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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
Quote:The Air Force has selected the Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., as its preferred location for the headquarters of its new Space Command, Gov. Kay Ivey and U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby said today.

“Alabama has been selected for the United States Space Command Headquarters,” Ivey’s office said. “In late December, Gov. Ivey joined officials with Redstone and the City of Huntsville on a call with Pentagon officials to give a final pitch.

“The governor is proud to announce that Huntsville’s Redstone Region is set to house the headquarters,” the statement said. “This morning, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations Bob Moriarity called Gov. Ivey to inform her of Secretary Barbara Barrett’s Space Command Headquarters preferred candidate basing decision.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased to learn that Alabama will be the new home to the United States Space Command!” the governor said.

“This is outstanding news, not only for our state but also for the Air Force,” Shelby said. “This long-awaited decision by the Air Force is a true testament to all that Alabama has to offer. Huntsville is the right pick for a host of reasons – our skilled workforce, proximity to supporting space entities, cost-effectiveness, and quality of life, among other things. I am thrilled that the Air Force has chosen Redstone and look forward to the vast economic impact this will have on Alabama and the benefits this will bring to the Air Force.”

“Our state has long provided exceptional support for our military and their families as well as a rich and storied history when it comes to space exploration,” Ivey said. “This combination only enhances the outstanding relationships we have with the 65 diverse federal agencies on Redstone Arsenal, not to mention the growing presence of the FBI and other federal installations. The bottom line is simple, the Redstone Region is the most natural choice to become home to such an important mission for our country.”

“This is a project that will have long generational legs for our community,” Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said. “It’s the right decision to come to Huntsville. We have done space. We are space. We have done space since the 1950s. We have the Army Aviation Command here, we have Space & Missile Command here, we have the Missile Defense Agency here. All of it ties in to a workforce that is attuned to working in space and working with our space assets. I think it’s going to be a great thing for our community for yeas to come. Hats off to (U.S. Sen.) Richard Shelby. He did a great job with it.”

The command was established in the Air Force in 2019, and the search for a permanent headquarters began in 2020. Communities across the country competed. They were ranked according to established criteria related to the command’s mission, room to grow and add infrastructure, community support and costs to the Department of Defense.

Twenty-four states officially went after the command headquarters, and finalists included Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bellevue, Kansas; Cape Canaveral, Florida; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and San Antonio, Texas.

The headquarters is temporarily based in Colorado Springs now, and that city was reportedly Huntsville’s major competition. Air Force officials called Colorado Springs “a great location,” too, but mostly because leaving the HQ there avoids the disruptions and expense of moving. But the final decision based on long-term benefits favored Alabama. Huntsville and area compared favorably on more factors than any other community, the Air Force said.

A report in Politico today said Huntsville ranked higher than Colorado in each category of the evaluation. That included cost of living and housing availability off base.

Winning the base will mean at least 1,600 new jobs for the area and more as the command and its missions grow. None of this will happen soon, however, because the headquarters is set to stay in Colorado for at least six years.

The Secretary of the Air Force made the final decision, but President Trump was “informed and consulted” along with top commanders, congressional defense committees, senior commanders and the National Command Authority, the Air Force said.

The criteria to host the headquarters also included proximity to military bases with space assets, high security and communications capabilities. Redstone meets all those criteria. It is home to the Army Materiel Command, one of only five four-star commands in the Army and responsible for equipping Army forces around the world; the Army Space and Missile Command; Army Aviation and Missile Command; the Defense Intelligence Agency/Missile and Space Intelligence Center; and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, among others.

The FBI also chose Redstone for a “strategic realignment” of major assets including its cybersecurity operations. FBI announcements about that realignment said Huntsville is “the Silicon Valley of the South.”

“We have a history of supporting commands that have moved here,” Battle said. “The Army Aviation Command moved here, the Army Materiel Command moved here. We have a little bit of a history of bringing agencies in and making them at home and making them a success. And that’s what we plan to do with U.S. Space Command.”

The Huntsville area also meets all of the Air Force’s “liveability score” goals, workforce qualifications, infrastructure, community support and setup costs.

The decision won’t be final until a required environmental impact study is complete. The Air Force expects to make that final decision in spring 2023.

Link

Quote:Members of the Colorado congressional delegation are urging President-elect Joe Biden to reverse the Trump administration's "horrendous decision" to base the headquarters of U.S. Space Command at Alabama's Redstone Arsenal.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) sent a letter to Biden on Wednesday not long after the Pentagon announced it had decided to base the 1,400-person headquarters at the Army facility in Alabama, not at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. In his letter, Lamborn highlighted the need to maintain stability in America's national security space enterprise as Russia and China develop technology to attack the U.S. in orbit.

"This last-minute decision, based entirely on political expediency, will devastate our space capabilities," Lamborn wrote. "I call on you to use your authority upon taking office as our nation's commoner-in-chief to reverse this foolish and hastily made decision."

Separately, Colorado Democrats Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper released a statement saying they will "ensure the Biden administration reviews this purported decision."

