In the wake of the Chinese balloon overflight of the U.S., seven Colorado leaders, including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.)–the new chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel, are urging the Pentagon to keep the headquarters of U.S. Space Command at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, rather than move it to Huntsville, Alabama’s Redstone Arsenal.

“Last week, when an unmanned, foreign object traversed the United States for days, U.S. Space Command was not operating at full capacity,” the leaders wrote in a joint statement by the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. “At a time of such uncertainty with China and Russia, space capabilities play a decisive role. Why are officials still considering moving this critical command? Relocating U.S. Space Command from its current home will delay attaining full operational capability. Our military must focus on protecting our country today, not packing boxes and wasting taxpayer dollars. Let’s end this indecision and do what’s best for our nation.”

Other signatories of the letter include J. Ament, the president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce; Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers; Morgan Alu, the Colorado Space Coalition’s director of international development and special projects; Johanna Reeder Kleymeyer, the president of the Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corp.; Raymond Gonzales, the president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.; and Cami Bremer, the chair of the El Paso County Commissioners Board.

Last year, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report cast doubt on whether credible analysis informed the decision to move U.S. Space Command to Alabama–a decision made in the waning days of the Trump administration (Defense Daily, June 8, 2022).

Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has suggested that Trump had overruled the Air Force’s analysis of Peterson as the best location and forced the selection of Redstone Arsenal in an attempt to court Alabama’s congressional delegation, including freshman Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) and now-retired Sen. Richard Shelby (R), ahead of Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate.

The Department of the Air Force has been conducting a further assessment of the Space Command basing decision in advance of Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall’s final decision on the matter.