Governor Kay Ivey and other governors told Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Monday that they oppose a new Department of Defense proposal to merge parts of the Air National Guard into the United States Space Force.

The governors told Austin the proposal “undermines over 100 years of precedent as well as national security and military readiness” and “undercuts this critical authority by allowing a transfer of covered space units from the National Guard to the United States Space Force without abiding by Title 32 or Title 10.”

“Specifically, section 18238 of Title 10 states that there should be no removal or withdrawal of a unit of the Air National Guard without consultation and approval from Governors. Additionally, section 104 of Title 32 states there is to be no change in the branch, organization, or allotment of National Guard units within a state or territory without the approval of its Governor,” Ivey and the other governors said in the letter.

“For over a century, Title 10 and Title 32 of U.S.C have upheld gubernatorial authority over the National Guard. National Guard assets are critical components of states’ and territories’ responses to crises," they continued. "Governors must maintain full authority as Commanders in Chief of these assets to effectively protect operational readiness and America’s communities. Legislation that sidesteps, eliminates or otherwise reduces Governors’ authority within their states and territories undermines longstanding partnerships, precedence, military readiness and operational efficacy. This action also negatively affects the important relationships between Governors and DOD at a time when we need to have full trust and confidence between the two to meet the growing threats posed by the era of strategic competition as well as natural disasters.”

Chief of Space Operations Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, has argued that incorporating state Air National Guard units into the Space Force is necessary to streamline the command of space operations, according to Axios.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) were the only two governors to not sign the letter in opposition to the proposal.

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