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DeSantis opposes plan to move Florida guard unit to Space Force

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday got here out in opposition to a Department of Defense plan that may have a unit of the Florida Air National Guard be part of the Space Force.

In a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and numerous members of Congress, DeSantis wrote that the weird proposal “would flout more than a century of precedent” and undermine state management of the National Guard.

On Monday, governors of 48 states and 5 territories came out against the proposal, with solely DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott not signing on, Military.com reported.

Air Force officers need to consolidate about 1,000 part-time Air National Guardsmen throughout the nation into the active-duty Space Force. The guardsmen are assigned to items with area missions, and Air Force officers have argued it could be simpler to consolidate the items than create a Space National Guard, in accordance to Military.com.

“Governors may have a different view, but I don’t see a reason why a state needs a Space Force militia,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Military.com in April. “The reason these units exist in the states is kind of an artifact of history, somewhat.”

The plan would imply the 114th Electronic Warfare Squadron, a Florida Air National Guard unit primarily based at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, would not be below DeSantis’ authority.

As DeSantis and different governors famous, federal statutes prohibit the reorganization of National Guard items in a state with out the governor’s consent. The Air Force is asking Congress to bypass governors in seven states to move these items into the Space Force.

DeSantis’ letter states that the move would jeopardize the state’s response to hurricanes. He additionally writes that the federal authorities has “under-resourced” the Florida National Guard by not permitting it to broaden.

In latest years, DeSantis has despatched members of Florida’s National Guard to work in the state’s understaffed prisons, in addition to to the Texas-Mexico border to help with the border disaster and to the Florida Keys to intercept migrants from Haiti. An inflow of migrants from Haiti never materialized.

In 2022, DeSantis resurrected the Florida State Guard, citing in part considerations that the Florida National Guard was stretched too skinny.

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