Biden keeps U.S. Space Command in Colorado, reversing Trump move to Alabama

Gen. James Dickinson, head of U.S. Space Command
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

President Biden has decided to keep U.S. Space Command's headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, reversing a January 2021 decision by former President Donald Trump to move the command to Huntsville, Alabama, the White House said Monday. Trump had elevated U.S. Space Command to its own four-star combatant command in 2019, and Colorado Springs, its temporary home, had been the frontrunner for the permanent headquarters until the final days for Trump's presidency.

When Biden took office, he placed the move to Huntsville on pause to review the decision. Keeping U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado Springs "ultimately ensures peak readiness in the space domain for our nation during a critical period," Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said Monday. He added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, and Space Command head Gen. James Dickinson all supported Biden's "objective and deliberate" decision.

In Washington, the fate of Space Command headquarters has been a point of bitter contention between Alabama and Colorado lawmakers. Biden's decision to keep the "multimillion-dollar economic driver" in Colorado Springs "is a win for Democrats and Republicans alike in Colorado," who have argued to more than two years that Trump's last-ditch decision was "politically motivated," The Colorado Sun reported. Trump actually "credited himself for 'single-handedly' putting the command in the red state," Politico noted.

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Alabama GOP lawmakers argued that Biden's move to overrule Trump was driven by politics. "This fight is far from over," House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) said Monday. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who has clashed with the Pentagon and White House over his six-month-long protest hold on senior military promotions, argued that Biden's decision "looks like blatant patronage politics."

Biden was convinced to keep U.S. Space Command in Colorado by Dickinson, who "was staunchly in favor of staying put," arguing "that moving his headquarters now would jeopardize military readiness," The Associated Press reported, citing U.S. officials. Kendall had "leaned toward Huntsville."

National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said that with the decision now made, U.S. Space Command's headquarters "is expected to achieve 'full operational capability' at Colorado Springs" in August.

U.S. Space Command is charged with defending U.S. national interests starting at 62 miles above sea level, facilitating satellite navigation and communication for the U.S. military and tracking missile launches. It is separate from the U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. Armed Forces also created at Trump's behest in 2019.

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.