A group of bipartisan congressional awmakers has directed a letter to General Daniel Hokanson, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau (NGB), in an effort “to allocate additional resources to the Florida National Guard (FLNG).
Led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), the lawmakers detailed their concern regarding the current imbalance of resources for Florida’s National Guard, citing that it “is ranked 53 out of 54 in the ratio of Guard personnel to total state population.”
In the letter, the lawmakers express their concerns, arguing that “in the last 28 years, there have been 48 National Guard activations in Florida, and many of these activations required a multi-state response.”
In reference to Hurricane Irma, it “required approximately 2,200 Guard personnel from 22 states,” and the lawmakers added that “FLNG is strained for resources in responding to natural disasters, and with most states still using their Guard personnel for COVID-19 efforts, we are concerned about the lack of Guard resources in Florida in future weather events that typically garner a multi-state response.”
Due to the Sunshine State’s National Guard having limited resources, the lawmakers argue that it “has affected the FLNG’s ability to rotate personnel and putting greater demands on Guard families.”
The lawmakers, of whom includes Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D), Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) and Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R), then posed several questions they wanted answered.
—How does the National Guard Bureau (NGB) plan to keep force structure allocated commensurately with changing demographics across the country, considering the limitations of 104(c) of Title 32?
—Does the NGB plan to determine baseline force structure requirements for each Guard formation to address domestic migration?
—Given that some states face greater threats that require a response from Guardsmen, what considerations has NGB given to historical data regarding deployment of Guard personnel in determining reallocation of force structure?