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DeSantis Proposes New Military Force In Florida That He, Not The Pentagon, Would Control

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Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is reportedly proposing a new civilian military force in Florida that would be under his command and would not answer to the Pentagon.

DeSantis pitched the idea of the new military force on Thursday, saying it would further support the Florida National Guard during emergencies, CNN reports.

DeSantis said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be “not encumbered by the federal government.” He said this force would give him “the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.”

DeSantis is proposing reestablishing a World War II-era volunteer force of 200 civilians, and he is seeking $3.5 million from the state legislature in startup costs to train and equip them.

“Reestablishing 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,” DeSantis said during a visit to Pensacola on Thursday, according to CNN.

Democrats in Florida immediately expressed alarm at DeSantis’ announcement.

“No Governor should have his own handpicked secret police,” US Rep. Charlie Crist, who is running as a Democrat to challenge the governor in 2022, tweeted.

State Sen. Annette Taddeo, another gubernatorial candidate, wrote on Twitter that DeSantis was a “wannabe dictator trying to make his move for his own vigilante militia like we’ve seen in Cuba,” the news network noted.

Read the full report on CNN.