On December 2, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference in Pensacola to discuss his proposal for reestablishing the Florida State Guard and funding it through the state budget. DeSantis proposes to use $3.5 million in funding to establish the Florida State Guard to “enable civilians to be trained in the best emergency response techniques.” The Florida State Guard would act as a civilian volunteer force independent of the federal government.
The Twitter Mob, being the Twitter Mob, reacted predictably (with help from unbiased news sources like CNN and The Hill).
Ron DeSantis busy today
Forming his SS guard and appointing 5 judges
He will attempt a coup if the election is even close pic.twitter.com/nBh3zfHxfx
— Cathy (@CathyNotToday) December 3, 2021
NEW: Ron DeSantis now wants to recreate the Florida State Guard, a paramilitary force discontinued in 1947.
The Florida State Guard will report directly to him, no one else.
This is the stuff of dictators.
— RonBeGone (@ron_begone) December 2, 2021
DeSantis is using ur $ to provide welfare to anti-vaxers. Little Ronnie thinks using ur $ will buy off his extremist base & help his scheme to run for Pres. Clearly he’s decided that being president is more important than ur family’s health or getting small biz back on their feet pic.twitter.com/xYaPqlNgeb
— Annette Taddeo (She/Her/Ella) (@Annette_Taddeo) November 30, 2021
CNN: DeSantis proposes a new civilian military force in Florida that he would control
Reality: 21 other states currently have state defense forces, which is what DeSantis is proposing pic.twitter.com/AKmNcvU7pg
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) December 3, 2021
DeSantis proposes civilian Florida State Guard military force he would control https://t.co/F3C409gdNZ pic.twitter.com/qGIe2ZtcXJ
— The Hill (@thehill) December 3, 2021
The initial budgetary proposal would fund the first 200 soldiers in the force. The Florida State Guard would serve as an enhancement to the National Guard, to assist in operations or to conduct missions when the National Guard is on deployment and unavailable. If approved, this would make Florida the 23rd state to create its own independent state guard force.
DeSantis said in his press conference:
We also want to make sure that we have the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible. Some of that will require us to be able to have, access and be able to use support in ways that are not encumbered by the federal government or don’t require federal government. So I’m going to be recommending in the budget $3.5 million to re-establish the Florida State Guard. The Florida State Guard will act as a civilian volunteer force that will have the ability to assist the National Guard in state specific emergencies. This funding will support the necessary training, equipment, and other support functions for up to 200 members who can aid in the response to hurricanes, natural disasters, and other state emergencies. We want to be able to have a quick response capability, and re-establishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency response techniques and have the ability to mobilize very, very quickly.
The Florida State Guard proposal is one aspect of a $100 million budget expansion for military readiness, disaster relief, and law enforcement assistance across Florida.
In his announcement, DeSantis said:
I’m proud to say that this budget is going to have major investments to support Florida’s National Guard. In fact, we’re recommending more than $100 million to support our National Guard, to ensure they have the means necessary to carry out their mission, whether that be the federal functions that they can do overseas, whether that’s supporting disaster recovery and relief operations here in Florida, across the board. When we need help, we have the Guard there for us. So we’re going to have $87.5 million to expand the existing readiness center in Miramar. And we’re going to build three new armories across the state of Florida. These armories will house up to 1500 soldiers. Once they are complete, we’re also going to do $8.9 million for existing armory maintenance and $2.2 million for new headquarters for the National Guard counter drug program. This program assist law enforcement efforts.
DeSantis then took a moment to criticize the Biden administration policies that have led to an increase in crime across Florida, requiring a response from the state. He said, “The supply of illegal drugs will continue to fill an unfortunate void left by the administration’s open border agenda.”
The press secretary for Gov. DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, told PJ Media how the new Florida State Guard would work:
Florida’s new state defense force has analogues in other states. For example: the Louisiana State Guard (LSG) is part of the state militia of Louisiana, and can serve as a stateside replacement of the Louisiana National Guard while the National Guard is deployed. Louisiana’s state militia cannot be federalized or deployed outside of Louisiana, so soldiers will always be available to the governor to deploy in response to crises.
The Florida State Guard was originally formed in 1941, while the state National Guard was deployed in World War II. It was active until 1947, and state law allows the governor to reform it any time the need arises.
Related: ‘You’re Damn Right I Overruled Forced Mandates:’ What a Wild Week in Florida Politics Can Teach America
During the press conference, Capt. Jake Wielock, commander of the 153rd Cavalry Squadron, thanked DeSantis for continuing to make Florida the most military-friendly state in the union.
You can view the full press conference here:
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