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DOD Office of Inspector General releases Space Command relocation report

Posted at 7:32 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 11:14:46-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — After a long wait, the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General released its report on the Air Force selection process for the permanent location of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters.

There is also another investigation being done by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) into the propriety of the decision and the basing process. That report is not yet available.

In the Inspector General report, they found that the process used to move the headquarters from Colorado Springs to Huntsville, Alabama "complied with law and policy."

The report goes on to say the following:

"Of the 21 associated criteria Basing Office officials used in the process, we determined that 10 criteria were reasonable and accurate because either the Basing Office personnel or subject matter experts (SMEs) generally had the supporting documentation, or we were able to verify the information using publicly available data."

The report also says that while the Air Force fully complied with the Secretary of Defense's requirements, "the Basing Office personnel did not fully comply with Air Force records retention requirements." The report goes on to say that eight of the criteria were found to be "reasonable" but could not be accurately backed up with documentation. The report states that at least three of the criteria were found not to be reasonable or accurate due to a lack of supporting documentation.

The report goes on to list four recommendations on how to proceed with the relocation

  1. Recommends that the Secretary of Defense establish policy and procedures for implementing basing actions of a unified combatant command.
  2. Recommends that the Secretary of Defense should review the concerns expressed by the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States Space Force Chief of Space Operations, and the Commander of United States Space Command pertaining to the “Full Operational Capability” of the United States Space Command discussed in this report.
  3. Recommends that the Secretary of the Air Force consider issuing a memorandum to the Basing Office emphasizing the requirement that Basing Office personnel retains all records of basing actions in accordance with Air Force Instruction 33‑322.
    1. "According to AFI 33‑322, Air Force units at all levels are required to document their organization’s functions, policies, procedures, and activities and such documents are considered records. AFI 33‑322 states that these records must be preserved by implementing effective life cycle management procedures and must be managed consistently to ensure they are complete, accurate, trustworthy,
      easily accessible, and retained for the required length of time, based on the type of record.39 AFI 33‑322 further states that a record includes all recorded information,
      regardless of form or characteristic, made or received by a Federal agency under Federal law that serves as evidence of the organization’s decisions and procedures."
  4. The report also recommends that before any final basing decisions are made the Air Force should complete an "additional analysis of “Childcare,” “Housing Affordability,” and “Access to Military/Veteran Support” criteria."

In 2020, it was announced that Peterson Air Force Base would be the provisional headquarters for U.S. Space Command for the next six years. Then, in 2021 it was announced that Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama would be the permanent headquarters.

In August 2021, Former President Donald Trump claimed that he was the one who decided that Space Command should move to Alabama from Colorado Springs.

“Space Force - I sent to Alabama,” Trump said via a telephone interview on an Alabama-based syndicated radio show. Despite saying Space Force, he was referring to Space Command. “I hope you know that. (They) said they were looking for a home and I single-handedly said ‘let’s go to Alabama. They wanted it. I said let’s go to Alabama. I love Alabama.”

Back to the pending Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation into the propriety of the decision and the basing process.

At a military budget hearing in April, Congressman Doug Lamborn hinted that the GAO investigation has found some errors in the process.

“I strongly suspected would be the case. The GAO's investigation of the space command basing process quote identified significant shortfalls in its transparency and credibility,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn.

A number of Colorado lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, as well as Aerospace companies have expressed their desire for U.S. Space Command headquarters to remain in Colorado.

News 5 does not know when that report will be released.

RELATED:

News5 Deep Dive: U.S. Space Command

Lamborn pushes for transparency in Space Command decision

Colorado lawmakers pen letter to Biden asking for review of Space Command decision

Alabama announced as permanent US Space Command headquarters

Former President Trump claims he personally sent Space Command to Alabama

Colorado pushes for reversal of Space Command move following Trump comments

Aerospace industry leaders support keeping Space Command in Colorado

New details revealed about Space Command relocation process

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