Bill would launch Space National Guard with Bennet, Hickenlooper support

By: - February 25, 2023 2:30 pm

Radomes provide strategic and theater missile warning for the United States and its international allies on Dec. 13, 2021, on Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora. More than 1,000 Guardians, Airmen, civilians, contractors, and allied mission partners execute Space Delta 4’s missile defense warning mission around the clock. (Senior Airman Danielle McBride/U.S. Space Force/Public domain)

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper of Colorado joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers this week in introducing a bill that would create a Space National Guard.

Introduced by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the Space National Guard Establishment Act would take members of the existing Air National Guard and Army National Guard who perform space-related duties and place them under the command structure of Space Force.


After the creation of the Space Force in 2019, active-duty service members who were already focused on space missions were moved out of the Air Force and placed under the authority of the Space Force. But a similar change was not made for members of the National Guard. The proposed legislation would seek to resolve this issue and provide more organizational consistency.

“Colorado’s National Guard is a big part of our space industry,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “Creating a Space National Guard will help out talented space professionals transition to civilian life while continuing to serve.”

Colorado is home to a substantial Space Force presence, including Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora and Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs.

In addition to establishing a Space National Guard, the bill would also streamline funding and allow for improved implementation of the mobilization process, inspection systems and policies and culture of the Space Force.

With the aerospace industry a vital part of Colorado’s growing economy, the U.S. senators have made space a top priority. In January, Bennet and Hickenlooper spent weeks attempting to meet with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about keeping U.S. Space Command headquarters in Colorado, and the future of the headquarters has been uncertain. 

“It is critically important that our military stands ready to defend American leadership in space,” said Bennet. “Colorado is home to more National Guard members serving space missions than any other state. By establishing the Space National Guard, we can help the Space Force retain and activate highly-skilled talent, and ensure our military is ready for the challenges of the 21st century.”

The bill has garnered bipartisan support, with Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Alex Padilla of California, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Rick Scott of Florida, Mike Braun of Indiana and Krysten Sinema of Arizona all joining.

More than 1,000 National Guard members are currently performing space-related duties with the Air National Guard.


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William Oster
William Oster

William Oster is a reporting intern for Colorado Newsline. He's currently a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. He's also the Managing Editor for the CU Independent, the university's student-led newspaper.