Lawmakers press committees to reject Air Force proposal

North Dakota’s senators have joined colleagues in opposition to an Air Force proposal that would transfer U.S. National Guard units executing space missions to the U.S. Space Force.

Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, both R-ND, signed onto a letter led by Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, both D-Colo., and Congressman Jason Crow, D-Colo., calling on the U.S. Senate and House Armed Service Committees to reject the proposal from the intended for the fiscal year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act. They say the proposal would ignore precedent and renounce governor approval.

“We write regarding a deeply flawed legislative proposal put forward by the U.S. Air Force that would undermine our National Guard system,” wrote the lawmakers. “The original intent of the National Guard was to have a force ready to respond to the needs of their state and country. Because of this, authority was placed in the hands of each state’s individual governor. This is more than a matter of governance; governors bear the responsibility to protect the safety of their citizens by maintaining the readiness and deployability of their National Guard units.

“Congress has a duty to maintain the integrity and longstanding tradition of the National Guard, and a proposal of this magnitude threatens to undo over 120 years of precedent,” concluded the lawmakers. “We recognize the Air Force is evolving to address future threats, but there are other options available to the Air Force to accomplish this evolution that don’t undo an important foundation of our state National Guard system established by Congress.”


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