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The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a federal military reserve force of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
, as well as the air
militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Old French ''armee'', itself derived from the Latin verb ''armāre'', meaning "to arm", and related to the Latin noun ''arma'', meaning "arms" or "weapons"), ground force or land force is a f ...
of each U.S. state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It, along with each state's, district's, commonwealth's or territory's
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States A ...
component, makes up the National Guard of each state and the districts, commonwealths and territories as applicable. When Air National Guard units are used under the jurisdiction of the state governor they are fulfilling their militia role. However, if federalized by order of the
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United St ...
, Air National Guard units become an active part of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
. They are jointly administered by the states and the
National Guard Bureau The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard (United States), National Guard established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Departme ...
, a joint bureau of the Army and Air Force that oversees the
United States National Guard The National Guard is a U.S. state, state-based military force that becomes part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force when activated for feder ...
. Air National Guard operating forces are structured where each of the 50 U.S. states, the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico), is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...
, the territories of
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an Unincorporated territories of the United States, organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia subregion of the western Pacific Ocean. It is the List of extreme points of the United Stat ...
and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, United States Capitol, Logan Circle (Washington, D.C.), Logan Circle, Jefferson Memoria ...
of the United States, houses at least one
wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift while moving through air or some other fluid. Accordingly, wings have streamlined cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic force In fluid mechanics, an aerodynamic force is a force exerte ...
. Each
wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift while moving through air or some other fluid. Accordingly, wings have streamlined cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic force In fluid mechanics, an aerodynamic force is a force exerte ...
is either assigned aircraft, or aircraft are shared with a unit of the active duty Air Force or the Air Force Reserve under an "Associate" arrangement. The ANG of the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands have no aircraft assigned and perform ground support functions. Air National Guard activities may be located on active duty air force bases, air reserve bases, naval air stations/joint reserve bases, or air national guard bases and stations which are either independent military facilities or collocated as tenants on civilian-controlled joint civil-military airports. ANG units typically operate under Title 32 USC. However, when operating under Title 10 USC all ANG units are operationally gained by an active duty Air Force major command ( MAJCOM) or the
United States Space Force The United States Space Force (USSF) is the Space force, space service branch of the United States Armed Forces, U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight Uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services, and the world's only inde ...
. ANG units of the Combat Air Forces (CAF) based in the Continental United States (CONUS), plus a single air control squadron of the Puerto Rico ANG, are gained by the
Air Combat Command Air Combat Command (ACC) is one of nine List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, Major Commands (MAJCOMs) in the United States Air Force, reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force (HAF) at the Pentagon. It is the primary ...
(ACC). CONUS-based ANG units in the Mobility Air Forces (MAF), plus the Puerto Rico ANG's airlift wing and the Virgin Islands ANG's civil engineering squadron are gained by the
Air Mobility Command Air Mobility Command (AMC) is a major command (MAJCOM) of the U.S. Air Force. It is headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, east of St. Louis, Missouri. Air Mobility Command was established on 1 June 1992, and was formed from elem ...
(AMC). The vast majority of ANG units fall under either ACC or AMC. However, there remain a few exceptions, such as the Alaska ANG, Hawaii ANG and Guam ANG, whose CAF and MAF units are operationally gained by
Pacific Air Forces Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and is also the air component command of the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM). PACAF is headquartered at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam ...
(PACAF), while a smaller number of ANG units in CONUS are operationally gained by
Air Education and Training Command Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is one of the nine List of major commands of the United States Air Force, Major Commands (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force (USAF), reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force. It was establis ...
(AETC),
Air Force Global Strike Command Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) is a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. AFGSC provides combat-ready forces to conduct strategic nuclear deterrence and global st ...
(AFGSC),
Air Force Special Operations Command Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the Special forces, special operations component of the United States Air Force. An Air Force List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, majo ...
(AFSOC), and
United States Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community * United, West Virginia, an unincorporated community Arts and entertainment Films * United (2003 film), ''United'' (2003 film), a Norwegian film * United (2011 film) ...
(USAFE-AFAFRICA).


Overview

Established under Title 10 and Title 32 of the U.S. Code, the Air National Guard is part of the state National Guard and is divided up into units stationed in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the two U.S. territories. Each state, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have at least one Air National Guard wing level unit with a flying mission, while the Air National Guard in Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands are strictly non-flying support organizations at the group or squadron level. When not in a "federal" status, the Air National Guard operates under their respective state, commonwealth or territorial governor.
Military Reserves Federal Call Up Authority
The exception to this rule is the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DC ANG). As a federal district, the units of the DC ANG are under the direct jurisdiction of the
President of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United St ...
through the office of the state adjutant general, Commanding General, District of Columbia National Guard. In their "state" role, the Air National Guard may be called up for active duty by the governors to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as those caused by hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes. In the case of the DC Air National Guard in this role, the Adjutant General of the District of Columbia reports to the Mayor of the District of Columbia, who may only activate DC ANG assets for local purposes after consulting with the President of the United States. With the consent of state governors or equivalents, members or units of the Air National Guard may be appointed, temporarily or indefinitely, to be federally recognized members of the armed forces, in the active or inactive (e.g., reserve) service of the United States.
10 USC 12212. Officers: Air National Guard of the United States

10 USC 12107. Army National Guard of United States; Air National Guard of the United States: enlistment in
If federally recognized, the member or unit becomes part of the Air National Guard of the United States,
32 USC 101. Definitions (NATIONAL GUARD)
which is one of two reserve components of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
, and part of the
National Guard of the United States The National Guard is a state-based military force that becomes part of the reserve components of the United States Army and the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, ...
. Because both state Air National Guard and the Air National Guard of the United States go relatively hand-in-hand, they are both usually referred to as just Air National Guard. Air National Guard of the United States units or members may be called up for federal active duty in times of Congressionally sanctioned war or national emergency. The
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese ful ...
may also call up members and units of the Air National Guard using a process called " federalization", with the consent of state governors or equivalents, to repel invasion, suppress rebellion, or execute federal laws if the United States or any of its states or territories are invaded or is in danger of invasion by a foreign nation, or if there is a rebellion or danger of a rebellion against the authority of the federal government, or if the president is unable to execute the laws of the United States with the regular armed forces. As of 30 September 2019, the United States Air National Guard has about 107,100 men and women in service. Like the
Air Force Reserve Command The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
(AFRC), the ANG is often described as a " reserve" force of "part-time
airmen An airman is a member of an air force or air arm of a nation's armed forces. In certain air forces, it can also refer to a specific enlisted rank. An airman can also be referred as a soldier in other definitions. In civilian aviation usage, t ...
," although the demands of maintaining modern aircraft mean that many AFRC and ANG members work full-time, either as full-time Air Reserve Technicians (ART) or Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) personnel. Even traditional part-time air guardsmen, especially pilots, navigators/combat systems officers, air battle managers and enlisted aircrew, often serve 100 or more man-days annually. As such, the concept of Air National Guard service as representing only "one weekend a month and two weeks a year" is not necessarily valid. The Air National Guard (ANG), in tandem with the U.S. Air Force's other reserve component, the strictly "federal"
Air Force Reserve Command The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
(AFRC), comprise the "Air Reserve Component" of the U.S. Air Force under the"Total Force" construct. Many ANG pilots work for commercial airlines, but in the ANG they may train to fly any of the aircraft in the USAF inventory, with the current exception of the
B-1B Lancer The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It is commonly called the "Bone" (from "B-One"). It is one of three strategic bombers serving in the U.S. Air Force fleet along with ...
and
B-52 Stratofortress The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic aircraft, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the ...
bombers,
E-3 Sentry The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an American airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, Boeing. E-3s are commonly known as AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System). Derived from the Boeing 7 ...
AWACS aircraft,
KC-10 Extender The McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender is an American aerial refueling tanker aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). A military version of the three-engine McDonnell Douglas DC-10, DC-10 airliner, the KC-10 was developed from th ...
and the AC-130 Gunship. The
Georgia Air National Guard The Georgia Air National Guard (GA ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Georgia Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina; to ...
and the
Kansas Air National Guard The Kansas Air National Guard (KS ANG) is the aerial militia of the Kansas, State of Kansas, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Kansas Army National Guard, an element of the Kansas National Guard. As state militia un ...
previously flew the
B-1B Lancer The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It is commonly called the "Bone" (from "B-One"). It is one of three strategic bombers serving in the U.S. Air Force fleet along with ...
prior to converting to the
E-8 Joint STARS The Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a United States Air Force airborne ground surveillance, Battle Management, battle management and Command and control (military), command and control aircraf ...
and
KC-135R Stratotanker The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is an American military aerial refueling aircraft that was developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype, alongside the Boeing 707 airliner. It is the predominant variant of the Boeing C-135 Stratolifter, C-135 Strat ...
, respectively. In addition, the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard transitioned from flying the F-15C/D Eagle at St. Louis International Airport/Lambert Field Air National Guard Station to the
B-2 Spirit The Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American Heavy bomber, heavy strategic bomber, featuring low-observable stealth aircraft, stealth technology designed to penetrator (aircraft), penetrat ...
at
Whiteman Air Force Base Whiteman Air Force Base is a United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United ...
as an "Associate" unit of the Regular Air Force's
509th Bomb Wing The 509th Bomb Wing (509 BW) is a United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of th ...
and was re-designated as the 131st Bomb Wing. In 2012, General Norton A. Schwartz, the then- Chief of Staff of the Air Force, defended cutting nearly twice as many service members from the Air National Guard and the
Air Force Reserve The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
as from the active duty Regular Air Force in order to maintain the service's surge and rotational capabilities in the Active Component. These proposals were eventually overruled and cancelled by the U.S. Congress.


