DOD IG to launch review of SPACECOM basing decision this month

By Courtney Albon / February 22, 2021 at 10:02 AM

The Defense Department inspector general will launch a review this month of the Air Force's selection of the Army's Redstone Arsenal as the preferred permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command.

"Specifically, we will evaluate the extent to which the Department of the Air Force: complied with DOD and Air Force policies during the selection process; used objective and relevant scoring factors to rank the six candidate locations; and calculated the cost and other scoring factors accurately and consistently among the six candidate locations," the IG said in a Feb. 19 memo.

The memo, addressed to the Air Force secretary, does not indicate how long the IG review is expected to take.

The Air Force announced its selection of Redstone Arsenal in Hunstville, AL, in January after an extended basing process that was restarted last May -- about a year after the service selected an initial slate of preferred locations -- due to a lack of transparency.

Redstone was one of six candidate locations identified in November as part of the revised selection process. The other five sites included Kirtland Air Force Base, NM; Offutt AFB, NE; Patrick AFB, FL; Peterson AFB, CO; and Port San Antonio, TX.

Following the Air Force's announcement, some lawmakers, particularly the Colorado delegation, pushed back on the service's decision, claiming Redstone’s selection was influenced by the Trump administration.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said in a statement last week he requested the IG investigation soon after the Air Force announced its decision and has asked the Government Accountability Office to conduct its own review.

"It is imperative that we thoroughly review what I believe will prove to be a fundamentally flawed process that focused on bean-counting rather than American space dominance," Lamborn said. "I will continue working to ensure that this decision was made with neither political bias nor arbitrary and inappropriate metrics which will ultimately materially damage our national security and hamper Space Command's critical mission."