The Air Force has selected the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., As its preferred location for its new Space Command headquarters, Gov. Kay Ivey and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said today.
Iowa’s office said, “Alabama has been elected to the United States Space Command Headquarters.” “In late December, the government joined Ivey with the City of Redstone and Huntsville on a call with Pentagon officials to deliver a final pitch.
“The governor is proud to announce that the Redstone area of Huntsville is set in the home,” the statement said. “This morning, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Bob Moriarity prioritized the candidate’s base decision to inform Gov. Ivey about Secretary Barbara Barrett’s space command headquarters.”
“I could not be happier to know that Alabama will be the new home of the United States Space Command!” The governor said.
“This is very good news not only for our state, but also for the Air Force,” Shelby said. “This long-awaited decision by the Air Force is a true testament to all that Alabama has to offer. Huntsville is the right pick for a host of reasons – our skilled workforce, proximity to support space entities, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life among other things. I am thrilled that the Air Force has chosen Redstone and is looking forward to the huge economic impact it will have on Alabama and will benefit the Air Force. “
“Our state has long provided exceptional support for our military and their families, as well as a rich and storied history when it comes to space exploration,” Ivey said. “This combination only enhances our excellent relationship with 65 diverse federal agencies at the Redstone arsenal, not to mention the growing presence of the FBI and other federal establishments. The bottom line is simple, the Redstone region has become home to such an important mission for our country. “
“This is a project that will have long lasting legs for our community,” said Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville. “Coming to Huntsville is the right decision. We have made a place. We are space. We have done space since the 1950s. We have the Army Aviation Command here, we have the Space and Missile Command, we have the Missile Defense Agency here. All of this ties in with a workforce that is ready to work in space and work with our space assets. I think this is a great thing for our community for the time being. (US Sen.) Salute to Richard Shelby. He did a great job with it. “
The command was established in the Air Force in 2019, and the search for a permanent headquarters began in 2020. Communities around the country competed. They were ranked according to established norms for the Department of Defense’s mission to develop the command, develop rooms, and add infrastructure, community support, and costs.
Twenty-four states officially moved after command headquarters, and the finalists included Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bellevue, Kansas; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; And San Antonio, Texas.
The headquarters are temporarily located in Colorado Springs, and the city was reportedly Huntsville’s flagship competition. Air Force officials also called Colorado Springs “a great place”, but mostly because leaving headquarters avoided disruption and relocation costs. But the final decision was in favor of Alabama based on long-term gains. The Air Force said that Huntsville and the area have favorability on more factors than any other community.
A report by POLITICO stated today that Huntsville ranked higher than Colorado in each category of assessment. This included the cost of living off base and the availability of housing.
Winning Aadhaar would mean at least 1,600 new jobs for the region and more command and its mission to grow. However, none of this will happen soon, as the headquarters are scheduled to remain in Colorado for at least six years.
The Secretary of the Air Force made the final decision, but President Trump “informed and consulted” with top commanders, congressional defense committees, senior commanders and the National Command Authority, the Air Force said.
Criteria for hosting the headquarters included space assets, high security and proximity to military bases with communications capabilities. Redstone meets all those criteria. It is home to the Army Material Command, one of only five four-star commands in the military and responsible for equipping military forces around the world; Army Space and Missile Command; Army Aviation and Missile Command; Defense Intelligence Agency / Missile and Space Intelligence Center; And the American Missile Defense Agency, among others.
The FBI also selected Redstone for “strategic restructuring” of key assets, including its cyber security operations. FBI announcements regarding that realization stated that Huntsville is the “Silicon Valley of the South”.
“We have a history of support commands that have moved here,” Battle said. “The Army Aviation Command moved here, the Army Material Command moved here. We have a short history of bringing agencies in and making them at home and making them successful. And this is what we plan to do with the US Space Command. “
The Huntsville area meets all of the Air Force’s “Vibrancy Score” goals, workforce qualifications, infrastructure, community support and setup costs.
The decision will not be final until a required environmental impact study is completed. The Air Force hopes to make a final decision in spring 2023.
(This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day)
(AL.com reporters Paul Gatiss and Ashley Remacus contributed to this report)