A top defense publication is reporting that “a strong and persistent rumor has emerged” that Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal is leading a heated competition among states to become headquarters of the new Space Command.
“At least on paper,” Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.
The publication says the rumor “comes from multiple sources with access to and knowledge of military space at senior levels.” That’s a necessary caveat because basing choices are among the Defense Department’s closest-held secrets.
That would mean that an independent review team ranked Huntsville above sites in Colorado and California in the technical review of site choices. The review included such familiar things as affordable housing, good schools, good hospitals and specialized facilities needed for the mission.
Hosting the new command would make Huntsville and Alabama key to defending both American military and commercial satellites in space. It would bring thousands more well-paid and highly skilled professionals to the state.
If Huntsville did top the technical review, the remaining wild cards could be personal and political. Colorado, where the Air Force has numerous space resources now, is reportedly a favorite with the Air Force that will lead the new command. But Alabama has powerful Republicans U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, ranking member and former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
President Trump has pushed for the new command and officially started it in a Rose Garden ceremony in August. The president could decide.
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