Sen. Wendy Rogers wants Arizona Guard to stay in Arizona

PHOENIX – Saying they’re “our” National Guard soldiers, Republican state lawmakers are picking a fight with Washington over who controls them, a fight that a general said would leave the Guard with no money and no equipment.

And yet it would still leave Arizona soldiers subject to being called up for overseas duty.

Legislation awaiting House action would forbid the deployment of state Guard members for active duty combat absent an actual declaration of war by Congress. SB 1121, approved earlier this week by the Senate on a 16-12 party-line vote, would also provide exceptions in cases of repelling an invasion or suppressing an insurrection.

Sen. Wendy Rogers, a retired Air Force pilot, said this is all about protecting Arizona soldiers from missions like the one in Jordan where three soldiers from other states were killed last month by an unmanned drone attack. Several Arizona Guard soldiers were wounded.

“It is high time we passed this and keep our Guard where it should be unless the United States Congress declares war,” said the Flagstaff Republican.

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