Chain of command

As state militia units, the units in the Air National Guard are not in the normal
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
chain of command A command hierarchy is a group of people who carry out orders based on others' authority within the group. It can be viewed as part of a power structure, in which it is usually seen as the most vulnerable and also the most powerful part. Milit ...
. They are under the jurisdiction of the United States
National Guard Bureau The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard (United States), National Guard established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Departme ...
unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States.Email communications, Air National Guard Lineage and History, Daniel L. Haulman, PhD, Chief, Organizational Histories Branch Air Force Historical Research Agency The Air National Guard Readiness Center, a field operating center of the United States Air Force at
Joint Base Andrews Joint Base Andrews (JBA) is a United States military facility located in Prince George's County, Maryland. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 316th Wing, Air Force District of Washington (AFDW). The base was e ...
, Maryland, performs operational and technical functions to ensure combat readiness of Air National Guard units and is a channel of communication between the Air Force and the National Guard Bureau regarding readiness and operations. Air National Guard units are trained and equipped by the United States Air Force. The state (or equivalent) ANG units, depending on their mission, are operationally gained by a
major command of the USAF This is a list of major commands (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force. A major command is a significant Air Force organization subordinate to Headquarters, US Air Force. Major commands have a headquarters staff and subordinate organizations, ty ...
if federalized. In addition, personnel and equipment are routinely federalized and deployed by the USAF as part of Air Expeditionary Forces, and are currently engaged in combat operations under
United States Air Forces Central The Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) is a Numbered Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint De ...
(USAFCENT) as part of the
Global War on Terrorism The war on terror, officially the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), is an ongoing international Counterterrorism, counterterrorism military campaign initiated by the United States following the September 11 attacks. The main targets of the campa ...
. Air National Guard personnel are expected to adhere to the same moral and physical standards as their "full-time" active duty
Air Force An air force – in the broadest sense – is the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an ar ...
and "part-time"
Air Force Reserve The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
federal counterparts. The same ranks and insignia of the U.S. Air Force are used by the Air National Guard, and Air National Guardsmen are eligible to receive all United States military awards. The Air National Guard also bestows a number of state awards for local services rendered in a service member's home state or equivalent.


History


Origins

The modern day National Guard in the United States traces its origins to 13 December 1636, when the Massachusetts Bay Colony's General Court passed an act calling for the creation of three regiments, organizing existing separate militia companies in and around Boston. The creation of the militia regiments was caused by the perceived need to defend the Bay Colony against American Indians and from other European countries operating in North America. This organization formed the basis of subsequent colonial and, post-independence, state and territorial militias which later became the
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States A ...
. Being "local" ground forces affiliated with the Army, militias were considered state-centric/territorial-centric in nature, this versus naval forces, which were considered wholly activities of the federal government. This distinction accounts for why there are no National Guard components in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps or U.S. Coast Guard. Because the present day U.S. Air Force evolved from the U.S. Army, it was only natural that a separate Air National Guard would be established with the divestiture of the former U.S. Army Air Forces and its establishment as a separate and independent U.S. Air Force in 1947. The Air National Guard was officially established in law as a separate reserve component on 18 September 1947, concurrent with the establishment of the U.S. Air Force. However, National Guard aviation emerged before
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
with aviation units in
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States A ...
organizations.Rosenfeld, Susan and Gross, Charles J (2007), Air National Guard at 60: A History. Air National Guard history program AFD-080527-040
In April 1908, a group of enthusiasts organized an "aeronautical corps" at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City to learn ballooning. They were members of the 1st Company, Signal Corps,
New York National Guard The New York (state), New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs (NYS DMNA) is responsible for the state's New York Army National Guard, New York Air National Guard, New York Guard and the New York Naval Militia. It is headed by Adjutan ...
. Although they received instruction and assembled a balloon, it was not clear whether members of the unit had ever actually ascended in it. In 1910 the unit raised $500 to finance its first aircraft. During the Mexican Border Crisis of 1915 Captain Raynal Cawthorne Bolling organized and took command of a unit that became the 1st Aero Company, New York National Guard. It trained at Mineola Field, Mineola, Long Island. It is recognized as the ANG's oldest unit and its lineage is carried by the 102nd Rescue Squadron of the
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
. On 13 July 1916, the 1st Aero Company mobilized during the border crisis with Mexico. the unit was called into federal service when the Mexican revolution spilled over the border into the United States. Bolling's unit was joined at Mineola by the 2nd Aero Company of Buffalo and 12 Guard officers from other states. Both air units remained at Mineola during the crisis.ANG Heritage: Missions, Wars and Operations
When the United States entered
World War I World War I (28 July 1914 11 November 1918), often abbreviated as WWI, was List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll, one of the deadliest global conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, ...
in April 1917, the War Department decided that it would not mobilize National Guard air units. Instead, individual Guard volunteers provided a major pool for the Army to draw aviators from. They were required to leave the Guard and enter the Signal Corps Reserve if they wished to fly in the war. About 100 National Guard pilots joined the newly formed
United States Army Air Service The United States Army Air Service (USAAS)Craven and Cate Vol. 1, p. 9 (also known as the ''"Air Service"'', ''"U.S. Air Service"'' and before its legislative establishment in 1920, the ''"Air Service, United States Army"'') was the aerial warf ...
. Guardsmen also played prominent roles in air operations in France. On 14 April 1918, Tennessee Guardsman Reed Chambers flew with
Eddie Rickenbacker Edward Vernon Rickenbacker or Eddie Rickenbacker (October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) was an American fighter pilot in World War I and a Medal of Honor recipient.94th Pursuit Squadron from Villeneuve, France on the first combat mission ever ordered by an American commander of a U.S. squadron of American pilots. At least four Guardsmen—Chambers, Field Kindley (Kansas), Reed Landis (Illinois), and Martinus Stenseth (Minnesota) – became aces. 2nd Lieutenant Erwin R. Bleckley of Kansas was awarded the
Medal of Honor The Medal of Honor (MOH) is the United States Armed Forces' highest Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces, military decoration and is awarded to recognize American United States Army, soldiers, United States Navy, sailors, Unit ...
posthumously for his heroism as an aerial observer. After the armistice and the return of the
American Expeditionary Force The American Expeditionary Forces (A. E. F.) was a formation of the United States Army on the Western Front (World War I), Western Front of World War I. The A. E. F. was established on July 5, 1917, in France under the command of General John ...
in 1919, the wartime squadrons were demobilized and inactivated.


