Members of Congress are reportedly seeking to block funding for the current headquarters of the Space Command in Colorado and force the space military branch to move to Alabama.
Members of Congress in Alabama submitted a draft bill last week that would discontinue funding directed towards the development of the Space Command’s temporary headquarters in Colorado, restricting the command from spending any more money on the construction of its facilities, NBC News reported based on official documents reviewed by reporters. The bill is an attempt by the Alabama Congress to force the White House to announce the permanent location of the Space Command’s headquarters.
The debate over the relocation of the Space Command headquarters has been dragging on for months. President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly trying to reverse a decision to relocate the Space Command’s headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama, largely due to concerns regarding the state’s strict anti-abortion law that was put into effect last summer.
Biden’s attempt to halt the relocation of the Space Command headquarters came just months after Alabama criminalized abortion in most cases, including rape and incest. In December 2022, the Biden administration directed the U.S. Air Force to conduct a review of a decision made by former President Donald Trump to move the headquarters to Alabama. Later in March, the Washington Post’s national columnist David Ignatius wrote a report suggesting that the White House will soon reverse the decision. Alabama lawmakers were angered by the report, stating that the decision should be up to the Air Force.
The Space Command, not to be confused with the U.S. Space Force, is basically like having an army for space, a combatant command of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to conduct “operations in, from, and to space to deter conflict, and if necessary, defeat aggression, deliver space combat power for the joint/combined force, and defend U.S. vital interests with allies and partners,” according to the DOD.
The command provides satellite operations for the military and is on the lookout for foreign threats beyond the horizon, but it’s still not fully operational. The military’s newest combatant command is on track to reach full operations by the end of the year, according to U.S. officials. Senior military leaders have told investigators that relocating the Space Command headquarters could disrupt its operations and that staying in Colorado would allow it to reach full operational capacity sooner, SpaceNews reported in March.
Alabama officials, however, are really eager to see the command make a home out of their state. Just this week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released a statement expressing Alabama’s commitment to the space race. “Let me repeat what everyone already knows: Alabama is the only rightful home for Space Command Headquarters, and supporting this mission is critical to the advancement of our national security,” the statement read.
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