USSPACECOM to remain at Peterson Space Force Base

Headquarters Space Operations Command (SpOC) was furnished with new signage at Building 1, at Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado. (U.S. Space Force photo by Staff Sgt. JT Armstrong)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has decided to keep U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado, overturning a last-ditch decision by the Trump administration to move it to Alabama and ending months of politically fueled debate, according to senior U.S. officials.

The officials said Biden was convinced by the head of Space Command, Gen. James Dickinson, who argued that moving his headquarters now would jeopardize military readiness. Dickinson’s view, however, was in contrast to Air Force leadership, who studied the issue at length and determined that relocating to Huntsville, Alabama, was the right move.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the decision ahead of the announcement.

The president, they said, believes that keeping the command in Colorado Springs would avoid a disruption in readiness that the move would cause, particularly as the U.S. races to compete with China in space. And they said Biden firmly believes that maintaining stability will help the military be better able to respond in space over the next decade. Those factors, they said, outweighed what the president believed would be any minor benefits of moving to Alabama.

Biden’s decision is sure to enrage Alabama lawmakers and fuel accusations that abortion politics played a role in the choice. The location debate has become entangled in the ongoing battle between Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville and the Defense Department over the move to provide travel for troops seeking reproductive health care. Tuberville opposed the policy is blocking hundreds of military promotions in protest.

Comment: Of course there’s politics involved in this decision. Politics are always involved in these decisions. Both Peterson and Redstone are perfectly suitable for the home of USSPACECOM. The last GAO report recommended moving it to Redstone. In the last week of his presidency, Trump decided to move it to Redstone. I’m sure that decision was also political. The Secretary of the Air Force was good with that, but CINC USSPACECOM wanted it to stay at Peterson. Biden made the final decision. The reason given is that USSPACECOM will soon be declared full operation capable as long as it stayed at Peterson. Moving to Redstone would put that off for years. That’s a perfectly sound reason, but I bet Biden got great pleasure in overturning one of Trump’s last presidential decisions and jamming this decision up Tuberville’s ass. Politics can be real petty.

As I said, these decisions are always political. The current competition for the new FBI headquarters between Virginia and Maryland is just as intense and just as political.

If I was assigned to USSPACECOM, I’d be happy with this decision for the simple reason that I’d rather live in Colorado than Alabama. I visited the first iteration of USSPACECOM at Peterson several times when they had the cyber defense mission. Sitting at the base of Pike’s Peak, I liked the area immensely. But that’s also personal and petty. Objectively, the decision does save the expense of the moving of a major command headquarters and does allow the command to be operational while China is making a lot of noise.


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38 Responses to USSPACECOM to remain at Peterson Space Force Base

  1. Master Slacker says:

    Biden was a senator for a long time, he knows exactly how the game is played. And I’m sure Tuberville was trolled over this many times but he just didn’t get it, like Desantis, his desire to appeal to the lowest common noise maker just cost his state a large investment that won’t be coming back.

  2. leith says:

    Tuberville was a hell of a good football coach. After retiring he got involved in some fraudulent investments and some charity scams, but Alabamans forgave him and elected him Senator anyway.

    • ked says:

      when Sessions was drop-kicked by Trump for trying to be a decent AG (obviously, being the 1st major elected official to endorse him wasn’t enough… or it was, but loylty ain’t trump’s strong suit), it became open season for the Senate seat spl election won by Doug Jones. {once the gop got over the cognitive dissonance of nominating a nut-case sexual predator who’d been twice removed from the supreme court… an elected position. that’s what 1-party rule does for QC in the New Confederacy} MAGA fundys having wrested control of the state party from the Big Mules (the plantation class, evolved). they sought someone who met the minimum requirements for election – a winning record in SEC football. who lived in FL. no prob, other than allowing a moderate dem who’d worked well w/ former dem Shelby (one of the most powerful senators in US history, if you go by flow of $s to overcome his state’s best efforts to remain in the previous century) to get 40% of the vote. must’ve been pissed-off Bama fans. cry for AL, but maybe not for Huntsville… tons of Federal $s pouring into the district since the Depression… most recently, a 3500 employee FBI center… next to the Army Material Command, MDA, DIA, AMCOM, NASA MSFC, ATF… & many more. anyway, he’s clearly comfortable with his ignorance but appears frustrated that he’s in a deliberative body (well, used-to-be) as opposed to some political equivalent of head coach / athletic dir. given a coupla terms I think he has it in him to undo decades of hard work (huge volume of Federal $$$s w/ high paying jobs) to keep AL above water.
      on the Spacecom move reset, it is classic (& appropriate) blowblack for trump interfering in the decision process by awarding it to Mo Brooks (now former Congressman, & a real piece of work in his own right… like openly white supremacist far right) for his dedication to cheering-on the Jan 6 insurrection in person, wearing his bullet-proof vest. one might suspect Stephen Miller’s quiet-yet-mean hand, but Mo has a history of biting feeding hands & stepping in shit w/o any help. yeah, trump & tuberville have done so much for bama… pep rallies, banner production… Two Ts in a Trap. well deserved.