Interwar period

After the war, National Guard aviation was placed on a permanent basis over the initial opposition of the Army's General Staff. In 1920, the Militia Bureau and the
Army Air Service The United States Army Air Service (USAAS)Craven and Cate Vol. 1, p. 9 (also known as the ''"Air Service"'', ''"U.S. Air Service"'' and before its legislative establishment in 1920, the ''"Air Service, United States Army"'') was the aerial warf ...
agreed on a plan for re-organizing National Guard aviation units. On 17 January 1921, the 109th Observation Squadron of the Minnesota National Guard (1921–1941) became the first post World War I air unit to receive federal recognition. During the interwar period, 29 observation squadrons were established. They were either integral elements of National Guard infantry divisions or assigned to Army corps aviation. An aviator in the 110th Observation Squadron of the
Missouri National Guard The Missouri National Guard (MONG), commonly known as the Missouri Guard, is a component of the Army National Guard and Missouri State Department of the National Guard. It is composed of Army National Guard, Army and Missouri Air National Guard, A ...
(1923–1943) became the most famous National Guard pilot during the interwar period: Captain Charles A. Lindbergh. His service illustrated the close ties between military and commercial aviation. Trained to fly by the Army, he joined the 110th Observation Squadron in November 1925. The following year, he became chief pilot for an airmail venture started by fellow 110th pilots Major William Robertson and his brother Frank. After Lindbergh made his historic solo trans-Atlantic flight in May 1927, he recalled his service in the Guard fondly. After the
Fall of France The Battle of France (french: bataille de France) (10 May – 25 June 1940), also known as the Western Campaign ('), the French Campaign (german: Frankreichfeldzug, ) and the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France France (), ...
, during 1940–1941, approximately 4,800 experienced National Guard aviation personnel were mobilized from their observation squadrons. They provided a significant augmentation of the Army's rapidly expanding air arm during a critical period. Most Guard air units were stripped of many key personnel, and the units were federalized into the regular Army Air Corps and were re-equipped with more modem aircraft. Some of the early-deploying squadrons maintained a degree of unit integrity and cohesion. But, most lost their character and identity as Guard organizations during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. The units were transformed from observation organizations into reconnaissance, liaison, fighter, and bombardment squadrons. They served in every major combat theater during the war. The most significant wartime contribution of National Guard aviators was to train and lead the large numbers of volunteer airmen who had entered the AAF. That role was epitomized by Lt Col Addison E. Baker, a Guardsman from Akron, Ohio. On 1 August 1943, Baker commanded the
VIII Bomber Command 8 (eight) is the natural number following 7 and preceding 9. In mathematics 8 is: * a composite number, its proper divisors being , , and . It is twice 4 or four times 2. * a power of two, being 2 (two cubed), and is the first number of the ...
's 93rd Bombardment Group on a daring but ill-fated low-level attack against enemy oil refineries at Ploiești, Romania. Baker was posthumously awarded the
Medal of Honor The Medal of Honor (MOH) is the United States Armed Forces' highest Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces, military decoration and is awarded to recognize American United States Army, soldiers, United States Navy, sailors, Unit ...
for his heroic leadership.


