Governors Oppose Pentagon’s Bid to Move Air National Guard to Space Force

A letter criticizing the Pentagon’s intention to unilaterally transfer select Air National Guard troops into the U.S. Space Force was signed by all but two governors. The governors said that this plan violates over a century of tradition.

In a letter submitted to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday, 53 governors, including the heads of five U.S. territories, voiced their disapproval of the federal government’s decision to transfer 14 troops to the Space Force despite state objections.

The letter was signed by all but two Republican governors: Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott.

On May 3rd, Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, delivered a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services committees expressing his disapproval of a Defense Department plan to deploy hundreds of National Guard personnel to the Space Force.

He said the plan will make it harder for governors to safeguard their states in times of crisis. Florida is known to have severe floods during hurricane season, and he emphasizes the need for National Guard personnel to handle the aftermath of such events.

In March, the Defense Department forwarded the bill to Congress for consideration. Officials from the Space Force have said that this change is essential to centralize space activity leadership.

In their letter, the National Governors Association said that this bill would violate the authority of individual governors with respect to the National Guard, jeopardizing national security, military preparedness, and more than a century of precedent.

When disaster strikes, the resources of the National Guard play an essential role in the reactions of the states and territories. The letter began by stating that governors must retain full power of these assets to ensure operational preparedness and the safety of American communities.

The governors said that their states would be directly impacted by the proposed legislation. An official from the Pentagon assured the governors and inquiring media that they would get back to the governors individually.