President Biden has decided to keep U.S. Space Command’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, reversing a Trump administration decision to base the command in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Pentagon on Tuesday afternoon confirmed the decision, which was first reported by the Associated Press

, stating the outcome followed a “thorough and deliberate evaluation process” and had the full support of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Army Gen. James Dickinson, head of Space Command.

U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, the head of U.S. Space Comman, speaks with the Kristyn Jones, assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management and comptroller, performing the duties of under secretary of the Air Force, at the command’s headquarters at Peterson Space Force Base, Colo. on April 11 (U.S. Space Command Photo)

“From the start, DoD and the Department of the Air Force have worked diligently to ensure the basing decision resulted from an objective and deliberate process informed by data and analysis, in compliance with federal law and DoD policy,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. “Locating Headquarters U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs ultimately ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period. It will also enable the command to most effectively plan, execute and integrate military spacepower into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression and defend national interests.”

Colorado Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) applauded the decision, while Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement “the fight is far from over.” 

“For two and a half years we’ve known any objective analysis of this basing decision would reach the same conclusion we did, that Peterson Space Force Base is the best home for Space Command. After two investigations and rigorous review by the Department of Defense, the administration has made the decision that’s in our country’s best interest,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Most importantly, this decision firmly rejects the idea that politics – instead of national security – should determine basing decisions central to our national security. We’re grateful to the service members and civilians who serve at Space Command, keeping us safe at the cutting edge of this new frontier.”

Bennet added the Trump administration’s recommendation to permanently base Space Command in Huntsville, Alabama was “misguided,” adding the decision to keep the command in Colorado “restores integrity to the Pentagon’s basing process.”

In January 2021, then Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett recommended moving Space Command’s permanent headquarters to Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama after a process that also included considering the interim headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Joint Base San Antonio in Texas and  Patrick Space Force Base in Florida.

Rogers in his statement vowed to continue HASC’s investigation into the basing decision process and said the Biden administration’s decision to not move Space Command headquarters to Alabama was driven by “far-left politics, not national security.”

“Huntsville, Alabama was chosen to be the headquarters of U.S. Space Command because it was the strongest location and investigations by the DoD [Inspector General] and [Government Accountability Office] have upheld this decision. Yet, the Biden administration decided to make Colorado Springs, Colorado, which came in fifth in the Selection Phase, the location of the headquarters for U.S. Space Command,” Rogers said. “The Biden administration’s shameful delay to finalize the permanent basing decision for U.S. Space Command warranted the opening of a Congressional investigation. I will continue this investigation to see if they intentionally misled the Armed Services Committee on their deliberate taxpayer-funded manipulation of the selection process. I will continue to hold the Biden administration accountable for their egregious political meddling in our national security”

During HASC’s markup of the fiscal year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, Rogers pushed back on a proposed amendment from Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) that would have blocked funding for additional construction at Space Command’s temporary headquarters in Colorado and limit travel funds for the Air Force secretary until a final decision is made on the location for the command’s permanent headquarters (Defense Daily, June 22). 

Lamborn, whose district hosts the temporary Space Command headquarters, ultimately withdrew his amendment.

Hickenlooper and Bennet, along with fellows Democrats and Colorado Reps. Diana DeGette, Brittany Pettersen, Yadira Caraveo and Jason Crow, said earlier this month Rogers was holding up approval for “hundreds of millions of dollars” in DoD reprogramming requests in an effort to put pressure on the Air Force to affirm its decision to base Space Command in Alabama (Defense Daily, July 14).

“This legislative hostage-taking is unconscionable and must stop,” the Colorado lawmakers said in a July 12 statement.

Rogers’ office said in a reply that the Colorado lawmakers’ statement is “a partisan, parochial, and untrue misrepresentation of HASC processes” and that “the committee is continuing to review reprogramming requests from the Department of Defense.”