Post-World War II Air National Guard

The Air National Guard as it exists today, a separate reserve component of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
in addition to the purely "federal"
Air Force Reserve The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
, was a product of the politics of postwar planning and inter-service rivalry during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
. The Army Air Forces leaders who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II had little confidence in the reserves of the U.S. Army, especially the state-dominated National Guard. On the contrary, those leaders expected to build the largest and most modern standing air force possible. However, domestic politics and American history forced them to significantly alter their plans. Determined to include an Air Force National Guard in the postwar U.S. military establishment during World War II, the National Guard Association of the United States flexed its considerable political muscle. It compelled the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) to plan for a significant Air Force National Guard once the overseas fighting ended. General of the Army George C. Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, also pressured the USAAF to revise its ambitious plans for a large postwar active duty force. When President Harry S. Truman instituted dramatic postwar military budget cuts, he split defense dollars evenly among the Army, Navy, and Air Force. That move also required the Air Force to plan for a far smaller active duty service than it had envisaged. As a result, the Air Force needed both reserve components, the Air National Guard and the
Air Force Reserve The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
, to help fill the gap. As the wartime Army Air Forces demobilized in 1945 and 1946, inactivated unit designations were allotted and transferred to various State and Territorial Air National Guard bureaus to provide them unit designations to re-establish them as Air National Guard units. Initially, the
National Guard Bureau The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard (United States), National Guard established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Departme ...
(NGB) developed a table of organization for the Air National Guard to include at least one unit allocation per state. In addition, the territories of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico were allocated one unit designation each. A table of organization was developed in which a series of twelve ANG Wings were allocated to provide command and control over separate regions of the United States; each Wing controlled three or four Groups within the region, and the Groups controlled squadrons within the region, sometimes distributed over several states. On 21 August 1946, inactivated USAAF group and squadron designations were transferred from the Department of the Army to the
National Guard Bureau The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard (United States), National Guard established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Departme ...
. The units were re-designated with unit designations within the 101–299 range and allotments were made to
Adjutant General An adjutant general is a military chief administrative officer. France In Revolutionary France, the was a senior staff officer, effectively an assistant to a general officer. It was a special position for lieutenant-colonels and colonels in staf ...
of the states and territories whose mission it was to organize the units being allocated and prepare them for federal recognition by the NGB. The combat element was organized into twelve wings which were then divided into 20 fighter groups totaling 62 squadrons, two light bombardment groups comprising four squadrons, and five composite groups with twelve fighter squadrons and six bombardment squadrons. Command and control organizations were: * 52nd Fighter Wing, New York : Replaced by 106th Bombardment Wing, 1 November 1950 : Replaced by 107th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 106th Bombardment Group, New York :: 107th Fighter Group, New York ::
108th Fighter Group 1 (one, unit, unity) is a number representing a single or the only entity. 1 is also a numerical digit and represents a single unit (measurement), unit of counting or measurement. For example, a line segment of ''unit length'' is a line segment ...
, New Jersey * 53rd Fighter Wing, Pennsylvania : Replaced by 111th Air Defense Wing, 1 November 1950 : Replaced by 113th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 111th Bombardment Group, Pennsylvania :: 112th Fighter Group, Pennsylvania :: 113th Fighter Group, District of Columbia * 54th Fighter Wing, Georgia : Replaced by 116th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 116th Fighter Group, Georgia :: 117th Fighter Group, Alabama :: 118th Fighter Group, Tennessee * 55th Fighter Wing, Ohio : Replaced by 121st Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 121st Fighter Group, Ohio :: 122nd Fighter Group, Indiana :: 123rd Fighter Group, Kentucky * 60th Fighter Wing, Washington : Replaced by 142nd Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 142nd Fighter Group, Oregon * 61st Fighter Wing, California : Replaced by 144th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 144th Fighter Group, California * 62nd Fighter Wing, California : Replaced by 146th Composite Wing, 1 November 1950 ::
146th Fighter Group The 146th Airlift Wing (146 AW) is a unit of the California Air National Guard, stationed at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Oxnard, California. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force A ...
, California * 63rd Fighter Wing, Texas : Replaced by 136th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 136th Fighter Group, Texas :: 137th Fighter Group, Oklahoma * 66th Fighter Wing, Illinois : Replaced by 126th Composite Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 126th Bombardment Group, Illinois :: 127th Fighter Group, Michigan :: 128th Fighter Group, Wisconsin *
67th Fighter Wing The 67th Fighter Wing was a unit of the United States Air Force for four years, between 1946 and 1950. It was located at Logan Airport, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is unrelated to the modern 67th Network Warfare Wing. History World War II The 6 ...
, Massachusetts : Replaced by 102nd Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 101st Fighter Group, Maine :: 102nd Fighter Group, Massachusetts :: 103rd Fighter Group, Connecticut *
71st Fighter Wing The 71st Fighter Wing (71 FW) is a disbanded unit of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uni ...
, Missouri : Replaced by 131st Composite Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 131st Fighter Group, Missouri :: 132nd Fighter Group, Iowa :: 133rd Fighter Group, Minnesota * 86th Fighter Wing, Colorado : Replaced by 140th Fighter Wing, 1 November 1950 :: 140th Fighter Group, Colorado Individual state squadrons were assigned to either Groups or Wings, depending on circumstances, allocations, and gaining commands of the Army Air Forces. As individual units were organized, federally recognized, and activated, the Army Air Forces provided them airfields, equipment and surplus aircraft. Once formed, the units began obtaining federal recognition, and the state Air National Guard units were established. Its primary units were 84 flying squadrons, mostly equipped with
P-51 Mustang The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter aircraft, fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a team ...
and
P-47 Thunderbolt The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945. It was a successful high-altitude fighter and it also served as the foremost American fighter-bomber ...
fighters with air defense of the continental United States as their main mission, its units under the jurisdiction of the USAAF
Air Defense Command Aerospace Defense Command was a major command (military formation), command of the United States Air Force, responsible for continental air defense. It was activated in 1968 and disbanded in 1980. Its predecessor, Air Defense Command, was est ...
.
Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the U ...
also had several ANG units being assigned B-26 Invader medium bombers. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Air National Guard's official birth, concurrent with the establishment of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States. Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part ...
as a separate branch of the United States military under the National Security Act. The postwar Air National Guard force of the late 1940s included 58,000 members. Between 1946 and 1949, all of the initial allotment of units received federal recognition in the CONUS. The Hawaii Territory ANG received recognition and was activated on 4 November 1946; the Puerto Rico ANG on 23 November 1947, and the Alaska Territory ANG on 15 September 1952. At the end of October 1950, the Air National Guard converted to the wing-base (
Hobson Plan The Hobson Plan was an organizational structure established by the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1948, following experimental organization in 1947. Known as the "Wing-Base Organization," it replaced the organization used by the United States A ...
) organization. As a result, the former Army Air Forces Wings which were allocated were inactivated by the National Guard Bureau returned to the control of the Department of the Air Force on 31 October 1950. The personnel and equipment of the inactivated wings were transferred to new Air National Guard wings which were established, recognized and activated on 1 November 1950. After World War II, the Air National Guard developed an unfortunate reputation as a glorified "flying club" for World War II combat veterans. Not only did the units and individuals lack specific wartime missions, their equipment, especially aircraft, was obsolete and their training was usually deplorable. Once mobilized, those Air National Guardsmen proved to be almost totally unprepared for combat. Regardless of their previous training and equipment, Air National Guard units were assigned almost at random to major air commands. It took months and months for ANG units to become combat ready; some units never succeeded.


Korean War

During the
Korean War , date = {{Ubl, 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953 (''de facto'')({{Age in years, months, weeks and days, month1=6, day1=25, year1=1950, month2=7, day2=27, year2=1953), 25 June 1950 – present (''de jure'')({{Age in years, months, weeks a ...
, some 45,000 Air Guardsmen, 80 percent of the force, were mobilized. That callup exposed the weaknesses of the United States' various military reserve programs, including the ANG. Sixty-six of the Air Guard's ninety-two flying squadrons, along with numerous support units, were mobilized. Once in federal service, they proved to be unprepared for combat. Many key Air Guardsmen were used as fillers elsewhere in the Air Force. It took three to six months for some ANG units to become combat ready. Some never did. Eventually, they made substantial contributions to the war effort and the Air Force's global buildup. In the Far East, the ANG's 136th and 116th Fighter-Bomber Wings compiled excellent combat records flying
F-84 Thunderjet The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a "day fighter", the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thun ...
s. Air Guardsmen flew 39,530 combat sorties and destroyed 39 enemy aircraft. But, 101 of them were either killed or declared missing in action during the conflict. Four Air Guardsmen—Captains Robert Love (California), Clifford Jolley (Utah), and Robinson Risner (Oklahoma), plus Major James Hagerstrom (Texas) – became aces, with some, such as Risner, later transferring to the Regular Air Force. Largely as a result of the Korean War experience, senior ANG and Air Force leaders became seriously committed to building the Air National Guard as an effective reserve component.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), The Korean War and After With the reinforcement of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF), Air National Guard squadrons were deployed to Europe in late 1950, being assigned to newly constructed bases in France as part of
United States Air Forces in Europe United may refer to: Places * United, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community * United, West Virginia, an unincorporated community Arts and entertainment Films * United (2003 film), ''United'' (2003 film), a Norwegian film * United (2011 film) ...
(USAFE). These deployments helped reinforce the
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
commitment of the United States in case the combat in Korea became part of a wider conflict with the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
. Beginning in February 1951, mobilized units were assigned to
Air Defense Command Aerospace Defense Command was a major command (military formation), command of the United States Air Force, responsible for continental air defense. It was activated in 1968 and disbanded in 1980. Its predecessor, Air Defense Command, was est ...
(ADC),
Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command responsible for command and control of the strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile c ...
(SAC) and
Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the U ...
(TAC), replacing or augmenting active duty units. Air National Guardsmen assigned to ADC also were assigned to various aircraft control and warning as well as radar calibration units. Their organizations either strengthened American air defenses or were converted to tactical air control units that directed Air Force fighter aircraft in the continental United States,
Alaska Alaska ( ; russian: Аляска, Alyaska; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state, state located in the Western United States on the northwest extremity o ...
,
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (; french: Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador; frequently abbreviated as NL) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. The province comprises t ...
, Europe, and
French Morocco The French protectorate in Morocco (french: Protectorat français au Maroc; ar, الحماية الفرنسية في المغرب), also known as French Morocco, was the period of French colonial rule in Morocco Morocco (),, ) offici ...
. As a result of the federalization of the Air National Guard, ADC, SAC and TAC established additional wings for command and control of the federalized units. These were as follows: * 101st Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Maine ANG, 10 February 1951 * 103rd Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Connecticut ANG, 2 March 1951 * 108th Strategic Fighter Wing (SAC) : Federalized New Jersey ANG, 1 March 1951 * 122nd Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Indiana ANG, 10 February 1951 * 128th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Wisconsin ANG, 10 February 1951 * 133rd Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Minnesota ANG, 2 March 1951 *
137th Fighter-Bomber Wing 137th may refer to: *137th (Calgary) Battalion, CEF, unit in the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War *137th Air Reconnaissance Regiment, air reconnaissance and guidance regiment, part of the SFR Yugoslav Air Force *137th Special ...
(TAC) : Federalized Oklahoma ANG, 26 October 1950 * 142nd Fighter-Interceptor Wing (ADC) : Federalized Oregon ANG, 2 March 1951 Air National Guardsmen began to be demobilized in July 1952, with their units being inactivated by the active duty air force. Subsequently, the individual state Air National Guard bureaus reactivated and reformed the units beginning in January 1953. The USAF-established wings were also allocated to their states.


