According to the Pentagon Inspector General’s Office Final Report obtained by the Denver Gazette.
The decision to establish SPACECOM headquarters in Colorado Springs, the OIG project explains, was based on the “best military judgment” of key military leaders, including SPACECOM chief Gen. James Dickinson, chief of Space Force Gen. Jay Raymond and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten. These names were redacted in the final version of the report, according to a report by breaking defense.
The report’s recommendations potentially open the door to a review of the baseline review for SPACECOM.
Trump ignored the military leaders’ recommendation and chose Huntsville, Alabama, as his headquarters instead.
Although Huntsville was ranked high in the criteria assessed for the base decision, the Pentagon’s recommendation was that Colorado Springs instead remain the home of SPACECOM, thanks to the banning of senior officers, according to Break the defense report.
The main concern of senior officers was that the process did not take into account the need to quickly bring SPACECOM to full operational capability. Keeping SPACECOM at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado could “speed up” this process, while moving it would require new facilities, the report said.
According to the OIG report, senior military space officers had issues with Colorado Springs’ low ranking in the metrics used when initially reviewing the sites.
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“DOD IG’s conclusion that Huntsville was a reasonable decision does not mean they concluded it was the RIGHT decision,” a source familiar with the report said. “Based on the flawed process, Redstone is validated as a ‘reasonable’ choice by the DOD IG. It doesn’t say it was the right decision, just that based on the process that was used, it’s a logical conclusion.
“What is clear from this report [is] that the Air Force’s best military advice resulted in Colorado Springs being the preferred location for their meeting with the President and that was reflected in the decision matrix provided at that time,” said added the source. “As a result of this meeting, however, the Decision Matrix was revised from its original Colorado Springs recommendation to a new Huntsville decision.”