DeSantis repudiates federal proposal to transfer National Guard squadron to Space Force

by | May 6, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis opposed a federal proposal to transfer a Florida National Guard squadron to the U.S. Space Force without state consent, arguing it violates state sovereignty and legal conventions.

Gov. Ron DeSantis sought the reversal of a federal proposal on Friday that seeks to transfer a Florida National Guard squadron to the U.S. Space Force, citing violations of state sovereignty and legal protections.

The proposal involves federalizing the 114th Electronic Warfare Squadron without state approval, a move sought by the Air Force. DeSantis, in a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and congressional leaders, argued that this action violates laws requiring the federal government to obtain consent from a state’s governor before reorganizing National Guard units.

“If adopted, the proposal would flout more than a century of precedent and undermine federal law protections for state control of their National Guard forces,” DeSantis wrote. “As you know, [federal law] prohibit the reorganization of a National Guard unit in a state without the consent of that state’s Governor. This good-sense statutory requirement ensures that National Guard personnel and assets … are not siphoned off without consideration of state and local interests.”

DeSantis also pointed to the role of the National Guard in responding to local emergencies, particularly in disaster-prone areas. He expressed concern that transferring the squadron might weaken the state’s ability to effectively manage these emergencies.

The governor urged the rejection of the Legislative Proposal, characterizing it as federal overreach and a threat to the traditional federalist approach that governs National Guard operations.

“Given Florida’s large population and its geographic susceptibility to major natural disasters, the Florida National Guard should be larger than it currently is,” said DeSantis. “While Florida is committed to the success of Space Force and our national security, it is not possible to effectively protect our nation from foreign enemies when we cannot guarantee the safety and security of our communities here at home.”


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