US to keep Space Command HQ in Colorado Springs
PHOTO CAPTION: Headquarters Space Operations Command (SpOC) was furnished with updated signage at Building 1, at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. (U.S. Space Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. JT Armstrong via U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden has selected Colorado Springs as the permanent location of the U.S. Space Command headquarters, the U.S. military said on Monday, ending a long-running debate over potentially moving it to Republican-stronghold Alabama.
The Pentagon said the decision by Biden, a Democrat, would ensure "peak readiness" of the command during a critical period.
Experts have said keeping the base in Colorado Springs would avoid a lengthy transition period to Huntsville, Alabama, a spot favored by former Republican President Donald Trump and which is known as "Rocket City" for its role in developing space rockets.
"It will also enable the command to most effectively plan, execute and integrate military spacepower into multi-domain global operations in order to deter aggression and defend national interests," the Pentagon said in a statement.
Biden's decision comes as a Republican senator from Alabama, Tommy Tuberville, is blocking hundreds of U.S. military appointments to protest the Pentagon's policy reimbursing costs for service members who travel to get an abortion.
Biden last week criticized Tuberville for preventing many women and people of color from moving into more senior roles, some of them historic in nature.
Those include Air Force General CQ Brown, the first Black person to lead any branch of the armed services, whom Biden has nominated to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Navy Admiral Lisa Franchetti, who would become the first woman to command the service and become a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Kanishka Singh in WashingtonEditing by Marguerita Choy)