Waltz Leads Florida, California, and Texas Delegations In Calling For Greater National Guard Allocations
Washington, June 2, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, U.S. Representatives Mike Waltz (FL-R), Stephanie Murphy (FL-D), Ken Calvert (CA-R), Jimmy Panetta (CA-D), Ronny Jackson (TX-R), and Marc Veasey (TX-D) lead a bipartisan, tri-state delegation letter along with 59 total members of Congress to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin highlighting the challenges that the Florida, California, and Texas Guard face and asking what resources and authorities are required to increase the force structure of these states.
“Whether it was COVID, civil unrest, natural disasters or overseas deployments, the National Guard was ready and prepared to protect Americans over this past year,” said Rep. Waltz. Often times, these missions mean National Guardsmen and women are deployed for months on end, leaving their day jobs and families to serve and putting an incredible strain on the Guard and their families.
“Florida’s population continues to grow, along with its mission sets. The current force allocation structure limits the Florida Guard’s ability to rotate personnel, putting greater demands on our Guard and their families. This ultimately affects recruitment and retention of qualified personnel, and mission readiness. We must address this growing problem to ensure the safety of Florida’s citizens."
“The Florida National Guard is succeeding despite its inadequate manpower, but we are doing our guardsmen—and our state—a disservice by not properly resourcing the force,” said Rep. Murphy. “I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan letter to the Department of Defense seeking to ensure that the Florida National Guard is appropriately sized to conduct its many vital missions on behalf of our country and our state.”
“Texas’ National Guardsmen have stepped up time and time again to protect the American people in times of crisis, especially through the ongoing crisis at the border,” said Rep. Jackson. “The burden on these Guardsmen and their families cannot be overstated, so at the very least they deserve a plan from the Biden Administration addressing major issues that we are seeing as a result — lack of resources and trouble keeping qualified personnel. Texas has one of the lowest Guardsmen-to-population ratios in the country, yet the Texas National Guard answers the call of enormous tasks like responding to a once in a lifetime polar vortex and helping secure our border in order to keep Texans safe. I thank our Guardsmen for their commitment, and I call on the Department of Defense to identify ways to support them.”
Currently, California at 54th, Florida at 53rd, and Texas at 52nd, have the lowest Guardsmen-to-population ratios in the nation. The Waltz letter asks the Department of Defense for what resources are necessary to increase the ratios of these states so their Guard Bureaus can better serve the needs of their populations.