Gov. Ron DeSantis’ choice to steer the Florida State Guard has but to be confirmed, regardless that he’s main that revived armed drive out of state to assist Texas police the Mexican border.

Monday will deliver the primary take a look at of how a lot that really issues to legislators.

The Senate Navy and Veterans Affairs, Area, and Home Safety committee is about to advance the nomination of Mark Thieme of Apollo Seaside Monday afternoon.

Thieme is the third individual to carry the place in lower than a yr and a half, following retired Marine Lt. Col. Chris Graham, who died in 2022 and U.S. Navy Reserve Capt. Luis Soler, who give up final yr for “personal reasons.”

DeSantis has been jocular about considerations that the State Guard is his private military.

“They have been principally saying that, like, ‘Gov. DeSantis is elevating a military to raze the countryside,” he stated mockingly. “All they did was give free advertising for it, and so individuals have been like, ‘Oh man! I wish to be part of the Florida State Guard. We’re actually enthusiastic about it.’”

Nevertheless, in Jacksonville earlier this week, the Governor introduced a ahead deployment of the drive, a seeming growth of scope from the advertising and marketing copy. The group’s website suggests a extra restricted mission: “State guards are approved beneath Title 32 of the U.S. Code and function distinctly from the Nationwide Guard. They’re state-funded, aware of the Governor and centered on the wants of their dwelling state.”

Florida Statute, nevertheless, says what the advert copy doesn’t, permitting the armed drive for use “completely inside the state, or to offer assist to different states.” So this type of deployment is inside the letter of the regulation the Legislature accepted, particularly given the alignment of the state’s Lawyer Normal and the overwhelming majority of its judges.

For his half, Thieme is worked up about what’s to return, regardless of the place the Governor’s orders may take his troop.

“The Florida State Guard is ready to face shoulder-to-shoulder with state company companions in direct assist of our brothers and sisters in Texas grappling with an unprecedented surge of unlawful immigration alongside their border. The Florida State Guard is postured to ship speedy emergency response, public security operations and humanitarian help — wherever the necessity arises.”

That want could come up effectively past Texas, if the state’s high man has his method.

Simply hours after saying that he was sending his State Guard to Texas, together with Nationwide Guard troops and state troopers, the Governor instructed pleasant interviewer Sean Hannity that he was able to deploy them even farther away.

“But when California really needs to cease individuals coming throughout the border, I’m completely happy to ship to California as effectively as a result of finally, I need the entire border safe. Texas is step one, however we’d like all states to have safe borders,” DeSantis stated earlier this month on Fox News.


Jesse Scheckner contributed reporting.

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