"Just as President Trump is leaving office, Colorado was not selected despite reports that it was the Air Force's top choice," the senators wrote. "We believe a process based on the merits will keep Space Command in Colorado. There is no role for politics when it comes to our national security."

The Pentagon named six finalists to host the headquarters in November after a politically charged search that spanned two dozen states and lasted more than a year. Officials then winnowed it to the bases in Colorado Springs and Huntsville.

Huntsville's selection as the winner was made in consultation with the White House, senior military commanders, the defense congressional committees and others, according to John Henderson, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

The command functions similarly to other combatant commands, such as U.S. Cyber Command or U.S. Central Command. While the military services, primarily the Space Force, will train and equip troops, U.S. Space Command will actually instruct personnel to conduct space operations.

Huntsville, which is known as "Rocket City" because the rockets that launched astronauts to the moon were built there, has a robust space industry nearby, including factories for United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin.

The Air Force decision came down to either converting the provisional headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base into Space Command’s permanent home, or moving it to Alabama, Henderson told POLITICO in an interview.

To decide between the two, the Air Force sent a team of experts to do site visits for a more “qualitative and comprehensive” evaluation of each location’s ability to host the mission, Henderson said. Among other factors, the team looked at each site’s facility and community infrastructure, evaluating whether the bases had the space and capacity to host employees and their families. This included looking at the cost of living, and the availability of quality, affordable housing off base.

Ultimately, the team “objectively” rated Redstone ahead of Peterson in each category, Henderson said. One concern was that Peterson has taken on several additional missions in recent years and is filling up.

But the Air Force also had to weigh the significance and potential short-term cost of uprooting the military's existing space enterprise and moving it to Alabama, he said.

Some officials argued that it might be easier and less expensive to convert the provisional headquarters in Colorado and use some of the workforce already in place to accelerate the timeline for standing it up, Henderson said.

“We had to do a sanity check internally to say is it worth pulling the mission out of there or is it better just to convert the provisional headquarters in place,” Henderson said. “We took a hard look at Colorado to make sure this was the right decision.”

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Lamborn alleged in a statement that the location of the headquarters was treated "like a political trophy." "This decision was not based on what is best for America's national interests."

Though President Donald Trump was involved in the process and gave his feedback, Henderson said the White House did not pressure the Air Force to make a decision one way or another.

“It was a deliberative, informative discussion, everybody in the room got to express their thoughts and their recommendations,” Henderson said. “I don’t feel like anything was inappropriately pushed in our direction.”

Critics of the decision will ask for the Air Force's evaluation scores to be made public, according to one source, who spoke on background to discuss internal conversations.

The Pentagon established U.S. Space Command in August 2019, setting off the search for a permanent location for the headquarters that will oversee the military’s space troops. Three months before its establishment, the Air Force announced in May 2019 that six locations were being considered for the headquarters.

But in March, military leaders told Congress that they were restarting the search to allow more states to compete at the direction of then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who wanted the selection process to be more “transparent” after members of Congress complained that their states did not get enough consideration. The Air Force released a new set of evaluation criteria and encouraged communities to self-nominate in May.

The Air Force in November announced six finalists after a nationwide search that included applications from cities in 24 states. Besides Redstone and Peterson, the other finalists were: Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico; Patrick Air Force Base in Florida; Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska; and Joint Base San Antonio in Texas.

Officials visited those six sites both virtually and in person last month.

Link

Here are the morons in my state's take:

Quote:ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Air Force has chosen Huntsville, Alabama, over five other states including New Mexico to locate the new U.S. Space Command.

Acting Air Force Under Secretary Shon J. Manasco told Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., in a phone call Wednesday morning about the decision. Heinrich then informed the Journal.

Albuquerque was one of six sites in the running for the Space Command, which also included cities in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Alabama and Florida.

The Air Force had yet to release an official public announcement as of late Wednesday morning, but Kirtland Air Force Base officials confirmed the decision.

Following the call with Manasco, Heinrich said he was very disturbed by the Air Force process that culminated in choosing Alabama, which he said seemed like it was rushed to reach a final decision before President Donald Trump leaves office next week.

“I’m utterly disappointed with this process,” Heinrich told the Journal. “I don’t think it (Huntsville) was a logical place to choose for the Space Command. It seems clear to me that this was the least-deliberative Air Force basing decision I’ve been a part of.”

Heinrich and the entire New Mexico congressional delegation have lobbied to locate the Space Command in Albuquerque after Mayor Tim Keller’s administration entered the competitive bidding process last spring to land the new base of operations here with backing from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“When the Trump administration announced its criteria for the new home of U.S. Space Command, it promised a ‘comprehensive and transparent’ screening process,” Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., said in a statement. “Today’s selection raises questions about the integrity of that process, questions I intend to bring up with the incoming administration. New Mexico offered an unparalleled package: a vibrant space industry, key military installations, two National Labs, protected airspace, and a highly-qualified workforce. The Air Force owes the residents of New Mexico and other finalist cities a full and detailed accounting of how it reached its decision.”

The bidding process originally started with 50 locations in 26 states under consideration. The Air Force narrowed that last summer to 31 locations including Albuquerque, which was then selected as one of six finalists in November.