  3. F&L says:

    Dear TTG,

    It’s a pair of questions I regret never having found the time to ask you previously.

    What do you estimate the chances are of:
    A) Being named John Smith?
    B) Being named Jack Smith?

    There is no rush. I am going to try to find a name which rhymes with ‘Lawyer.’ Oops. Mark Twain beat me to it.
    Moving at High Velocity, Special Counsel Brings 2nd Indictment Against Trump.
    The special counsel Jack Smith has undertaken two historic investigations with remarkable speed, aggressiveness and apparent indifference to collateral political consequences.
    blacksmith (n.)
    late 15c. (mid-13c. as a surname), “smith who works in iron,” from black + smith (n.). Listed in royal ordinance (along with bladesmiths, spurriers, and goldbeaters); blacksmiths worked in heated, heavy metals as opposed to those who beat gold, tin, or pewter (the material of a whitesmith).
    also from late 15c.

    • F&L says:

      Follow up question.

      A jury is selected, purely at random, for a federal trial of a former very high ranking official, the outcome of which may have serious ramifications on an international level. Using the laws of chance and statistical inference, and any data sources publicly available, please estimate the likelihood, expressed as a percentage between 0 and 100, of the selected jury being composed entirely of

      A) undercover fbi agents
      B) undercover cia agents
      C) reporters for the Washington post
      D) us naval intelligence officers
      E) understudies for roles in the motion picture ‘Barbie.’

      • TTG says:


        Undercover CIA officers and FBI agents aren’t assigned to the DC area in large numbers. By their very nature, they are assigned elsewhere. Plus, there aren’t that many of them or your other categories living among the DC area population, low single digits for the jury pool. Now if you widen it to federal employees, you might be onto something.

        • scott s. says:

          Since the Navy left Nebraska Ave most intel types would be over in Suitland.

        • F&L says:

          You reset your humor detection devices to level Zero?
          Or is it your default? Or is it something along the lines of Finns being anti Nazi? Or even better – Lithuanians!

          No, we didn’t murder tens of thousands of Jews because we were Nazi – it was because we were anti communist – the right reason!

  4. babelthuap says:

    This stuff happens all the time yet the media loves trashing southern states for poverty and education levels and calling them hillbillies. The “Rural Purge” of television in the 70’s cancelled many successful shows out of spite. It had nothing to do with money. They were making lots of money.

    I agree moving this thing is more expensive short term but long term it’s cheaper. The cost of living in Alabama is cheaper and it’s going to raise the financial situation of many families and create new opportunities for depressed areas around its beltway.

    • Fred says:

      True, but the current batch of colonels, SES and GS15s who love the mountains and cost of living adjustments don’t want to be anywhere near flyover country people. (Plenty of nice golf courses out that way too.) Got to have the right, ‘correct’, priorities. Improving the lot of Alabamans pales in comparison to catering to the upper middle class bureaucrats.

      • TTG says:


        Huntsville also has plenty of golf courses along with plenty of other amenities, but no mountains, little snow, but plenty of hot sticky weather. It also has a COLA similar to Colorado Springs. The Huntsville area and Redstone Arsenal are already home to plenty of upper middle class bureaucrats.

        • babelthuap says:

          I’m going to look up your COLA claim but regardless, Alabama is not revered as the same caliber of people as Colorado. Everyone knows this fact. Different people. Different voters. If it was already in Alabama he would have moved it. How the game is played.

          Massive natural gas reserves in La but yet it is a podunk state. Why is that? If those reserves were in Maine entirely different situation. La should be one of the richest states in the Union. It is not and there is a reason it is not.

          • TTG says:


            I looked up the pay, including locality pay, for several areas and was shocked. Pay has gone up by at least 30% since I retired in 2011. This is the salary for a GS-14, step 1:

            Huntsville, AL $120,849
            Colorado Springs, CO $119,000
            Stafford, VA $132,368

          • Fred says:


            They are way over paid.

          • TTG says:


            As a 14/9 at retirement, I only broke the 100K barrier in my last two years. As a 12/13/14, I was subject to being shot, blown up or arrested/disappeared. I did not feel overpaid. As a LTC with housing, I would have made well over that, around $165,000.

          • Fred says:


            As an E-6 with sub pay, sea pay, and nuclear proficiancy pay I was making $8K or so a year while civilian plant operators at the time were making $35K. (and not spending 300 days a year deployed either) I also earned as many sea service deployment ribbons in two tours of duty as Admiral Franchetti did in her entire career. But unlike my brother I was never employed as a civilian government worker and thus unable to by my almost decade of military service into the federal retirement system to increase retired pay. As a 15 he’s certainly subject to being arrested, as we all are; and shot – you have seen the crime rates in Philly and D.C. haven’t you?

          • TTG says:


            I still remember my monthly paycheck as a 2LT, $666. Once I got housing in Hawaii, it was a little better. Being exposed to being arrested or shot was often part of the conditions of employment as a 12/13/14

          • Fred says:


            There are a multitude of GS employees who don’t face that because they aren’t in the intellignce services. You could always have gotten a staff job where the risk was hardened arteries and traffic accidents commuting to and from work.

