WASHINGTON (May 12, 2022) — The voice of more than 45,000 current and former National Guard officers applauds bipartisan Senate legislation that would ensure some of America’s most talented and experienced space professionals can keep serving the nation.
Introduced yesterday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., the Space National Guard Establishment Act would create a Space Guard under the Space Force.
This parallels House legislation passed last year. It was introduced by Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.
The Senate legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio., Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
“It’s heartening to see such a broad coalition of senators get behind creating a Space National Guard,” said retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president.
“A Space National Guard is the only efficient, inexpensive way to enhance our Space Force,” he added. “It requires no new personnel, equipment or facilities — just new uniforms and a few new signs.”
Approximately 1,000 space professionals are in 16 Air National Guard units across eight states and territories. They provide 60% of the military’s space electronic warfare capability, the only mobile, survivable missile-warning capability and 100% of the surge capacity.
Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, the Space Force’s chief, has said numerous times the nation cannot accomplish military space missions without Guard space units.
“And nearly half of the Guard’s part-time space professionals work full time in civilian aerospace or other high-tech industries,” Robinson added. “These are talented, coveted people.”
But now they’re “orphaned” in the Air Force, a service no longer conducting space missions, he said. All other Air Force space units have migrated to the Space Force, he said.
“This complicates acquiring needed resources and professional development,” Robinson said.
The legislation doesn’t expand the force, but corrects this misalignment, the bill’s authors say.
“Without a National Guard component for Space Force, we risk losing many talented individuals who want to keep serving their country and their states after they leave active duty, and that is simply unacceptable,” Feinstein said.
“Creating a Space Force National Guard would also save money and ensure a smoother process in the event we need to activate personnel,” she said. “Not establishing a Space National Guard was a mistake when Space Force was created, and this bill will remedy that.”
Said Rubio: “Creating a Space National Guard would boost our military readiness and increase efficiency. It would also ensure that the Space Force retains needed talent. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this commonsense bill.”
Guard space units are in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Ohio and Guam.
The cost to create a Space National Guard is $250,000, the National Guard Bureau says.
“The cost to the nation to lose the Guard’s space capabilities would be immeasurable,” Robinson said.