By Leo Wolfson, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming should recognize the intergalactic military Space Force as part of the state’s military structure, members of a legislative committee have agreed.
Members of the Legislature’s Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee approved a bill for consideration during the Legislature’s general session next year that would list the Space Force National Guard with other branches of the state’s military in Wyoming law.
Maj. Gen. Gregory Porter, Wyoming’s adjutant general, told committee members even though there are no Space Force personnel in Wyoming yet, military officials are thinking about how Space Force might look in the state.
The new military branch was first proposed by former President Donald Trump. Its creation drew strong reactions from many in the public, with some making comparisons to it being the American version of “Star Wars,” from both negative and positive perspectives. As of 2021, Space Force reported having an enlistment of about 13,000.
The administration of President Joe Biden is opposed to the creation of a national Space Force National Guard saying it would not deliver any new military capabilities.
But Porter defended continuing with the establishment of Space Force, noting there are already 1,500 Space Force National Guard members across seven states. Making this into a nationalized unit, he said, would only cost around $250,000, and mostly consist of “changing some name tags.”
“It’s going to cost America a whole lot more money to not establish a space national guard,” he said.
Porter said the billions of dollars already invested in this program will go to waste if Space Force is folded in with the U.S. Air Force.
In addition to recognizing Space Force, the bill approved by the committee would make Space Force National Guard members eligible for reduced college tuitions and other benefits provided members of other branches of the military in the state.