House armed services committee launches investigation into space command decision

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 8:44 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 4:10 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Members of the House Armed Services Committee launched an investigation into Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall’s decision on US Space Command Headquarters. This is after Kendall met privately with Alabama delegates.

After an evaluation In 2021, the Secretary of the Air Force confirmed Huntsville was the preferred location for the U.S. Space Command Headquarters. However, during their meeting, House Armed Services Committee Chair Mike Rogers said Kendall told leaders he uncovered “fundamental changes” being made to those requirements.

Following the meeting, Committee Member Dale Strong immediately called for an investigation.

“This thing is starting to have a really bad smell to it, and it’s time to open Pandora’s box and find out what’s going on,” Strong said.

Strong told WAFF 48 News the committee will look through text messages, emails, or any documentation to see if the HQ decision is being influenced by politics. Strong and Senator Tommy Tuberville claim Secretary Kendall could have worked with officials in Colorado to keep HQ in its current temporary location in Colorado Springs.

“This is the Department of Defense,” Tuberville said. “They may made their mind up a long time ago and said let’s just leave it there and build some buildings to a point of no return. They’ve been caught, and now they’re trying to come up with some excuse.”

“If Colorado is leasing buildings with taxpayer money, we’re fixing to find that out,” Strong said.

Strong told WAFF 48 that the purpose of the investigation is to force Secretary Kendall’s hand.

“The goal is to make the secretary of the air force make a decision. He assured me in this questioning that he was the guy making the decision,” Strong said.

Strong says the investigation would take as long as necessary and claimed that Kendall said his decision could come in a few months.

Gov. Ivey released the statement on May 30.

Governor Kay Ivey released a statement Tuesday about the home of Space Command headquarters:

“Alabama is eager for our country to win the space race, not slow walk our way there. Let me repeat what everyone already knows: Alabama is the only rightful home for Space Command Headquarters, and supporting this mission is critical to the advancement of our national security.

Last week, our bipartisan Alabama delegation brought to light concerning details regarding the permanency of Space Command Headquarters. On what dimension would we not have a permanent headquarters for a major arm of our national security? There are many questions that must be answered, and I commend Chairman Rogers, Representatives Strong and Sewell, as well as the entire U.S. House Armed Services Committee for launching this investigation.

Alabama – in every way – is staunchly committed to seeing this mission through. And everyone agrees because the facts are undeniable that Redstone should, can and will be home to Space Command Headquarters.

Secretary Kendall and General Dickinson, I am ready to join you at Redstone Arsenal very soon to officially welcome the HQ to Alabama.”

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