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A bipartisan group of House members and senators are calling on the congressional Armed Services committees to reject the Biden administration’s proposal to incorporate Air National Guard service members into the Space Force, calling it “deeply flawed.”

In a letter dated May 6 to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, 56 House members and 29 senators argued the proposal would “undermine” the nation’s National Guard system. According to the lawmakers, “When individuals sign up for the National Guard, they are serving their country and their community. Congress shouldn’t abandon this model. The original intent of the National Guard was to have a force ready to respond to the needs of their state and country. Because of this, authority was placed in the hands of each state’s individual governor. This is more than a matter of governance; governors bear the responsibility to protect the safety of their citizens by maintaining their readiness and deployability of their National Guard units.” 

Mil National Guard Ruck March 1800

The proposal is part of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2025 and could affect approximately 1,000 Air National Guardsmen across 14 space units, as reported by Air and Space Forces Magazine. 

Adding to the opposition, governors from 48 states, territories, and commonwealths have also expressed their dissent in a collective letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Additionally, individual letters from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In his letter, Governor Desantis said the move “would flout more than a century of precedent and undermine federal law protections for state control of their National Guard forces.”

Despite these objections, a White House official indicated on Monday that the administration supports the Defense Department’s suggestion for a one-time transfer of National Guard missions into the Space Force.  


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