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 joined a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues this week to introduce 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. However, 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.
“Colorado’s National Guard is a big part of our space industry,” said Hickenlooper. “Creating a Space National Guard will help our talented space professionals transition to civilian life, while continuing to serve.”
“It is critically important that our military stands ready to defend American leadership in space,” said Bennet. “Colorado is home to more National Guard members serving space missions than any other state. By establishing the Space National Guard, we can help the Space Force retain and activate highly-skilled talent, and 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. Currently, there are more than 1,000 National Guard members performing space-related duties from within the Air National Guard. However, 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.