Runway alert program

Although Korean War hostilities ended in July 1953, the
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
with the Soviet Union persisted. The initial mobilization fiasco forced the Air Force to achieve an accommodation with the Air National Guard and to thoroughly revamp its entire reserve system. Because of the problems associated with the Korean War mobilizations, the Air Force and its reserve components pioneered new approaches like the runway alert program to reserve training and management. The Air Division chief at the
National Guard Bureau The National Guard Bureau is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the National Guard (United States), National Guard established by the United States Congress as a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Departme ...
wanted to find an innovative way to provide additional training for fighter pilots after their units were demobilized. At the same time,
Air Defense Command Aerospace Defense Command was a major command (military formation), command of the United States Air Force, responsible for continental air defense. It was activated in 1968 and disbanded in 1980. Its predecessor, Air Defense Command, was est ...
could not call upon sufficient active duty Air Force units to defend the continental United States against the Soviet air threat. It was proposed to employ ANG pilots full-time from "strategically placed" Air National Guard units to perform "air intercept missions" against unidentified aircraft entering United States airspace. In addition they would "provide simulated fighter attacks against the
Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command responsible for command and control of the strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile c ...
's nuclear-capable bombers." Using Air National Guardsmen from the 138th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Hancock Field, Syracuse, New York, and the 194th Fighter-Bomber Squadron at Hayward, California, the experiment began on 1 March 1953. It proved a great success and in August eight squadrons began "standing alert" using volunteer aircrews on a rotating basis for 14 hours a day. In October, nine more squadrons joined the program. The ANG runway alert program required some planes and pilots to be available around-the-clock to become airborne within minutes of being notified to scramble. At its peak in the mid-1950s, all 70 Air National Guard fighter squadrons participated in that program, although that number was reduced to 25 by 1961 due to budget constraints. Most of the runway alert exercises involved interceptions of SAC bombers; although a few actual scrambles turned out to be interceptions of late or off-course commercial airliners. The runway alert experiment in 1953 marked the beginning of the Air National Guard's modern homeland defense role. Moreover, it was the first broad effort to integrate reserve units into a major Air Force combat mission in peacetime on a continuing basis using volunteers.


Aircraft modernization

Originally the Air National Guard was designed as a combat reserve force. After World War II, its flying units consisted of 72 fighter and 12 light bomber squadrons equipped with obsolescent World War II propeller-driven aircraft while the active duty Air Force transitioned to jet fighters. Although it had no airlift or tanker units, the Air National Guard's flying units were equipped with a small number of liaison, trainer, and transport planes, and the Air National Guard actively sought out new missions and aircraft.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Reshaping the Air National Guard Force Structure With the end of World War II, the Air Force dropped "Air Commando" or special operations units from its rolls, although they were revived for the Korean War. After that conflict, in April 1955, the Air National Guard acquired its first special operations unit when the 129th Air Resupply Squadron was federally recognized and two
C-46 Commando The Curtiss C-46 Commando is a twin-engine transport aircraft derived from the Curtiss CW-20 pressurised high-altitude airliner design. Early press reports used the name "Condor III" but the Commando name was in use by early 1942 in company pub ...
s were delivered to it at Hayward, California. It was allocated to the
Air Resupply And Communications Service The Air Resupply And Communications Service (ARCS) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was assigned to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. Established during the Korean War, the mission of ARCS was providing the Air Force an un ...
(ARCS), a predecessor organization of today's
Air Force Special Operations Command Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the Special forces, special operations component of the United States Air Force. An Air Force List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, majo ...
As its
P-51 Mustang The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter aircraft, fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a team ...
s and
P-47 Thunderbolt The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt is a World War II-era fighter aircraft produced by the American company Republic Aviation from 1941 through 1945. It was a successful high-altitude fighter and it also served as the foremost American fighter-bomber ...
s became more and more obsolescent in the jet age of the 1950s, the force structure gradually changed to include a significant number of airlift, tanker, and specialized combat-support units. As the Air National Guard expanded, additional squadrons, including airlift units as well as Air Resupply and Communications units, were established. Additional command and control groups and wings were also established by the National Guard Bureau and allocated to the states. The ANG however, unlike the active duty USAF, did not inactivate its combat groups during the 1950s as part of the tri-deputate organization. Many of the combat groups remained assigned to the wings from which they were derived. It was not until 1974 that the ANG fully adapted the USAF tri-deputate organization and inactivated its combat groups, assigning its operational squadrons directly to the wings. The Air National Guard aggressively worked to preserve its existing flying units by obtaining the most modern aircraft available. Some existing Air National Guard fighter units equipped with piston-driven fighters, however, could not convert to jets because the runways at the local airports where they were based were too short. In addition, some local leaders simply did not want jet fighters operating in their communities. The ANG considered replacing the fighter squadrons in these instances with transport aircraft a viable option for overcoming runway issues or community objections and also was a way to keep experienced senior aviators in the cockpit. During the late 1950s, the Air Force allowed several Air National Guard units to trade in their aging piston-driven fighters for second-line transports. New Jersey's newly organized 150th Air Transport Squadron (Light) became the first pure airlift unit in the Air National Guard on 1 February 1956. It received Curtiss C-46D Commandos. Two other aeromedical transport squadrons followed that year, primarily because of the impracticality of converting their locations to modern jet fighter operations. In 1959, the Air Force, in order to save operating funds, planned to phase out 48
C-97 Stratofreighter The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was a long-range heavy military cargo aircraft developed from the B-29 and B-50 bombers. Design work began in 1942, the first of three prototype XC-97s flew on 9 November 1944 (none saw combat), and the first of s ...
s before their replacements were available to the active force. The Air National Guard requested these aircraft be sent to ANG units, and in January 1960, units in California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Oklahoma began trading in their obsolete fighters for C-97s. Additionally, the Air National Guard also took on an
air refueling Aerial refueling, also referred to as air refueling, in-flight refueling (IFR), air-to-air refueling (AAR), and tanking, is the process of transferring aviation fuel from one aircraft (the List of tanker aircraft, tanker) to another (the receive ...
mission. The Air National Guard received its first
KC-97 Stratofreighter The Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter is a four-engined, piston-powered United States strategic tanker aircraft This is a list of tanker aircraft used for Aerial refueling, aerial refuelling of another aircraft whilst in Powered aircraft, powered f ...
aerial tankers in July and August 1961. During that period, the 108th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in Illinois, the 126th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in Wisconsin, and the 145th Air Transport Squadron in Ohio, converted to KC-97Fs and were redesignated air refueling squadrons.


