the U.S. Space Command headquarters throughout the competition, having continually highlighted to the Air Force the wide-ranging benefits that Huntsville would provide, if selected.
Selection criteria for the U.S. Space Command headquarters include installation capacity, cost and timing, future U.S. Space Command components and Department of Defense space installations.
Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville meets many of the needs for the U.S. Space Command headquarters, including significant cost savings, qualified workforce, vast industrial base and expertise, and many support agencies currently located on the Arsenal. Huntsville is ranked fourth among top metro areas for STEM occupations and is well-known nationally as one of the top cities for engineers. Additionally, the Redstone region employs one of the highest number of DoD acquisition experts, and local schools and universities supply a high percentage of entry-level talent.
The industrial base surrounding Redstone is vibrant with more than 400 aerospace and defense technology companies. Many of these companies are situated in Cummings Research Park, the second-largest research park in the country and located directly adjacent to the Redstone Federal Campus. The region has long held a position of national leadership in space and rocket research, development, manufacturing, operations and maintenance which is recognized and sustained to this day.
U.S. Space Command was established in August 2019 and is DOD’s eleventh unified combatant command. Its mission is to better advance the Department of Defense’s military operations in space.