To install this webapp, tap share then Add to Home Screen.


To install this webapp, please open in Safari.

Governors Call for End of Air Force Space Proposal

04-09-24 WR Space Governors WEBSITE
04-09-24 WR Space Governors WEBSITE
Washington Report

The leaders of the National Governors Association today called for the withdrawal of the Department of the Air Force’s legislative proposal to transfer the Air National Guard's space units to the Space Force.

Air Force officials are seeking Congress's permission to bypass federal laws and take away 14 Guard units in seven states nationwide without the required consent of these states' respective governors.

Language requiring such consent has been in both Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code for 120 years.

"Governors on both sides of the aisle call for the immediate discontinuation of legislative proposals that endanger or deny the full and legitimate authority of Governors to act in the capacity of Commander in Chief to their respective National Guard across states and territories," Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, the NGA's chair, and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the group's vice chair, said in a Tuesday press release.

"Legislation that eliminates or reduces the authority of Governors pertaining to National Guard units within their state … undermines trusted historical partnerships, decades of precedence, and mission readiness and operational efficacy," they added.

The press release follows an April 3 letter from Polis to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin that called the Air Force's proposal an existential threat to the Guard.

"This direct override of gubernatorial authority to exercise control over the units that are permanently based or removed from their respective states flies in the face of over 120 years of military tradition, organizational structure and efficacy, and precedent," he wrote.

"This action would threaten the ability of the National Guard to serve as the operational combat reserve for national security missions as well as its ability to support domestic emergencies," Polis continued. "Both of these outcomes are unacceptable."

The 14 units the Air Force wants to transfer to the Space Force provide 30% of the U.S. military’s space operations squadrons and 60% of its electromagnetic warfare capability.

These units include approximately 1,000 Guard airmen and are in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, New York and Ohio.

Polis described the impact the Air Force's proposal would have on the Guard's space professionals in his state in his April 3 letter to Austin.

"Each servicemember signed a contract to serve in the Colorado Air National Guard and swore an oath to serve both the United States of America, and the State of Colorado," he wrote. "As their Commander-in-Chief, I cannot stand idly by as the servicemembers I am charged with leading are faced with the decision to either leave military service or serve in a manner that they did not originally agree to.

"We know that a significant majority of Air National Guard space operators will not transfer to the U.S. Space Force, putting both their military career and national security at risk," Polis added.

— By John Goheen