AL: Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal Selected for U.S. Space Command, With 1,400 Jobs
15 Jan, 2021
The U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, was picked as the future location of U.S. Space Command’s headquarters. U.S. Space Command was established in August 2019 as the military’s 11th unified combatant command. The future headquarters will have approximately 1,400 military and civilian personnel.
The selection of Redstone Arsenal is a huge win for Huntsville, nicknamed “Rocket City.” U.S. Space Command is currently based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett announced the decision Jan. 13, one day before stepping down from her post.
Redstone Arsenal was one of six finalists the Air Force announced in November. Besides Colorado’s Peterson Air Force Base, the other candidates were Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico; Patrick Air Force Base, Florida; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; and Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
“Huntsville compared favorably across more of these factors than any other community, providing a large, qualified workforce, quality schools, superior infrastructure capacity, and low initial and recurring costs. Additionally, Redstone Arsenal offered a facility to support the headquarters, at no cost, while the permanent facility is being constructed,” the Air Force said in a statement.
Redstone Arsenal currently hosts the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Strategic Forces Command, the Army Aviation and Missile Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center and Missile Defense Agency operations. The area also is home to many defense contractors and space industry facilities including the factories of United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin.
The Air Force revealed the shortlist of locations on Nov. 19 and a lobbying battle began. A team of Air Force officials during the past month conducted in-person and virtual meetings with representatives from each locale.
For now, U.S. Space Command will remain at Peterson Air Force Base. The Air Force estimates it could take up to six years to complete an environmental review of the new location and stand up new facilities.
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