WASHINGTON — Reps. Doug Lamborn (R) and Jason Crow (D), both from Colorado, announced Aug. 30 they are introducing legislation to establish a Space National Guard as a reserve component of the U.S. Space Force. 

Lamborn and Crow are members of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chairs of the House Space Force Caucus.  The HASC on Wednesday is scheduled to take up the National Defense Authorization Act for 2022. 

The issue of whether the Space Force should have its own Space National Guard has been debated since the Space Force was signed into law in December 2019. National Guard Bureau leaders have openly challenged DoD’s decision to stand up a U.S. Space Force without defining the role the National Guard would play in supporting the new service.

Eight states — Alaska, Hawaii, California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Arkansas and Ohio — and Guam have nearly 2,000 personnel who specialize in space operations. Most are from the Air National Guard and a small number are from the Army National Guard.

Guard units have expertise in space operations such as strategic missile warning, space situational awareness, space control, electronic warfare satellite command and control, satellite communications, space launch, and some support the National Reconnaissance Office.

“Colorado has more Guardsmen conducting space missions than any state in the Union. I am happy to join Rep. Crow on this important issue,” Lamborn said in a statement Aug. 30.

“With more than a third of all National Guard members assigned to space missions residing here in Colorado, our state will play a key role in providing a proven, ready, combat reserve to Space Force,” said Crow. 

Earlier this summer, Air Force and Space Force leadership told House Armed Services Committee members that they have completed a report required by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act detailing how they would organize Guard and Reserve components within the Space Force. That report has not been publicly released. 

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...