DeSantis opposes National Guard move to Space Force

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) sent a letter Friday outlining his opposition to the Biden administration’s move to incorporate Air National Guard service members into the Space Force.

The Defense Department submitted a legislative proposal to the Senate Armed Services Committee in late March that would require Congress to override existing law requiring governors to approve changes to National Guard units in order to shift hundreds of service members to the Space Force.

Earlier this week, 48 governors of states, territories and commonwealths wrote a letter addressed to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to oppose the proposal.

Notably, DeSantis was not among the signatories of that letter, sent from the National Governors Association, but said in his own letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees on Friday that the proposal would “flout more than a century of precedent and undermine federal law protections for state control of their National Guard forces.”

The Florida governor said the current code is a “good-sense statutory requirement” that ensures National Guard members are working for domestic crisis response.

“As a low-lying, storm-prone state, Florida is uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding that require significant, operationally ready logistics and disaster support, including from our National Guard units,” he wrote.

DeSantis argued that Florida’s National Guard should be larger than it currently is, but the federal government has “under-resourced” the state in comparison to other large states.

According to his letter, the state of Florida has established the Florida State Guard to supplement the state’s National Guard in times of need.

The Space Force has major operations in Florida at Patrick Space Force Base. DeSantis said the state is committed to the success and mission of the Space Force, but the country cannot “effectively protect our nation from foreign enemies when we cannot guarantee the safety and security of our communities here at home.”

“This legislative proposal weakens that guarantee and sidesteps the authority of the Governor to ensure Floridians are prepared and protected to address whatever domestic emergencies may arise, especially as we approach another hurricane season,” he wrote, urging the department to withdraw or reject the proposal.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.