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Sen. Manchin introduces bill to establish Space National Guard

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - U.S. Senator Joe Manchin introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that aims to create a National Guard for the U.S. Space Force.

The Space National Guard Establishment Act would allow Army and Air National Guard currently performing Space Force support missions to continue to serve their states and country through a Space National Guard.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House last year.

Senator Manchin said this would contribute to the history of achievements in space for West Virginia.

West Virginia has a rich history of contributing to achievements in space, from the important work of ‘Hidden Figures’ Katherine Johnson and ‘Rocket Boys’ Homer Hickam to the many West Virginians working at NASA and serving in the Space Force today. We are grateful for the men and women serving in space-based missions for their sacrifices and dedication that keep all Americans safe. I am proud to lead this bipartisan bill to create a Space National Guard to ensure National Guard personnel in West Virginia and across the country can continue their service within a reserve component organization that represents their specialized space-based missions.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Rick Scott (R-FL), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Mike Braun (R-IN) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

In 2019, active-duty space units were moved out of the Air Force and placed in the new Space Force, but no corresponding move was made to create a Space National Guard, Manchin says.

There are currently more than 1,000 National Guard members serving the space mission from within the Air National Guard.

Manchin said the Space National Guard Establishment Act would correct this disconnect and ensure that Space Force personnel who leave active-duty can continue to serve within the Space Force and eliminate funding obstacles between the Air Force and Space Force, facilitate mobilization and inspection processes and enhance the culture of the Space Force.

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