NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico has lost its bid to become the headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, and now New Mexico leadership say they want more transparency on how the feds came to their final decision to make Huntsville, Alabama home to the Space Command Headquarters rather than Albuquerque.

Kirtland Air Force Base was one of the six finalists for the headquarters which is expected to bring in more than a thousand federal jobs. Wednesday morning, Alabama’s governor received the news that they’d been selected.

 U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich issued the following statement:

“To rush such a large and consequential basing decision, mere days before the end of the Trump administration, should rightly lead to serious questions of political impropriety. After postponing the original site visit to Albuquerque last December, the Air Force evaluation team collected data on Albuquerque’s candidacy less than a week ago. I don’t see how it is possible to properly evaluate one of the Air Force’s final candidates in less than a week and come to a decision on something so important.

I have asked the incoming Biden administration to take a close look at this process and review the merits of this decision.

Regardless of the final basing decision for the headquarters of Space Command, I remain committed to supporting all of the core military space assets, missions, and organizations already based in New Mexico. Our state remains the nation’s premier location to build and grow organizations focused on space innovation.”

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Ben Ray Lujan also says he’ll be working with the incoming administration saying New Mexico offered an “unparalleled package” noting a vibrant space industry, key military installations, and more.

Gov. Lujan Grisham issued the following statement:

“This represented an enormous potential opportunity for our state, and I’m certainly disappointed with the decision. I would like a complete assessment from federal decision-makers about why New Mexico, with all of the incredible resources we bring to the table, was not chosen, and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to explore whether and to what degree we can still secure significant Space Command assets for New Mexico.”

Gov. Lujan Grisham

Mayor Tim Keller issued the following statement:

By showcasing our space technology expertise and long history of government contracting, Albuquerque made it into the small group of finalists, but it’s no surprise the outgoing administration would make a politically-motivated decision on their way out the door.  We are joining our federal delegation to ask the incoming administration to re-evaluate the decision based on merit.

The good news for Albuquerque is that this was only one piece, and not the biggest piece, of our city’s leadership position when it comes to space technology.  Our new partnership with Orion is slated to be much bigger and have more economic impact than the Space Force would have. Orion plans on producing well over a thousand good-paying, private sector jobs, outside the fence line, that will boost our long-standing institutions like KAFTB, Sandia, and Air Force Research Labs.”

Mayor Tim Keller 

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