Cold War

World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the World War II by country, vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great power ...
had left the city of
Berlin Berlin ( , ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the European Union's most populous city, according to population within city limits. One of Germany's sixteen constituen ...
100 miles deep within
East German East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from its creation on 7 October 1949 until German reunification, its dissolution on 3 October 1990. In t ...
territory, controlled by the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, and divided into
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, British, French, and United States zones of occupation, administered under local agreements which did not guarantee Western access to the city. Responding to a series of Soviet actions in 1948, the three western allies consolidated their zones and formed the city of
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or , ) was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin Berlin ( , ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3.7 million inhabitants make it the E ...
. For fifteen years the western powers maintained a tenacious hold on West Berlin under periodic harassment of the Soviets. On 13 August 1961, Berliners woke up to find they lived in a divided city. A wall now separated East Berlin from West Berlin. With that provocative act, the Soviet Union ratcheted up the Cold War.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Cold Warriors President John F. Kennedy mobilized a limited number of Reserve and Guard units, dispatching 11 ANG fighter squadrons to Europe. All the Guard units were in place within a month of their respective mobilization days, although they required additional training, equipment, and personnel after being called up. In all, some 21,000 Air Guardsmen were mobilized during the 1961 Berlin Crisis. By August 1962, the units mobilized for the Berlin Crisis returned to state control. They had hardly resumed normal operations when President Kennedy announced on 22 October 1962 that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear warheads in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called ...
, only 90 miles from Florida. With the
Cuban Missile Crisis The Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the October Crisis (of 1962) ( es, Crisis de Octubre) in Cuba, the Caribbean Crisis () in Russia, or the Missile Scare, was a 35-day (16 October – 20 November 1962) confrontation between the United S ...
, Air National Guard fighter units trained for "no notice" deployments, and volunteer ANG airlift crews and their aircraft augmented Air Force global airlift operations. Air National Guard bases hosted Air Force fighters and bombers dispersed there to avoid a possible Soviet nuclear response to the crisis. But in the end, no ANG unit was federalized. As a result of these two Cold War incidents, from January through December 1963, for the first time Air National Guard airlift units began routinely deploying overseas during their annual training periods, primarily to Europe, to exercise their wartime missions. Air National Guard transport units hauled cargo for the
Military Air Transport Service The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) is an inactive Department of Defense Unified Command. Activated on 1 June 1948, MATS was a consolidation of the United States Navy The United States Navy (USN) is the maritime military branc ...
(MATS) while training for their wartime global airlift role. With the Regular Air Force tanker fleet being used more and more in Southeast Asia after 1965 to support combat operations in
South Vietnam South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam Cộng hòa), was a state in Southeast Asia that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of th ...
, combined with the concurrent demands of the
Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command responsible for command and control of the strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile c ...
(SAC) for performing its nuclear deterrence mission, both volunteer Air Force Reservists and Air National Guardsmen in air refueling units participated in worldwide air refueling missions during their Annual Training or other additional active duty periods in order to supplement the active duty tanker force. The
Texas Air National Guard The Texas Air National Guard (TX ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Texas, United States of America. It is, along with the Texas Army National Guard, an element of the Texas National Guard. No element of the Texas Air National Guard is ...
's 136th Air Refueling Wing inaugurated Operation Creek Party on 1 May 1967, because the Regular Air Force did not have enough
KC-135 Stratotanker The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is an American military aerial refueling aircraft that was developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype, alongside the Boeing 707 airliner. It is the predominant variant of the Boeing C-135 Stratolifter, C-135 Strat ...
aircraft available in Europe to train its fighter pilots in USAFE. The operation eventually involved nine ANG air refueling groups that rotated approximately every two weeks to
Rhein-Main Air Base Rhein-Main Air Base (located at ) was a United States Air Force air base near the city of Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It was a Military Airlift Command (MAC) and United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) installation, occupying the south side of ...
in
West Germany West Germany is the colloquial term used to indicate the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification through the accession of East Germany on 3 O ...
. The
Vietnam War The Vietnam War (also known by #Names, other names) was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vi ...
provided the next significant test for the Air National Guard. However, for largely domestic political reasons, President Lyndon B. Johnson chose not to mobilize most of the nation's reserve forces before 1968. His reasons for not mobilizing reserve forces were many. Primarily, he did not believe that the war in Vietnam justified the dramatic act of mobilizing Reserve and National Guard forces. He accepted the need to fight the war, but he wanted to prosecute it as quietly as possible, not attracting too much attention at home and risk jeopardizing his domestic programs. He also wanted to avoid drawing the Communist Chinese into the war or the attention of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, the latter which might view the mobilization of Reserve and National Guard units as "escalatory" within a larger
Cold War The Cold War is a term commonly used to refer to a period of Geopolitics, geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies, the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc. The term ''Cold war (term), co ...
context. Moreover, recalling Reservists' complaints of inactivity following the Berlin mobilization of 1961, he was also reluctant to recall Reservists and National Guardsmen without the assurance that their employment would significantly affect the course of the war, an assurance no official in his administration could provide. As a result, even though still populated by many World War II and Korean War combat veterans, the Reserves and the National Guard acquired ill-deserved reputations during this period as havens for relatively affluent, young white men with no prior active duty military service to serve as officers or enlisted personnel as a means to avoid the draft into the active duty U.S. Army in an enlisted status. Air National Guard airlift units, however, began flying regularly to Japan and
South Vietnam South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam Cộng hòa), was a state in Southeast Asia that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of th ...
beginning in 1966 to support
Military Airlift Command The Military Airlift Command (MAC) is an inactive United States Air Force List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, major command (MAJCOM) that was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Established on 1 January 1966, MA ...
(MAC) operations. These flights continued on a regular basis until 1972. In addition, between August 1965 and September 1969, Air National Guard domestic and offshore aeromedical evacuation flights freed active duty Air Force resources for such missions in Southeast Asia (SEA). However, after the 1968 Tet Offensive in which the Communist
North Vietnamese North Vietnam, officially the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV; vi, Việt Nam Dân chủ Cộng hòa), was a socialist state supported by the Soviet Union (USSR) and the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Southeast Asia that existed f ...
and
Vietcong The Viet Cong, ; contraction of (Vietnamese communist) was an armed Communism, communist organization in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It fought under the direction of North Vietnam against the South Vietnamese and United States governments ...
troops attacked positions throughout the
Republic of Vietnam South Vietnam, officially the Republic of Vietnam ( vi, Việt Nam Cộng hòa), was a state in Southeast Asia that existed from 1955 to 1975, the period when the southern portion of Vietnam was a member of the Western Bloc during part of th ...
, the Pentagon dispatched four Air National Guard fighter squadrons to that nation. In addition, the Pueblo Crisis in Korea also saw mobilized Air Force Reservists, Air National Guardsmen and Naval Reservists in flying units. That crisis prompted the third partial Air National Guard mobilization since the end of World War II, and eventually two ANG fighter squadrons were dispatched to South Korea. However, the Pueblo crisis ended without a resort to combat. In July 1970, two EC-121 "Super Constellations" from the Pennsylvania ANG's 193rd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron departed their home station for
Korat RTAFB Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base is a base of the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) in northeast Thailand, approximately 200 km (125 mi) northeast of Bangkok and about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of the centre of the city of Nakhon Ratchasi ...
, Thailand. During the next six months, approximately 60 Air National Guardsmen were rotated through the latter installation on 30- to 60-day tours in Operation "Commando Buzz," their aircraft serving as flying radar stations and airborne control platforms for U.S. air operations in Southeast Asia (SEA) until January 1971. The 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron (355th TFS) in 1967 was a Regular Air Force squadron assigned to the
354th Tactical Fighter Wing The 354th Fighter Wing is a United States Air Force wing that is part of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). It is the host wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and is assigned to the Eleventh Air Force (11 AF). The wing replaced the 343d Fighter Win ...
at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina. From January 1968 until June 1969, the 355th TFS changed from a Regular Air Force unit composed almost entirely of recent SEA returnees to a composite squadron consisting of approximately 50% of whose personnel assets were composed of activated ANG members from the 119th TFS of the New Jersey ANG) and the 121st TFS of the District of Columbia ANG). The 355th deployed on temporary duty (TDY) to Phù Cát Air Base on 14 May 1968 with 13 of its 30 pilots being ANG members. The transfer became permanent on 26 June 1968, at which time all TDY members were offered the opportunity to volunteer for a full year's tour. All 13 ANG pilots volunteered, one of whom was killed in action a month later. By Christmas 1968, 87% of the squadron's support personnel were ANG members. Five of the ANG pilots also volunteered as ''Misty'' Forward Air Controllers (FACs) flying the
F-100 Super Sabre The North American F-100 Super Sabre is an American supersonic jet engine, jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The first of the Century S ...
. In all, ANG pilots were awarded 23
Silver Star The Silver Star Medal (SSM) is the United States Armed Forces' third-highest Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces, military decoration for Courage, valor in combat. The Silver Star Medal is awarded primarily to members of t ...
s, 47 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 46
Bronze Star The Bronze Star Medal (BSM) is a Awards and decorations of the United States Armed Forces, United States Armed Forces decoration awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for either heroic achievement, heroic service, meritorious a ...
s with Combat V for valor while stationed at Phu Cat.


