Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) and Rep Mark Udall (D-CO) released the following statement concerning the release of a GAO report assessing the costs and vulnerabilities of relocating the nation’s air and space defense command from Cheyenne Mountain to the new Northern Command/NORAD command center at Peterson AFB:

 "Over the last 40 years, the Department of Defense has made a significant investment in our national defense at Cheyenne Mountain.  It has served as the heart of our homeland defense for a very long time. 

 “While we commend the men and women who have been so successful in defending our nation’s homeland, the decision to relocate operations without fully analyzing the full range of threats represents a serious shortfall in our homeland defense. In its report, the Government Accountability Office highlighted the lack of a comprehensive threat analysis and also noted several flaws in Northern Command’s decision making process. 

 “We remain concerned that Northern Command’s mission to secure our nation’s homeland has been weakened by this decision.

 “The defense of our nation’s homeland remains our number one priority.  Decisions to relocate critical command and control functions need to be carefully considered, using the best information available to ensure that our nation’s defense is as strong as it can be.

 “We recommend that the Secretary of Defense ensure all information is available and review this decision.  Until this review can be completed, we urge the Secretary of Defense to retain redundant operations at Cheyenne Mountain.”