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Biden’s Pentagon slammed for outrageous National Guard ‘power grab’ to override governors


U.S. governors have come together in a united front to oppose a “power grab” by the Biden administration that will reassign Air National Guard troops.

The governors, a former general, and more than 80 congressional lawmakers have spoken out against the “existential threat” of the Pentagon’s proposal which would shift Air National Guard troops to the Space Force without the approval of state leaders.

“This is really a wholesale harvesting of the units, the people, the structure, the equipment and the facilities in transferring them out of the National Guard from the governors and just placing them in the active component Space Force,” the president of the National Guard Association, retired Maj. Gen. Francis M. McGinn told Fox News Digital.

“Legislative Proposal 480 was submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee by the Department of Defense in an effort to bolster the Space Force, the U.S. military’s youngest branch created during the Trump administration. The move would override a longtime tradition that requires the Department of Defense to acquire gubernatorial approval before transferring Guard members to another military branch,” Fox News reported.

As the combat reserves for the active-duty Army and Air Force, the National Guard and Air National Guard provide disaster relief and security among other duties when called upon during emergencies. They fall under the authority of the governors of the 55 U.S. states and territories.

A bipartisan group of 85 lawmakers sent a letter Tuesday to the Senate and House Armed Service committees arguing that 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,” the letter said.

But under the proposed LP480, any Air National Guard troops conducting space missions could be set as part-timers as they are carried over to the Space Force – all without their respective governor’s approval.

“Federal law requires consultation and approval from Governors on any decisions to move National Guard units, plain and simple,”  the National Governors Association (NGA) chair, Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, and the vice chair, Democrat Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, said in a statement Thursday. “Until Air Force leaders withdraw LP 480, they are in violation of federal law. We cannot have productive conversations on this matter until LP 480 is set aside. Governors are united on this point.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called LP480 a “power grab.” and an “intolerable threat” to the National Guard.

“That proposal would give the Secretary of the Air Force unilateral authority to transfer Air National Guard units to the Space Force — without first obtaining gubernatorial consent,”  the Republican governor wrote in a letter to President Joe Biden.

“By departing from this sensible arrangement, and allowing the Secretaries to dismantle National Guard units on a whim, Legislative Proposal 480 would set a dangerous precedent,” he added. “Members of the Texas National Guard must always stand ready to respond to natural disasters, civil disturbances, and cartel activity that threaten our way of life.”

“LP408 could impact 1,008 Air Guard troops across 14 units in seven states, according to Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Michael Bruno, the National Guard Association chair of the Space task force. The Space Force as a whole is made up of only a few thousand Guardians,” Bruno told Fox News Digital.

“What would happen is we would have a seven- to 10-year gap in capability and readiness,” Bruno said. “That capability gap for national security is the most important piece that we would lose, and they’re willing to take that risk.”

McGinn, the president of the National Guard Association, said, “Right now, we are providing 30% of the space missions in the National Guard for the total Space Force, and we’re providing 60% of the electronic warfare missions.”

He noted that many of the troops questioned about the proposal expressed they would prefer to remain in the Air National Guard.

“They joined the Guard for a reason,” he said. “They want to stay in their community. They like doing the state mission. They don’t have to relocate. So, they’re not going to go.”

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