Hickenlooper, Bennet, Bipartisan Senators Push for Answers from Investigation of Space Command Move

Letter Asks for Details on the Trump Administration’s Decision to Move Space Command Headquarters from Colorado to Alabama 

Denver – Colorado U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper (D) and Michael Bennet (D) and a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues outlined recommendations for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) to include in the investigation of the decision to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Huntsville, Alabama. 

The letter to Acting DoD IG Sean O’Donnell follows the announcement that the DoD IG’s office is launching an investigation into the Trump Administration’s decision to move U.S. Space Command.  

In their letter, Hickenlooper, Bennet, and their colleagues outline several questions they want the investigation to address: 

  • Why did the Department of Defense end the Strategic Basing Process in 2019 and subsequently create and use a new and untested process for the subsequent evaluation in 2020? 
  • How did the Department of Defense establish the baseline building and command requirements for the 2020 process? 
  • Did the Department of Defense consider each of the sites’ existing infrastructure in evaluating costs?
  • Did the Department of Defense data sets provide a consistent, objective, and fair representation of each site’s qualities and conditions?

Following the relocation announcement in January, Bennet and Hickenlooper denounced the decision and expressed concern that the Trump White House injected politics into the process. Later that month, Bennet, Hickenlooper and the entire Colorado Congressional Delegation urged President Joe Biden to suspend the Trump Administration’s decision to move U.S. Space Command. 

In addition to Hickenlooper and Bennet, the letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.).

Background

In November 2020, the Air Force announced Colorado Springs as a finalist for the U.S. Space Command headquarters. 

In December 2020, Bennet and Hickenlooper joined more than 600 state, federal, local, county and municipal officials, businesspeople, philanthropists, civic leaders, military officials, entrepreneurs and Coloradans from across the state in a letter urging former President Donald Trump to keep the Command in the Centennial State.

In January, following the relocation announcement, Bennet and Hickenlooper released a statement denouncing the decision and expressing concern that the Trump White House influenced the decision for political reasons. The entire Colorado Congressional Delegation also urged President Biden to suspend the move.

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Mr. O’Donnell: 

We write to request you consider the following subjects in your ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s U.S. Space Command basing decision on January 13, 2021.

As you conduct your investigation, we ask that you address the following questions, in addition to the subjects named in the investigation announcement:

  • Why did the Department of Defense end the Strategic Basing Process in 2019 and subsequently create and use a new and untested process for the subsequent evaluation in 2020? 
  • How did the Department of Defense establish the baseline building and command requirements for the 2020 process? 
  • Did the Department of Defense consider each of the sites’ existing infrastructure in evaluating costs?
  • Did the Department of Defense data sets provide a consistent, objective, and fair representation of each site’s qualities and conditions?

Thank you for your consideration on this important subject. 

Sincerely,