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Department of Defense inspector general to investigate Space Command headquarters relocation

The Trump administration announced on Jan. 13 that the Space Command headquarters would be in Huntsville, Alabama, infuriating Republican and Democratic officials alike in Colorado

The flag of the U.S. Space Command is unfurled at the White House in a presentation with President Donald J. Trump, the incoming commander of U.S. Space Command, Air Force Gen. John W. Raymond, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, and Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Roger Towberman, Washington, D.C., Aug. 29, 2019. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)
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The Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Defense announced Friday that it will investigate the Trump administration’s decision to relocate the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado Springs to Alabama.

The office says it will look into whether the decision “complied with Department of Defense and Air Force policies” and whether “objective and relevant scoring factors” were used in making the decision.

The Trump administration announced on Jan. 13 that the Space Command headquarters would be in Huntsville, Alabama, infuriating Republican and Democratic officials alike in Colorado.

Leading politicians, including Gov. Jared Polis and all nine members of Colorado’s congressional delegation, asked the Biden administration to reconsider the decision and investigate whether the Trump administration’s choice was politically motivated.

Space Command headquarters is temporarily located in Colorado Springs. The city was slated to host the headquarters until at least 2026, when it would receive a permanent home.

Colorado leaders have been working to secure the headquarters for years. The command is expected to bring more than 1,400 troops and civilian workers and proponents of keeping the headquarters in Colorado say it would mesh well with the state’s large aerospace industry.

“It is imperative that we thoroughly review what I believe will prove to be a fundamentally flawed process that focused on bean-counting rather than American space dominance,” said U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican.

Lamborn applauded the inspector general’s investigation.

“I will continue working to ensure that this decision was made with neither political bias nor arbitrary and inappropriate metrics which will ultimately materially damage our national security and hamper Space Command’s critical mission,” he added.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Colorado Democrat, echoed the sentiment.

“Moving Space Command out of Colorado just doesn’t make any sense,” Hickenlooper tweeted. “Glad the Inspector General is getting to the bottom of this.”

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