Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Wants to Establish 200-Strong Florida State Guard Solely Controlled by Him
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been eyeing to build a civilian military force called the Florida State Guard solely controlled by him and not by the federal government.
DeSantis proposed the unit as a way to give support to the Florida unit of the National Guard during hurricanes, the pandemic, and other emergencies in the state, Daily Mail reported.
DeSantis noted that the force would begin with 200 volunteers. The governor said it would give him the "flexibility and the ability" to respond to events in Florida in the "most effective way possible."
For his plans to materialize, the move would need $3.5 million to start up the force and train and equip the volunteers. DeSantis said reestablishing the Florida State Guard will allow civilians from all over the state to be trained in the best emergency response techniques while also having the ability to mobilize quickly.
The Florida State Guard
The Florida State Guard was first created in 1941 as a way to fill in for National Guard members that were deployed during World War II. The Florida military force unit was later disbanded in 1947, The Hill reported.
The unit was trained and funded by the state and could not be federalized. The armed force would only be available to the governor of Florida whenever needed.
The First Air Squadron of the guard would regularly patrol the coast of Florida during the war, searching for German U-boats.
Ron DeSantis' Proposal About Florida State Guard Faces Opposition
The reinstating of the Florida State Guard was part of Ron DeSantis's larger military budget proposal. It includes creating new armories, a new National Guard Headquarters, and supporting service members getting degrees.
However, the proposal was receiving pushed back from Florida Democrats. 2022 Democratic gubernatorial challenger Rep. Charlie Crist said the proposed unit was like a "handpicked secret police."
Aside from Crist, left-leaning politicians and pundits were alarmed with the proposed creation of a "State Guard." Some of the critics of the Florida governor alleged DeSantis was attempting to establish his own paramilitary force.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried tweeted that Florida does not need a paramilitary force that only answers to DeSantis, Fox News reported.
Fried, who is another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, added that millions of Floridians know what it's like to live under regimes like this. The agriculture commissioner said it must be stopped.
Brandon Friedman, a former Obama administration official, noted that DeSantis is either openly preparing for a break from the federal government or "he wants his followers to 'believe' he is."
State Sen. Annette Taddeo called Ron DeSantis a "wannabe dictator trying to make his move for his own vigilante militia," Axios reported. Taddeo is also running for governor.
States have the authority to create their own defense forces. If Florida successfully installs the new unit, it would be the 23rd to do so. The list also includes California, New York, and Texas.
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Mary Webber
WATCH: Gov. DeSantis Wants to Reestablish Florida State Guard - From WPTV News
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