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Tuesday, August 9th, 2022

Sens. Warner, Bennet seek review of space command relocation decision process

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) recently forwarded correspondence to President Joe Biden, seeking a review of the U.S. Space Command relocation decision process.

The senators are encouraging Biden to consider how the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Huntsville, Alabama may impact Intelligence Community (IC) dependencies and missions, as well as the country’s ability to maintain superiority in space.

The lawmakers cited reports that surfaced alleging Trump politicized the process, officials said, resulting in urging the administration to review the decision-making process while ensuring the intelligence community missions and capabilities are considered.

“The Committee has encouraged collaboration in the space domain between the IC and the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to increase the unity of effort and effectiveness in space operations,” the legislators wrote. “In Colorado, important investments have been made in recent years to enhance this collaboration and interoperability, in particular at the National Space Defense Center (NSDC).”

Warner and Bennet maintain that it is critical for any decision to move Space Command from its current location to consider the potential impact on the operational integration between the IC and DoD space communities at NSDC and other joint sites in Colorado.

“According to a 2019 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, construction costs for the new command headquarters could be as high as $1.1 billion,” the legislators concluded. “Workforce disruption is another key consideration, given the many defense and intelligence civilian employees and contractors working on space programs in Colorado at the highest levels of classification. Space is a critical national security issue, and we cannot squander time, talent, or money on unnecessary expenditures or delays.”