COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A pair of congressional Democrats asked the Pentagon’s watchdog on Tuesday to probe the role of political influence in the Trump administration’s decision to uproot U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs, amid concerns that the command’s civilian workforce could quit rather than relocate to Alabama.
Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said the decision pulling the command to Huntsville, Ala., “appears to be untethered from national security and military judgment.”
“We are particularly alarmed that the strategic basing process for (Space Command) appears to be politically tainted, potentially at the highest levels of the Executive Branch,” the lawmakers wrote to acting Defense Department Inspector General Sean O’Donnell. “We request that you review whether and how President Trump may have influenced this decision.”
The letter cites a Gazette story last week that found President Donald Trump personally picked Alabama as the command’s new home after military leaders recommended it stay in Colorado Springs.
The letter also cites the move of the Missile Defense Agency headquarters to Huntsville as a cautionary tale.
“When the Missile Defense Agency relocated from the national capital region to Huntsville, Alabama, approximately 80% of civilian employees declined to relocate,” the lawmakers wrote. “We anticipate that we will see similar relocation/retention rates if (Space Command) relocates from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Huntsville, Alabama.”
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