Colorado Springs Gazette: “Adding Warner to the mix could get the issue more presidential attention”
Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, urged President Joe Biden to fully consider how the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama may affect Intelligence Community dependencies and missions and the country’s ability to maintain superiority in space.
Since 2019, Bennet has pushed leaders to make Colorado Springs the permanent home of Space Command. Following the announcement in January to relocate Space Command from Colorado to Alabama, Bennet and U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) denounced the decision and raised alarm that the Trump White House influenced the decision for political reasons. Later that month, Bennet led the entire Colorado Congressional Delegation in an effort to urge Biden to suspend the Trump Administration's decision to move U.S. Space Command until the administration conducts a thorough review.
Last week, Bennet and Hickenlooper officially joined Colorado U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R) in supporting the Government Accountability Office’s review of the methodology and scoring used by the Trump Administration to determine the permanent headquarters for Space Command.
Here’s what they’re saying about the senators’ letter:
Colorado Springs Gazette: Senate spy panel leader questions pulling U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs
Two of the top Democrats on the Senate's Intelligence Committee want President Joe Biden to review a Trump administration decision to uproot U.S. Space Command from Colorado Springs over feared negative impacts to the nation's spy agencies.
Intelligence chairman U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and Colorado's Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a member of the spy panel, sent the letter to Biden Tuesday morning saying they're worried moving the command to Huntsville, Ala., "did not take into account how such a move may affect Intelligence community dependencies and missions."
The latest salvo against the relocation could gain Biden's attention since it involves risks to the crown jewels of America's intelligence infrastructure: spy satellites.
The military and intelligence agencies put aside old rivalries in 2015 to establish the National Space Defense Center in 2015 as a place to collaborate on plans to defend the nation's constellation of satellites. Colorado is also home to the cryptically-named Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, a clearinghouse for data gathered by intelligence satellites.
The confluence here between spy satellite programs and the military's satellites was part of the reason U.S. Space Command was re-established in 2019 at Peterson Air Force Base. The command oversees all military missions in space and creates plans to defend American satellites in case of war while targeting enemy space capabilities.
Bennet has penned strongly-worded letters on the issue before, but adding Warner to the mix could get the issue more presidential attention.
It’s no secret that Colorado’s politicians want the Biden administration to reverse the former administration’s decision to move Space Command headquarters out of Colorado Springs.
Now U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who sits on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, chair of the committee, specifically want to find out if the Trump Administration took into account how the move will impact intelligence capabilities and missions when making the decision to move the headquarters to Huntsville, Alabama.
“We are concerned this decision did not take into account how such a move may affect Intelligence Community (IC) dependencies and missions,” they wrote to President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
The two are asking Biden to review the process that led to the decision to move Space Command headquarters out of Colorado.
The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee is warning President Joe Biden that the plan to move the headquarters of U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama could disrupt the gathering and analyzing of intelligence.
"We are concerned this decision did not take into account how such a move may affect Intelligence Community dependencies and missions," Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and fellow panel member Michael Bennet of Colorado wrote to Biden on Tuesday.
"In Colorado, important investments have been made in recent years to enhance this collaboration and interoperability, in particular at the National Space Defense Center," they wrote. "It is critical that any decision to move Space Command from its current location take into account the potential effects of such a move on the operational integration between the IC and DoD space communities at NSDC and at other joint sites in Colorado."
The backstory: A number of lawmakers in both parties have urged the Biden administration to review the 11th-hour decision by the Trump administration to move the permanent headquarters of Space Command from Colorado Springs to Huntsville.
They assert that the decision is smacked with political payback to punish a Democratic-leaning state in favor of a Republican stronghold and have also questioned the fairness of the selection process undertaken by the Air Force.
The head of the Senate’s Intelligence Committee has joined a group of lawmakers calling on the Biden administration to review a Trump-era decision that moves U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Alabama.
In a letter released Tuesday, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and committee member Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) pressed President Biden to review the move over concerns of negative impacts to the intelligence community.
The two say they’re worried that the Trump administration “did not take into account how such a move may affect Intelligence Community dependencies and missions,” which work in tandem with Pentagon efforts to protect U.S. satellites and other interests from threats.
Warner and Bennet also argue that spending valuable time and money on a move could be detrimental for the command “in the face of an evolving threat landscape.”
Lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are urging President Joe Biden to review a decision to move U.S. Space Command from Colorado to Alabama, amid a new line of concern that intelligence missions could take a hit.
“We are concerned this decision did not take into account how such a move may affect intelligence community dependencies and missions,” committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., wrote to Biden in a letter dated May 11.
The letter is the latest salvo against the decision by former President Donald Trump to move the Space Command to Redstone Arsenal, an Army post in Alabama. Shortly after the Air Force announced its selection in January, lawmakers from Colorado, among others from neighboring states, said the decision was influenced by politics.