Heinrich, Luján Continue Bipartisan Push For Answers Into Investigation Of Space Command Basing Decision

The senators have previously raised concerns regarding the Trump administration’s decision to base Space Command headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama – over several final contenders including Albuquerque, New Mexico

WASHINGTON (April 1, 2021) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) and a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues are asking the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) to include responses to several questions in the ongoing investigation into the Air Force’s decision to base the U.S. Space Command in Huntsville, Alabama.

This comes after both Senators Heinrich and Luján have repeatedly raised concerns about the concerning speed of the basing decision that took place in the final days of the Trump administration, less than a week after the Air Force evaluated Albuquerque’s candidacy.

The letter to Acting DoD IG Sean O’Donnell follows the announcement that the DoD IG’s office is launching an investigation into the Trump Administration’s decision to move U.S. Space Command.

In the letter, Senators Heinrich, Luján, and their colleagues outline several questions they want the investigation to address:

  • Why did the Department of Defense end the Strategic Basing Process in 2019 and subsequently create and use a new and untested process for the subsequent evaluation in 2020?
  • How did the Department of Defense establish the baseline building and command requirements for the 2020 process?
  • Did the Department of Defense consider each of the sites’ existing infrastructure in evaluating costs?
  • Did the Department of Defense data sets provide a consistent, objective, and fair representation of each site’s qualities and conditions?

In January, Senators Heinrich and Luján, and U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) requested that the Biden administration conduct a comprehensive review of the Air Force’s decision in the final days of the Trump administration to host the U.S. Space Command headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama – over several final contenders including Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The letter, led by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), was also signed by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Alex Padilla (D-Calif.).

Read the full text of the letter below or by clicking HERE.

Dear Mr. O’Donnell:

We write to request you consider the following subjects in your ongoing investigation into the Trump administration’s U.S. Space Command basing decision on January 13, 2021.

As you conduct your investigation, we ask that you address the following questions, in addition to the subjects named in the investigation announcement:

  • Why did the Department of Defense end the Strategic Basing Process in 2019 and subsequently create and use a new and untested process for the subsequent evaluation in 2020?
  • How did the Department of Defense establish the baseline building and command requirements for the 2020 process?
  • Did the Department of Defense consider each of the sites’ existing infrastructure in evaluating costs?
  • Did the Department of Defense data sets provide a consistent, objective, and fair representation of each site’s qualities and conditions?

Thank you for your consideration on this important subject.

Sincerely,

###