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The irony is too much to ignore.

As Colorado Springs and El Paso County have united to celebrate Armed Forces Week, with various events to demonstrate the area's never-ending appreciation for the military presence here, our top news story and accompanying column (see pages 8-11) focus on a series of potentially colossal local blunders in regard to relocating NORAD operations out of Cheyenne Mountain.

One of them involves a major entity, the U.S. Air Force Space Command, already taking people, equipment and duties out of the mountain and moving them to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California despite concern within the military ranks and Congress.

In fact, SpaceCom bluntly informs us that its relocation will continue in the weeks and months ahead. That's despite an order last week from the House Armed Services Committee to halt the dispersal of NORAD's integrated operations to other facilities, including Peterson Air Force Base, until many questions are answered.

Meanwhile, we're uncovering fully credible reports that conclude moving NORAD out of Cheyenne Mountain would compromise security and cost millions.

In other words, this story isn't going away.

Ralph Routon, executive editor

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