Total Force Concept

As part of the re-thinking of military concepts after the Vietnam War, beginning in the early 1970s with the establishment of the All-Volunteer Armed Forces, both the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve force planning and policymaking were influenced by the "Total Force" Concept and have remained so to this day. The concept sought to strengthen and rebuild public confidence in the reserve forces while saving money by reducing the size of the active duty force. In practical terms, the Total Force policy sought to ensure that all policymaking, planning, programming, and budgetary activities within the Defense Department considered active and reserve forces concurrently and determined the most efficient mix of those forces in terms of costs versus contributions to national security. The policy also insured that Reservists and Guardsmen, not draftees, would be the first and primary source of manpower to augment the active duty forces in any future crisis.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), The Total Force With the active forces being reduced after the end of the Vietnam War, a significant number of older
C-130A Hercules The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 ...
tactical airlifters became available for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, which allowed the Korean War-era
C-119 Flying Boxcar The Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar (Navy and Marine Corps designation R4Q) was an American military transport aircraft developed from the World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was ...
s and C-124 Globemasters to be retired. However, the Total Force Concept led to pressure to upgrade the reserve forces to front-line aircraft and beginning in 1974, new Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) A-7D Corsair II ground attack aircraft began to be sent to Air National Guard units directly from the LTV manufacturing plant in Dallas. As
A-10 Thunderbolt II The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is a single-seat, twin-turbofan, straight-wing, subsonic attack aircraft developed by Fairchild Republic for the United States Air Force (USAF). In service since 1976, it is named for the Repub ...
s began to replace the A-7Ds in the Regular Air Force in the mid and late 1970s, additional A-7D aircraft were transferred to the ANG.
F-4 Phantom II The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is an American tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy.Swanborough a ...
s began to be received by the ANG in the late 1970s with the F-15A Eagle and
F-16A Fighting Falcon The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of f ...
s coming into the active inventory and ANG's
F-100 Super Sabre The North American F-100 Super Sabre is an American supersonic jet engine, jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The first of the Century S ...
s being retired. Starting in 1975, the ANG began conducting operations in Latin America and by the late 1970s to defend the
Panama Canal The Panama Canal ( es, Canal de Panamá, link=no) is an artificial waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximatel ...
and to provide training support, embassy resupply, search and rescue, and counterdrug operations. In addition, the ANG airlifted supplies and hardware to remote radar sites and performed aerial mapping operations. In June 1979, the 137th Tactical Airlift Wing of the
Oklahoma Air National Guard The Oklahoma Air National Guard (OK ANG) is the aerial militia of the Oklahoma, State of Oklahoma, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, an element of the Oklahoma National Guard. As state mi ...
marked the first time an ANG airlift unit was equipped with brand new transport aircraft: it received four factory-fresh C-130H Hercules aircraft. Several years later, Congress institutionalized the practice of purchasing limited amounts of new weapons and equipment for the reserve components via National Guard and Reserve Equipment (NG&RE) funding allocations. Under the auspices of this separate appropriation for Guard and Reserve equipment established in 1982 under President
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician, actor, and union leader who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He also served as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 ...
, 69 brand new C-130s entered the ANG's inventory from 1984 to 1991. In July 1972, Air National Guard units began supporting Air Force tanker task forces overseas with second-line
KC-97 Stratofreighter The Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter is a four-engined, piston-powered United States strategic tanker aircraft This is a list of tanker aircraft used for Aerial refueling, aerial refuelling of another aircraft whilst in Powered aircraft, powered f ...
propeller-driven tankers and volunteer crews when needed. Triggered by a 1974 decision by Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger to save money, the Ohio Air National Guard's 145th Air Refueling Squadron acquired the ANG's first jet tanker in April 1975 when it began converting from KC-97Ls to KC-135A Stratotankers. Altogether, the Air Force transferred 128 older KC-135s to the air reserve components to retire the slow prop-driven tankers, which modern fighters had to reduce speed to nearly stall speed in order to refuel from. During the 1980s, changes in the Air National Guard's force structure and readiness were primarily driven by President Reagan's military buildup and the need to prepare for a possible war between the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
(NATO) and the
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Pact (WP) or Treaty of Warsaw, formally the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a Collective security#Collective defense, collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Polish People's Republic, Poland, between ...
in Central Europe. The ANG focused on modernization, more realistic combat training, increased readiness, and personnel growth, primarily in nonflying, mission support units. In 1979,
Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the U ...
assumed the atmospheric air defense mission of the United States with the inactivation of Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM or ADC). ADC fighter interceptor units were initially realigned into a component called Air Defense, Tactical Air Command (ADTAC), at the level of an Air Division. In 1985,
First Air Force The First Air Force (Air Forces Northern; 1 AF-AFNORTH) is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC). It is headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Its primary mission is the air defense of the Conti ...
(1 AF) was reactivated by TAC and given the mission to provide, train and equip ADTAC combat ready forces. Upon its reactivation, First Air Force was composed of units of both the active Air Force and the Air National Guard. In the years since its third activation, more of the responsibility for the defense of American air sovereignty was shifted to the Air National Guard. By the 1990s, 90 percent of the air defense mission was being handled by the Air National Guard. In October 1997, First Air Force became an Air National Guard
numbered air force A Numbered Air Force (NAF) is a type of organization in the United States Air Force that is subordinate to a List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, major command (MAJCOM) and has assigned to it operational units such as wings, squ ...
, charged with the air defense of the North American continent. Instead of increasing the number of units, the National Guard Bureau authorized units to increase the number of aircraft assigned to them when the Air Force made those planes available. In 1982, the South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Tactical Fighter Group began receiving new General Dynamics
F-16A Fighting Falcon The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of f ...
s. In Air Force-wide competitions, ANG units and individuals frequently placed high or won. This was due in no small part to the ANG units being manned by more senior pilots and weapon systems officers, most of whom had recent combat experience as prior active duty officers in the Regular Air Force and who continued to hone their skills in fighter aircraft while their active duty contemporaries had to leave the cockpit for career enhancing non-flying staff assignments. The 169th Tactical Fighter Group garnered top team honors in the Air Force's worldwide gunnery contest,
Gunsmoke ''Gunsmoke'' is an American radio and television Western (genre), Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. It centers on Dodge City, Kansas, in the 1870s, during the settlement of the Western United Stat ...
'89. During the late 1980s, the Air National Guard's
F-106 Delta Dart The Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft of the United States Air Force from the 1960s through to the 1980s. Designed as the so-called "Ultimate Interceptor", it proved to be the last specialist interceptor i ...
s,
F-4 Phantom II The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is an American tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy.Swanborough a ...
s and A-7D Corsair IIs were being replaced by F-15A and F-15B Eagles and F-16A and F-16B Fighting Falcons as more advanced models such as the F-15C/D and F-16C/D were brought into active service with the Regular Air Force.


