Rep. Doug Lamborn has been working tirelessly to reverse the Air Force’s decision to relocate US Space Command Centre from Colorado to Alabama, which was announced in January. Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican, told SpaceNews that he expects the fight to drag on into next year, pending the results of ongoing investigations by the Defense Department’s inspector general as well as the Government Accountability Office.
“Assuming that one or both investigations reveal flaws in how the selection process was carried out, I would expect that Congress would be seeing fit to reassess the entire selection process, maybe starting it over from the beginning, or intervening in some other way,” he said. Lamborn as well as his fellow Colorado legislators have contended that the move to shift Space Command headquarters from the Peterson Space Force Base to the Redstone Arsenal, which was made in the final days of Trump regime, was politically driven and counterproductive because the majority of the Space Command’s staff and industrial base is located in Colorado.
Lawmakers have requested a cost estimate from Department of Air Force for the construction of a new Space Command office at Redstone Arsenal located in Huntsville. According to Lamborn, that estimate has yet to be released. He notes out that Air Force has spent millions of dollars upgrading military space centres in Colorado, including the current headquarters of Space Command in Peterson.
“I hope both of the evaluations were moving more quickly,” Lamborn added. “I expect the IG report will be released first, perhaps later this year, and the GAO report will be completed early next year.”
Nobody knows what will come out of either of these investigations. However, Lamborn is convinced that the oversight agencies’ findings will put enough question on the Air Force’s selection process to force Congress to reconsider the basing decision. “Then the next stage will be in the discretion of Congress,” Lamborn said after the reviews are done.
“There are others who believe this should be entirely a military decision,” Lamborn says, adding that Congress may not be able to dispute it. They would, however, be incorrect, he stated. “This is the essence of civilian control of the military.”
Lamborn will not be attending the 36th Space Symposium, one of his district’s biggest yearly events, despite his significant interest and attention to space matters. He said, “I’ll be flying into D.C.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) invited the House back from its summer holiday on August 23 to vote on the $3.5 trillion budget package approved by the Senate on August 11.