Pentagon officials are poised to launch a separate Space National Guard — the second military foray into the realm since former President Donald Trump established the Space Force in 2019, according to a report.
Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told a House committee on Tuesday that creating a Space National Guard is “among my most pressing concerns,” Politico reported.
“I believe we’re fairly close on that,” Hokanson told members of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
He said the Space Force’s commander, Gen. Jay Raymond, and acting Air Force Secretary John Roth back a “two-component construct” that would combine active-duty and Reserve Space Force along with a Space National Guard.
The three are expected to brief Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the initiative.
The creation of a Space National Guard would come two years after Trump officially launched the Space Force — the first new military service in 70 years.
Hokanson said National Guard units have been involved with space missions for 25 years, and supply the Space Force with 11 percent of its professionals.
“National Guard space units have provided operational, unit-equipped, surge-to-war capability to protect our nation’s vital interests in this contested domain,” he told the panel in prepared remarks.
The Air National Guard has space units in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, New York and Ohio as well as Guam, he said.
But some lawmakers questioned the cost of such an endeavor that the Defense Department would have to shoulder.
“I’m looking forward to a breakdown on how much this is going to cost to set up a Reserve and a Guard Space Force, as you’re referring to,” Committee Chair Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) told Hokanson.
“What would it look like in all 50 states and if it’s kind of a hybrid where you’re using facilities that are already in existence with the Air Force.”
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Defense Department would have to pick up about $100 million in additional costs if 1,500 existing Air National Guard and Army National Guard personnel were transferred to the Space National Guard.