The Space Force would get its own contingent of part-time troops as part of a move by US Representatives from Colorado Jason Crow and Doug Lamborn to create a Space National Guard.
The measure would move satellite troops currently working in Army National Guard or Air Force cantonments to the Space Force, the eighth branch of the armed services, which was created in December 2019. The troops National Guard generally serve one weekend a month and have two summer weeks. training unless called upon by Governors or the Department of Defense to assist in an emergency.
“For 25 years, our National Guard space units have provided operational and tactical assistance to protect our nation’s vital interests in space and enhance our military lethality.” Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs, said in a statement. “Today, they work side-by-side with their active duty counterparts, both in uniform and often as civilian contractors, bringing mission-critical experience that enhances our national security space enterprise. This important legislation would officially create the Space National Guard.”
Envisioned as a “lighter” armed service, Space Force has a small contingent of troops. At full strength, the service will number approximately 13,000 soldiers, about half the number of soldiers serving at Fort Carson. But the service, with troops at Buckley, Peterson and Schriever Space Force bases in Colorado, has a massive mission to control and protect military satellites, including the global positioning system.
And while every other service branch has a reserve component, the Space Force was created with only full-time troops on its roster.
In Colorado, hundreds of part-time soldiers from the 233rd Air Guard Space Group and the 117th Military Guard Space Battalion work with satellites. The troops, many of whom work in the civilian aerospace industry, have been praised for their often unmatched expertise by their full-time comrades.
“Revolutionary technologies for Airmen and Guardians,” said Air Force Research Laboratory Commander
Nationally, National Guard units number approximately 2,000 satellite troops, more than a third of them in Colorado.
The creation of a branch of the National Space Guard has been considered, but proposals that would bring it to fruition have stalled.
The measure by Crow, a Democrat from Aurora, and Lamborn could gain traction as the House Armed Services Committee, where both sit, wraps up work on the National Defense Authorization Act, an annual Pentagon policy bill.
“Expanding the force to include this component of the National Guard will ensure mission readiness as we pursue American dominance in space.” Crow said in a statement.
Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240