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Nebraska pushing forward with Space Command HQ bid as Alabama gets nod

(WOWT)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 2:49 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - News that Huntsville, Ala., has been selected as the preferred site of the U.S. Space Command headquarters has not deterred Nebraska leaders from pushing forward with their bid to house it here.

The Secretary of the Air Force announced Wednesday that Redstone Arsenal had been named as the preferred location of USSPACECOM. The five other sites considered, including Bellevue, Neb., were designated as “reasonable alternative locations.”

On Wednesday, Gov. Pete Ricketts said Nebraska will continue to lobby for the site to be established at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue.

“Even with today’s announcement, Nebraska will continue to make the case to the incoming administration for bringing USSPACECOM to the Heartland in the coming days and weeks,” Ricketts said in a news release. “When you look at the data and our competitive advantages, Nebraska remains the best place in the nation to locate this mission.”

The Department of the Air Force conducted both virtual and on-site visits to assess which of six candidate locations would be best suited to host the U.S. Space Command Headquarters. The decision was based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, and costs to the Department of Defense.

The announcement that Offutt had made the list of six finalists came in November. In its bid, the state offered to put up $107 million in public and private money to help offset the roughly $1 billion it would cost to build the headquarters here.

A release from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce said Nebraska was the only state to make such an offer.

“No question, Offutt Air Force Base is the optimum location for USSPACECOM,” said Timothy J. Burke, immediate past chairman of the chamber board and president and CEO of Omaha Public Power District. “Nebraska is the right choice for U.S. Space Command, and we are eager for full transparency regarding the final review process. We assert Nebraska exceeded criteria in all categories, and affirm we have the mission synergies and effectiveness to ensure National Security as U.S. Space Command headquarters. Our hard work continues.”

WAFF and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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