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Hickenlooper, Bennet, Colleagues Push to Establish Space National Guard

Feb 6, 2024

Legislation would move Army and Air National Guard members with space duties under Space Force jurisdiction

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet recently joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues to reintroduce the Space National Guard Establishment Act. The bill would establish a Space National Guard, bringing current Air National Guard and Army National Guard members performing space-related duties within the Space Force command structure.

When the Space Force was established in 2019, active-duty service members responsible for space missions were moved out of the Air Force and placed under the authority of the Space Force. No corresponding change was made to ensure that National Guard members working on space also fall under Space Force authority. The proposed legislation would correct this organizational inconsistency.

Space has never been more important for our national security. Establishing a Space National Guard will help retain top, mission-ready talent so the U.S. can maintain our advantage over adversaries,” said Hickenlooper.

“In the face of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s saber-rattling worldwide, U.S. leadership in space is more critical than ever. Colorado continues to lead the way with our robust aerospace economy and more National Guard members serving space missions than any other state, ” said Bennet. “By establishing the Space National Guard, we can help ensure our military is ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”

The Department of the Air Force, Space Force, and the National Guard Bureau have already developed a plan to establish a Space National Guard, but that plan has yet to be implemented. There are currently more than 1,000 National Guard members performing space-related duties from within the Air National Guard, and organizational problems consistently arise now that all other space service members fall under the Space Force.

A dedicated National Guard for the Space Force would help talented active-duty Space Force personnel transition to civilian careers, ensuring they are able to continue serving their country as well as their states. This bill would also streamline funding, and allow for better implementation of the mobilization processes, inspection systems, and policies and culture of the Space Force.

Text of the bill is available HERE.


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