For decades, Congress and each Administration insisted that Department of Defense decisions about the location of important military installations be based on clear, objective analysis. Those decisions are made using independent data and metrics, not personal preferences. It is how every significant decision has been made, to include Base Realignment and Closure determinations, and the process has served our country and our military well.
The Department of Defense used this same strategy in its analysis of where to permanently locate its new Space Command headquarters. Multiple communities across the country went through a thorough and exhaustive vetting process twice and, each time, the results were the same – Huntsville, Alabama is the best choice. Not only did Huntsville score highest, but Colorado Springs fell well short of second place on that list. The data clearly shows there are multiple locations better suited for Space Command than Colorado Springs.
To reverse longstanding policy requiring site decisions to be driven by objective, measurable data is the worst thing we can do for our country and national security. Politicians will certainly grandstand and advocate for their communities, and top military personnel may also have preferences on where they want to live. All that is to be expected and can make entertaining headlines. It is not, however, the way our country makes important military decisions.
The mission of Space Command, its headquarters, and the future of space defense should be determined by facts – not by politics, personalities or personal desires. The integrity of this process should remain data based, devoid of politics, and in the best interest of the defense of our country. An objective examination said Huntsville is the #1 location for Space Command. It’s time we honor that decision and move forward with the important work of protecting the United States of America and our global allies.