DENVER (KDVR) — The United States Government Accountability Office released its final report on Thursday on the decision for moving the United States Space Command from Colorado to Alabama.
The GAO was asked to review the Air Force’s process and methodology on selecting the permanent location for the U.S. Space Command headquarters.
Based on the report, the GAO determined that from December 2018 through early March 2020, the Air Force largely followed its process to determine the preferred location for U.S. Space Command headquarters.
The report stated that from early March 2020 through January 2021, the Air Force implemented a revised, three-phased process at the direction of the then Secretary of Defense, which ended in the selection of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama as the preferred location.
The GAO said the revised process followed some elements of the established process but included different steps.
“For example, in its revised process, the Air Force solicited nominations from all 50 states instead of beginning with a set of candidates based on their respective ability to meet defined functional requirements,” the GAO said.
Colorado elected officials weighed in on the report on Thursday morning.
Here is the full statement released from Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and John Hickenlooper (D) and U.S. Representatives Doug Lamborn (R) and Jason Crow (D) regarding the Government Accountability Office’s final report on the decision to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama:
“Over the past year, we’ve repeatedly raised concerns that the previous administration used a flawed, untested, and inconsistent process to select a location for U.S. Space Command. The reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Defense Inspector General both confirm that the basing process lacked integrity and neglected key national security considerations.
“We now know that in a White House meeting in January 2021, senior military leadership recommended Colorado Springs as the preferred location for Space Command due to the unique ability of Peterson Space Force Base to reach Full Operational Capability significantly faster than any other potential location, and at a significantly lower cost. However, following this meeting a different location was announced as the selection, and justified with inconsistent documentation and unclear reasoning.
“We have serious concerns about how this conclusion was reached, which contradicts the military leadership’s stated goal of reaching Full Operational Capability as quickly as possible. Our national security should be the deciding factor in basing decisions.
“With the investigations now complete, the shortcomings of the Space Command basing process are fully available to the Biden Administration. We urge them to review the reports’ findings, and make a decision in consultation with the Joint Chiefs of Staff that prioritizes our national security and mission in space.
“The American people must be able to trust that this decision is objective and provides for our national security and leadership in space. Peterson remains the only and best home for U.S. Space Command.”
Last month, the Department of Defense released a report from the Office of Inspector General.
The DOD said moving the U.S. Space command from Colorado to Alabama is “reasonable” and “not improperly influenced by politics.”