Former President Donald Trump said the decision to pick Huntsville’s Redstone Arsenal as U.S Space Command’s preferred headquarters was made “single handedly” by him, going against statements made by Pentagon officials and Washington insiders who say the choice was made independently by other officials, and that Trump was not involved.
“Space Force I sent to Alabama, I hope you know that.” Trump said, during a broadcast of the Rick & Bubba Show Friday morning. “They said ‘We’re looking for a home.’ And I single handedly said ‘Let’s go to Alabama.’”
This choice of Huntsville as U.S Space Command Headquarters over the current provisional headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs is currently under investigation by the Department of Defense’s Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office.
In January, a source close to the decision told APR the choice was made without then Trump, and that officials “only needed his signature” for the move.
The source further stated the location was chosen on merit and was not politically motivated.
Since the announcement Jan. 13, lawmakers in Colorado and D.C have maintained this decision was politically motivated and requested it be investigated by the DOD’s Inspector General and the GAO.
Trump previously intimated at a 2020 rally in Colorado Springs that Peterson Air Force Base was being “strongly considered” for U.S Space Command Headquarters.
“We have maintained throughout the process that the permanent basing decision for U.S. Space Command was not made on merit,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, in an email to the Colorado Springs Gazette Friday. “The admission by former President Trump that he ‘single-handedly’ directed the move to Huntsville, Alabama, supports our position.”
Critics see the move to Alabama as a political reward for the Alabama delegation’s near-unanimous objection to the 2020 presidential election and Electoral College results on Jan. 6.
In June, then-Acting Air Force Secretary John Roth defended the decision during a hearing by the U.S House Armed Services Commitee, stating the choice “was the result of our strategic basing process,” noting the basic construction and maintenance costs in Hunstville were “significantly less” than in Colorado Springs, according to Space News.
The Air Force is expected to make a final decision on Space Command Headquarters in the middle of next year after their mandated environmental examination of the Hunstville location has concluded.