Gov. DeSantis objects to putting National Guard squadron in Space Force silo
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 5/5/23-Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference after the 2023 legislative session concluded, Friday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

'Federal overreach' leaves the Governor fuming.

Florida’s Governor is griping about a proposal that could transfer the 114th Electronic Warfare Squadron of the Florida Air National Guard to the jurisdiction of the Space Force, with his office calling it “federal overreach, a violation of the federalist design of the National Guard,” and a hindrance to “Florida’s ability to appropriately prepare for and respond to domestic emergencies.”

While the squadron was already redesignated as one to give support to the Space Force, Gov. Ron DeSantis believes that the proposed move is a bridge too far.

DeSantis writes Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and ranking members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee that the proposal would “flout more than a century of precedent” and “undermine federal law” giving the states control of National Guard units.

He also describes Florida as a “low-lying, flood prone state … uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding,” deviating from previous rhetoric about tropical weather systems, such as his advice to Floridians to “knock on wood” during the 2023 storm season. He believes the National Guard is underresourced by Washington, and contends the Electronic Warfare Squadron could somehow  help with storm response.

DeSantis reactivated the Florida State Guard recently, and that has been used (along with National  Guard troops) for deployments to the Mexican border, a concern that is far removed from hurricane weather. He has also complained about how vaccine mandates affected readiness for the National Guard.

“The U.S. military has been kicking out great service members over the Biden administration’s unacceptable COVID vaccine mandate, and they are even targeting members of the National Guard,” said DeSantis in 2022. “The bureaucrats in D.C. who control our National Guard have also refused to increase the number of guardsmen despite our increasing population, leaving Florida with the second worst National Guardsman to resident ratio.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    May 4, 2024 at 9:59 am

    Yes, send control of electronics warfare national guards people to some place that’s qualified for that. ‘Cause Florida sure ain’t. Florida is better on the topics of hassling trans drag queens, banning books, and diddling children while telling adults they’re too young to strip.

    • D8771

      May 4, 2024 at 4:24 pm

      The control of these FLANG personnel is only under the control of the governor during times of peace. In wartime, they would be under the direction of USSF commanders. The job they do, cybersecurity, is no longer considered a land or air function, so it is no longer an Army or Air National Guard responsibility. In the correct scheme of things, the jobs would transfer but the personnel would not. They are still FLANG airmen. They would have to request or agree to become USSF active duty. Of course, the idea you have of the FLANG (Army/Air NG) being utilized incorrectly in peacetime for non-emergencies and responsibilities outside of the FL governor’s jurisdiction, mostly those of the Federal government’s, is shared by many Floridians, I suppose, and therefore, the idea that another entity would utilize FLANG more responsibly to protect FL’s shores during their 1 wkend a month makes sense. We’ll just have to wait and hope the next FL governor uses them more properly during peacetime.

  • Richard D

    May 4, 2024 at 11:22 am

    It’s amazing that our leaders are letting an experimental vaccine take precedence over the nation’s defense readiness. The DoD has discharged at least 8,000 servicemembers in retaliation for their refusal to take the vaccine.

  • rick whitaker

    May 4, 2024 at 1:29 pm

    RICHARD D, when i was in the service, i knew that not following orders was a way to be discharged. i had many shots of all kinds to prepare me to go overseas. we had nixon then and he was real bad, but no comparison to the ineptness of trumps mania. trump has weakened respect for the military, law enforcement, elections, and much more. you sound like an anti-vaxxer, if you are, you are a POS and i will never bother you with my post.

  • Greg D

    May 4, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    In The United States residents of one state are FREE to move to other states that line with their politics. That was one of the Believes that These United States was built on. Some people people should use this freedom.

    • o right. when i found florida to be un livable, i moved to a better placerick whitaker

      May 4, 2024 at 2:12 pm

      GREGD, you are so right. when i found florida to be a place i didn’t want to live in, i got out. so i guess the desantis factor is not enough for you to leave. florida is a hellhole, leave while you still can.

      • Ormond Otvos

        May 4, 2024 at 7:21 pm

        We also left Florida several years ago, and recently rescued a sister from there who was being grossly ignored by the state health system, Since she arrived here, she’s has four serious operations to correct faulty Florida medical care. Now she can walk again! Soon we’ll be rescuing her granddaughter.
        Anecdotal, yes. Evidential, yes. Florida is cruel overall.

        • rick whitaker

          May 4, 2024 at 9:44 pm

          ORMOND, trump lives in florida, who would want to be in the same state with him.

    • Michael K

      May 4, 2024 at 10:53 pm

      And I thought America was founded on the notion of liberty and justice for all – as in for every American, no matter where they live.

      • Tom

        May 6, 2024 at 8:46 am

        Well that’s a quaint notion these days – you get exactly as much liberty and justice as you can afford and not a smidgen more /s

  • D8771

    May 4, 2024 at 4:03 pm

    I think DeSantis and the military leaders who are against the moves of the USAF/USSF trying to acquire control of ANG cybersecurity squadrons across the country, like the EW squadron at CCSFB, misunderstand that the FLANG airmen would remain FLANG unless they decided to chase their position and begin USSF active duty. This means that the FLANG airmen in the EW unit at CCSFB would then be available to fill positions DeSantis says are unfilled and continues to request that Congress expand its recruiting numbers to fill. The jobs that these FLANG airmen do 1 weekend a month is space-based cybersecurity and the FLANG’s EW squadron responsibility should be air/land-based. Unfortunately, with advanced technology come changes and greater usage of satellites and cyberspace may have created warranted changes in EW.

    • D8771

      May 4, 2024 at 6:41 pm

      I feel sheepish as my understanding of EW was as an Electronics Warfare Squadron, the EW here is Electromagnetics Warfare which is a renaming of a Space Control unit. Their job isn’t any different from my belief of space-based cybersecurity using satellite signal interventions and monitoring, also a type of electronic warfare.

  • MH/Duuuval

    May 5, 2024 at 12:18 pm

    Dee has regressed to that infantile stage when the small child says “No!” to everything — including nearly a billion dollars in funds from the federal government.

Comments are closed.


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