So says the leaders of the National Governors Association about a new Pentagon proposal that would give DOD more control over National Guard forces during domestic disasters. The Pentagon notified the governors about its plan and in an Aug. 7 response, Gov. James Douglas (R-Vt.) and Gov. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), the NGA chair and vice chair, respectively, stated: “While we appreciate the outreach, governors remain cautious about changes to the military’s authority to engage independently in domestic emergency response situations.” They expressed concern that “the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues, complicate interagency planning, establish stove-piped response efforts, and interfere with governors’ constitutional responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of their citizens.” They suggested that DOD “quickly establish the Council of Governors” required under the 2008 defense policy bill to facilitate “consultation and communication” over the question of tactical control.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.