Lamborn: ‘Merit on both sides’ of debate over Space National Guard

Air Power Secretary Frank Kendall and Gen. John Raymond assist making a hybrid active-reserve part that gives full-time and part-time service choices

WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), a key congressional proponent of creating a Area Nationwide Guard, mentioned he would contemplate another proposal endorsed by Area Power leaders and by the Biden administration.

Air Power Secretary Frank Kendall and Area Power chief of house operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond assist making a hybrid active-reserve part that gives full-time and part-time service choices. 

“I believe there’s advantage to what Basic Raymond and others are advocating within the administration with a distinct strategy,” Lamborn mentioned Sept. 28 at a Protection One on-line occasion. 

Lamborn final yr partnered with Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) to introduce legislation to determine a Area Nationwide Guard as a reserve part of the Area Power. Lamborn and Crow are members of the Home Armed Companies Committee and their invoice was adopted within the Home model of the 2023 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act.

Lamborn’s feedback on Wednesday recommend there may be room for compromise, provided that the Biden administration strongly opposes standing up a Area Guard and the Senate model of the NDAA doesn’t embrace any language on it though some senators have expressed support for a Area Guard.

The query of whether or not the Area Power ought to have its personal Nationwide Guard part grew to become a politically charged topic ever for the reason that Area Power was established in December 2019.

“It is a huge debate that’s nonetheless enjoying out,” Lamborn mentioned. “However I believe there’s advantage on each side of that query, frankly.”

Raymond has argued that the Area Power is simply too small and too specialised to have a devoted reserve power, and as a substitute ought to have a single part with full-time and part-time guardians. He mentioned permitting some service members to work part-time helps recruit and retain folks with superior technical expertise who’re additionally in excessive demand within the personal sector. Beneath the one-component idea, guardians might transition extra simply between conventional active-duty and reserve part positions. 

A key concern raised by members of Congress is the way forward for about 1,500 personnel at present within the Air Nationwide Guard who assist house operations, lots of whom are primarily based in Colorado. Some might select to affix the Area Power however those that don’t is perhaps reassigned to assist Air Power models. 

Lamborn mentioned he and Crow have labored on this difficulty for years and it’s time to “get it resolved.” He acknowledged {that a} Area Nationwide Guard “alongside the traces of what we’ve proposed is extra going with the established order, extra of what we’re used to.” In the meantime, what Kendall and Raymond have put  forth is a brand new means of doing enterprise. 

“Totally different approaches are generally very justified,” mentioned Lamborn. The Area Power wants “extremely certified specialists who’ve experience in area of interest areas” and this different strategy is perhaps price contemplating. 

Lamborn insisted that he desires to settle the difficulty sooner moderately than later so everybody can transfer ahead. “I believe we will agree there’s advantage on each side. However let’s go forward and get transferring right here.”

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