The U.S. Air Force announced Wednesday that the new U.S. Space Command headquarters will be in Huntsville, Alabama, after the state was selected over five others competing for the project, including Colorado, where Space Command is provisionally located.
The role of Space Command is to conduct operations such as enabling satellite-based navigation and troop communication and providing warning of missile launches. That is different from the Space Force, which is a distinct military service like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
“I couldn’t be more pleased to learn that Alabama will be the new home to the United States Space Command,” Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.
“Our state has long provided exceptional support for our military and their families as well as a rich and storied history when it comes to space exploration,” she said.
Huntsville’s nickname, Rocket City, is thanks largely to Wernher von Braun and his team of fellow German-born rocketeers who settled there in the 1950s. The city has long been home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, an appointee of President Donald Trump,