But Heinrich said the Air Force appeared to truncate the decision-making process in the last six weeks.

“In just one month and a half, it went from feeling like a methodical, typical Air Force decision to suddenly a very rushed process to get to a decision before the end of the current administration,” Heinrich said.

Air Force officials held an online meeting with city and and state representatives on Dec. 20 to discuss Albuquerque’s proposal. A group of officials from the Air Force Strategic Basing Office also had an onsite tour Thursday, Jan. 7, of Kirtland Air Force Base, where the Space Command would be located if it came to New Mexico.

“That seems extremely rushed to have an onsite visit last Thursday and on (the following) Wednesday call me with a decision already made,” Heinrich told the Journal. “That’s very concerning.”

Heinrich said his staff will “dig through” the process documentation to review how the decision was made. If the evidence doesn’t justify the site selection, he will urge President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, which takes office next week, to reevaluate the Air Force process and decision.

“It all needs to be completely transparent,” Heinrich said. “… If the facts that led to the conclusion of this process are more political than deliberative, then maybe it would be appropriate to reopen it. I can’t promise that, but if the Air Force doesn’t have the documentation to support its decision, then I would urge the new administration to reevaluate it.”

Sherman McCorkle, the founder of the Kirtland Partnership Committee, which assisted in Albuquerque’s efforts to lure the command center to New Mexico, said he still thinks that Kirtland met the criteria better than the other finalists.
“I think the exercise in and of itself was worthwhile for the fact that it educated people in the Pentagon and elected officials about the attributes of Kirtland Air Force Base,” McCorkle said. “There could be opportunities in the future where we could use this work for leverage for future opportunities. What those future opportunities might be, I’m not sure.”
In a statement, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller called the decision “politically motivated” and said the city would join the state’s congressional delegation and ask the incoming-administration to re-evaluate the decision.

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01-13-2021 06:21 PM
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ArmyBlazer Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
Great news for Huntsville! That whole area is a hidden gem and I think the secret is getting out.
01-13-2021 06:22 PM
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shere khan Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
[Image: AlabamaFlagWaving.jpg]

Audemus jura nostra defendere 
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2021 06:29 PM by shere khan.)
01-13-2021 06:29 PM
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
MLG's response:

Quote:“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM

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01-13-2021 06:35 PM
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ArmyBlazer Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 06:35 PM)CrimsonPhantom Wrote:  MLG's response:

Quote:“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM

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I can tell you why in 2 words: Richard Shelby

And our state is cooler than yours.
01-13-2021 06:36 PM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 06:29 PM)shere khan Wrote:  [Image: AlabamaFlagWaving.jpg]

Audemus jura nostra defendere 

Great news! This will give us a big leg up when we secede!
01-13-2021 06:37 PM
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shere khan Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 06:37 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(01-13-2021 06:29 PM)shere khan Wrote:  [Image: AlabamaFlagWaving.jpg]

Audemus jura nostra defendere 

Great news! This will give us a big leg up when we secede!

03-lmfao

We got a flag for that ready to go

[Image: us-al61r.gif]
(This post was last modified: 01-13-2021 06:44 PM by shere khan.)
01-13-2021 06:42 PM
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CrimsonPhantom Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 06:36 PM)ArmyBlazer Wrote:  
(01-13-2021 06:35 PM)CrimsonPhantom Wrote:  MLG's response:

Quote:“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM

Link

I can tell you why in 2 words: Richard Shelby

And our state is cooler than yours.

We wouldn't have gotten it if we offered our space port up for free.
01-13-2021 06:45 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
The legacy of Wernher von Braun yields another dividend for Alabama.

However, I have no doubt that Biden’s people will find a way to re-open the selection process.
01-13-2021 07:12 PM
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shere khan Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 06:36 PM)ArmyBlazer Wrote:  
(01-13-2021 06:35 PM)CrimsonPhantom Wrote:  MLG's response:

Quote:“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM

Link

I can tell you why in 2 words: Richard Shelby

And our state is cooler than yours.

Yall ain't got one of these though

[Image: so-i-saw-a-space-shuttle-this-weekend-61896.jpg]
01-13-2021 07:16 PM
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ArmyBlazer Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 07:16 PM)shere khan Wrote:  
(01-13-2021 06:36 PM)ArmyBlazer Wrote:  
(01-13-2021 06:35 PM)CrimsonPhantom Wrote:  MLG's response:

Quote:“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

GOV. LUJAN GRISHAM

Link

I can tell you why in 2 words: Richard Shelby

And our state is cooler than yours.

Yall ain't got one of these though

[Image: so-i-saw-a-space-shuttle-this-weekend-61896.jpg]
Haha. God bless north Alabama
01-13-2021 07:23 PM
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Was SoMs Eagle Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
(01-13-2021 07:12 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  The legacy of Wernher von Braun yields another dividend for Alabama.

However, I have no doubt that Biden’s people will find a way to re-open the selection process.

And claim Sloe as its founder.
01-13-2021 08:06 PM
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Pounce FTW Offline
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RE: Alabama Selected For Space Force HQ
What's the backup once all those secessions start?
01-13-2021 08:19 PM
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