The IG determined that the base’s decision “complied with federal law and Department of Defense policy and that the process was reasonable.”
WASHINGTON — After a year-long investigation, the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General concluded that the January 2021 Recommendation moving the US Space Command headquarters from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama was reasonable and not unduly influenced by politics.
The IG released its findings May 10 in a report titled “Evaluation of the Air Force Selection Process for the Permanent Location of the United States Space Command Headquarters”.
The review was requested in February 2021 by colorado legislators who argued that the decision to move the Space Command headquarters from Peterson Space Force Base to Redstone Arsenal, made in the last days of the Trump administration, was politically motivated and counterproductive as most of Space Command’s workforce and industrial base reside in Colorado.
The IG, however, found no evidence to support those claims.
“Overall, we found that the 2020 Base Action process led by the Secretary of Defense complied with federal law and Department of Defense policy and that the process was reasonable,” Randolph Stone, deputy inspector general for space, wrote. , intelligence, engineering and supervision.
The IG criticized the Air Force base office staff for keeping poor records. “During our screening phase review, head office staff were unable to provide us with all of the documentation used to support their review and ranking of candidate locations because they generally had not created or retained it.” As a result, the IG had to do additional work to obtain the data it needed.
Many parts of the IG report were redacted. He said the evaluation factors that led to the selection of Huntsville “were a reasonable and objective means of evaluating, qualifying, and ranking candidate locations to host the USSPACECOM headquarters.”
There is one pending step that must be completed before the US Space Command headquarters is relocated: an environmental study expected in the spring of 2023.
Following the publication of the IG report, Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Wing) said: “The conclusion of the report is that the Air Force process that led to the selection of Redstone as the best home for SPACECOM was rock solid. For more than a year, the IG audited the work of the Air Force. I am pleased that, after this extensive evaluation, the IG has confirmed that the base process complied with the law and that the decision was based on objective factors.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) said in a statement that he will continue to fight to reverse the decision. “With only a cursory review of the process itself, the DOD OIG’s conclusion that the prior basis decision was reasonable simply means that it was logical based on flawed assessments,” he said. “Two of the four recommendations in the DoD OIG report are to further address the imperative to rapidly achieve full operational capability based on concerns raised by our military leaders that this was not adequately considered during this basic process. I will continue to advocate for a fair and transparent grassroots decision that prioritizes national security imperatives and quickly addresses the growing threats we face in space.”