        • ked says:

          “depends whatcha call a mountain…”
          years ago, when I raced mountain bikes, some friends insisted I ride Monte Sano in Hsv. pretty tricky trails; single-track, rocks, roots, mud & the occasional rattler (even loose goats). {competition tip, when you come upon one, don’t call it out to those behind… instead, kick it up at ’em}. gnarly, as the kids say.
          anyway, the german rocket engineers & technicians seemed to have moved onto it en masse – the closest thing to the Black Forest within a hundred miles. maybe memory & perception had failed after being planted at White Sands for five years. the top is @ 1700′ or so, nearby TN R is 570′.

          • TTG says:


            I take my comment about no mountains back. I just looked at a series of photos from the Mount Sano area. No Pikes Peak, but very nice. Hills are comparable to anything in Connecticut. And it’s not that far from the mountains of north Georgia. I liked the area around Dahlonega in winter Ranger School.

  5. PeterHug says:

    Setting aside the politics of moving the FBI headquarters, I think that I’m on safe ground when I say that the current HQ is one of the ugliest buildings I’ve ever seen.

  6. Jimmy_W says:

    Is it any surprise that SPACECOM Commander, Dickinson who gave Biden the military excuse to not move SPACECOM, is an Army General.

    It used to be that SPACECOM was very important because there was no Space Force. But now that USSF is a thing, SPACECOM’s value is much less. Its non-Space portfolio, cyber and ISR, intrudes on STRATCOM missions. And they used to be STRATCOM missions. Looks like it is only a matter of time, before SPACECOM goes back under STRATCOM.

    Unless, of course, if the Colorado delegation continues their dominance in Congress. As a magnet for California refugees, unfortunately Colorado is likely to keep growing.

    • TTG says:


      As an Army general, Dickinson should be partial to moving SPACECOM to Redstone, an Army base and the home of the Army’s major space related commands.

      SPACECOM proved its value during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. It was only disestablished because of an arcane rule (or custom) regarding an upper limit to the number of combatant commands. I doubt SPACECOM will go away. It will only increase in importance. If anything, STRATCOM/NORAD may become subordinated to SPACECOM.

      • scott s. says:

        The entire joint command structure needs to be rethought.

        • TTG says:

          scott s,

          The command plan is periodically adjusted. I don’t see a viable alternative to organizing jointly. That’s how we fight. That’s how we should plan and command.

  7. Some additional details on this decision:

    Here’s their explanation on one issue:

    U.S. Space Command — SPACECOM — was reactivated in August 2019 and temporarily stationed at Peterson.
    SPACECOM is responsible for military operations related to space, while the Space Force organizes and trains space personnel.

    Am I the only one confused on why we need both (and separate) a Space Command and a Space Force?

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      The services, including the Space Force provide forces for the combatant commands. It’s the same as the Navy providing forces for the Indo-Pacific Command and the Army providing forces for CENTCOM and EUCOM. All services provide forces for the combatant commands.

  8. babelthuap says:

    Cost of living is 15% higher TTG. It would behoove you to look things up before posting nonsense. Some of us actually take the time to look things up. If that offends you good. I wasted my time smoking it out. I spend a lot of time doing it these days.

  9. jim ticehurst.. says:

    Colorado seems Logical to Me….Long Time Studys of the “Four Corners..”

    Colorado…..One Big Ant Hill…Utah…Skin Walker Ranch…UFO High Priority Research for 30 Years…Roswell…A Natural Area for Who Done What since 1930s…B29s..Big Bombs…Black List every thing…Now The Dragons are Flying Again…Puff Puff

    And The Coolest Place on Earth…Cave Creek,, Arizona…and Harolds Restaurant…

    Nice…Tight Quilt…For Space Command…and the Navajo…Regeration..

    Im with TTG on This One…His Transmission works just Fine…Tango Yankee..

  10. Sam says:

    The next US Defense budget is $842 billion. North Korea’s total military spending is less than $40B , enough for 1 million half-starved soldiers etc lots of guns, tanks, small submarines & ballistic missiles w nuclear warheads. Can we hire North Korean procurement officials ?

    The value we receive for our spending across practically every segment from the military to healthcare is very low.

  11. Fitness versus political correctness:

    The military, especially the Army,
    is having to deal with a difficult issue in today’s political and cultural climate:

    Physical abilities are not distributed equally between the sexes.
    That is simply a fact.
    You can compare the world records in just about any sport to see that.

    Now let’s see a specific in the military:

    large percentages of female recruits were not passing the ACFT.

    So what to do?
    Admit that the average female is less physically capable than the average male,
    and that this bears on their usefulness for combat?

    Can the left stomach that?
    Or do they want to prioritize political correctness, in the form of equity,
    over having the most effective and capable army?

    I served in Army intelligence (ASA and INSCOM), where physical fitness didn’t especially matter.
    But I can certainly understand that in the infantry, physical fitness is very important.
    And I am totally willing to place the best in that demanding field at the apex of the Army.

    In the larger context,
    can the left admit that
    neither physical nor mental abilities are distributed uniformly over the population?

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