Ohio congressional delegates make pitch for Space Command headquarters
By Jared Gans,2023-06-07
Members of Ohio’s congressional delegation made a pitch for the U.S. Space Command (Spacecom) to be relocated to the state amid the controversy surrounding the future of the location of its headquarters.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) and seven members of the House from both parties said in a letter to President Biden and other top officials on Tuesday that Ohio is “ideally suited” to host the U.S. Space Command and Space Force Units because of its proximity to the Air Force, NASA and international research institutions.
The letter comes as the White House and Alabama officials have engaged in a scuffle over the planned relocation of the Spacecom headquarters from Colorado to the city of Huntsville, Ala. The Biden administration has reportedly delayed the move, which was set during the Trump administration, over Alabama’s strict anti-abortion law that almost entirely bans the procedure, without exceptions for rape or incest.
The White House and Pentagon have denied that the considerations on Spacecom’s headquarters are related to the law.
The Ohio lawmakers said in the letter that the headquarters should be moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and officials should partner Space Force with NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
“From the Wright brothers to American heroes like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, the story of modern aviation is rooted in Ohio — and Ohio is ready to meet the challenges of the future,” they said. “Ohio’s numerous industry and university partners in the state create a synergy around national security and space that is unmatched around the country.”
The other lawmakers who signed the letter are Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D), Joyce Beatty (D), Emilia Strong Sykes (D), David Joyce (R), Max Miller (R), Shontel Brown (D) and Greg Landsman (D).
They pointed to the state’s federal resources, including facilities like the National Space Intelligence Center and Air Force Research Laboratory, as key to assisting Spacecom if the headquarters move to Ohio.
They said having Spacecom headquarters near the research laboratory would allow the Defense Department to expand its abilities in military space power and deterring military threats.
The lawmakers said Ohio’s proximity to “America’s heartland” also make it a strong choice for having the workforce and technology for fulfilling Spacecom’s mission.
“For generations, servicemembers from the Midwest have answered the call of duty and served in our nation’s military,” they wrote. “Yet, the Midwest — especially since the post-Cold War reduction in the Strategic Air Command — is home to few active-duty military installations.”
“The result is that while the region provides our nation with soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, few serve in the region they call home,” the group added.
Alabama lawmakers announced last week that they planned to introduce a provision in a funding bill that would pause new construction and leasing developments.
The Air Force also announced permanent locations for additional Spacecom units in Colorado last week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.