WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) during a hearing Sept. 28 grilled military officials over their role in the Biden administration’s decision to keep U.S. Space Command’s headquarters in Colorado.
President Biden in July overturned the Trump administration’s recommendation to move U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama. The Pentagon said the president’s decision was based on the advice of military leaders that the relocation would be disruptive and undermine military readiness.
Testifying at the hearing were Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, U.S. Space Command’s commander Gen. James Dickinson and the chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force Gen. Chance Saltzman.
Rogers and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) argued that the Biden administration’s rationale for stopping the move — that it undermines military readiness — doesn’t hold up because it’s the U.S. Space Force, not U.S. Space Command, that is responsible for the readiness of forces.
“Let me be clear, this is not and has never been about readiness,” Rogers charged during a contentious exchange with Dickinson.
Rogers suggested Dickinson had made contradictory statements about whether moving Space Command would impact readiness. At the hearing, Dickinson said the relocation could create workforce disruptions because many of the civilians are not likely to move. Space Command headquarters has about 1,400 employees.
In response, Rogers said the Air Force had proposed ways to mitigate workforce issues, such as hiring contractors to fill gaps until new workers could be hired in Alab