Post Cold War era

The expiration of the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, beginning with the fall of the
Berlin Wall The Berlin Wall (german: Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that encircled West Berlin from 1961 to 1989, separating it from East Berlin and East Germany (GDR). Construction of the Berlin Wall was commenced by the govern ...
and
Glasnost ''Glasnost'' (; russian: link=no, гласность, ) has several general and specific meanings – a policy of maximum openness in the activities of state institutions and freedom of information, the inadmissibility of hushing up problems, ...
in 1989 and culminating in the USSR's breakup into its republics in 1991, constituted a major upheaval that continued to influence global politics into the 21st century.


Panama

In December 1989 and January 1990, ANG volunteers participated in
Operation Just Cause Operation or Operations may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * Operation (game), ''Operation'' (game), a battery-operated board game that challenges dexterity * Operation (music), a term used in musical set theory * Operations (magazine ...
, the invasion of Panama, to secure the arrest of Panamanian dictator and accused drug lord, General
Manuel Noriega Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno (; February 11, 1934 – May 29, 2017) was a Panamanian dictator, politician and military officer who was the ''de facto'' ruler of Panama from 1983 to 1989. An authoritarian ruler who amassed a personal f ...
. Air National Guard aircrews already deployed TDY to
Howard AFB Howard Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base located in Panama. It discontinued military operations on 1 November 1999 as a result of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, which specified that US military facilities in the former Pan ...
, Panama also participated in Just Cause. Volunteer C-130 crews completed 181 sorties moving 3,107 passengers and 551.3 tons of cargo. In addition, Air National Guard A-7 Corsair II attack jets from the South Dakota Air National Guard's 114th Tactical Fighter Group and the Ohio Air National Guard's 180th Tactical Fighter Group flew 34 combat missions in support of the invasion. However, the Air National Guard and the Total Force concept would be fully tested in the two major operations of the 1990s:
Operation Desert Shield The Gulf War was a 1990–1991 armed campaign waged by a 35-country military coalition in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Spearheaded by the United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as t ...
and the first Gulf War,
Operation Desert Storm Operation or Operations may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * ''Operation'' (game), a battery-operated board game that challenges dexterity * Operation (music), a term used in musical set theory * ''Operations'' (magazine), Multi-Ma ...
. In August 1990, ANG F-15 and F-16 fighter units initiated similar rotational service for Operation Coronet Nighthawk, the successor to Operation Volant Oak, out of
Howard Air Force Base Howard Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of th ...
, Panama. Those units monitored suspected airborne drug traffickers transiting Central America as well as the adjacent oceans. As the 1999 transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama approached, the Air National Guard began turning the operation over to civilian contractors. The last Air National Guardsmen completed their deployments to these South American sites in 1999.


Persian Gulf crisis

Following the seizure of
Kuwait Kuwait (; ar, الكويت ', or ), officially the State of Kuwait ( ar, دولة الكويت '), is a country in Western Asia. It is situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, bordering Iraq to Iraq–Ku ...
by
Iraq Iraq,; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq officially the Republic of Iraq, '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Turkey to Iraq–Turkey border, the north, Iran to Iran–Iraq ...
i forces in August 1990, the Air Force turned to both of its reserve components for help and was swamped with volunteers. Before President George H. W. Bush mobilized Reservists and National Guardsmen on 22 August 1990, nearly 1,300 Air National Guardsmen actually entered active duty as volunteers. Initially, most of them concentrated on aerial refueling and airlifting American forces to the Persian Gulf region. The first two ANG units to volunteer before the President's mobilization order were the 105th Military Airlift Group of the
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
, and the 172nd Military Airlift Group of the Mississippi Air National Guard. Respectively, they flew the C-5A Galaxy and the C-141B Starlifter.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Desert Shield and Desert Storm Altogether, 12,456 Air National Guardsmen participated in Air Force operations during the Persian Gulf crisis/first
Gulf War The Gulf War was a 1990–1991 armed campaign waged by a Coalition of the Gulf War, 35-country military coalition in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Spearheaded by the United States, the coalition's efforts against Ba'athist Iraq, ...
. When called upon, Air National Guardsmen were immediately prepared to perform their missions alongside their active Air Force counterparts. They did not need additional training or new equipment to do their jobs. They were integrated into most of the Air Force's operational missions, flying strategic airlift and aerial refueling sorties, and manning aerial ports. Air National Guardsmen also flew fighter, attack, aerial reconnaissance, special operations, and tactical theater airlift missions. Compared to previous mobilizations, ANG units and individuals during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm were much better prepared to perform their missions upon entry into federal service. Units were well equipped and well trained. As planned, they were able to respond much more rapidly and effectively than in previous call-ups. They were integrated into operations with their active duty and Air Force Reserve counterparts with a minimum of disruption and delay. In a new concept at the time, relatively few ANG outfits were mobilized as units. Instead, the Air Force called up packages of equipment and personnel that were developed after the crisis began. Mobilizing entire flying units and maintaining their integrity while in federal service, although desirable, would no longer be the only acceptable approach to supporting the Air Force in a crisis. Instead the Air National Guard would be flexible in its response in order to fit the situation. That could involve individual volunteers, tailored packages of volunteers, or mobilized Air National Guardsmen developed in response to specific contingencies. After the first Gulf War ended in 1991, air power continued to play a significant role in containing
Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein ( ; ar, صدام حسين, Ṣaddām Ḥusayn; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was an Iraqi politician who served as the fifth president of Iraq from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolution ...
's regime in Iraq, as did a naval blockade and United Nations economic sanctions. Together those forces also crippled the economic and military foundations of Hussein's power. The Air National Guard participated widely in that long campaign, which featured U.S. and Coalition aircraft maintaining two no-fly zones over portions of Iraq: Operation Southern Watch (OSW) and Operation Northern Watch (ONW). In addition, ANG units provided humanitarian aid to the Kurdish population in northern Iraq. Later deploying units to Turkey participated in Operation Northern Watch that was focused strictly on enforcing the no-fly zone above the 36th parallel in Iraq as mandated by the UN and did not include humanitarian relief for the Kurds.


Front-line aircraft

Following the first Gulf War, the Air National Guard's senior leadership in the National Guard Bureau began to adapt their organization for the post-Cold War era in a series of far-reaching discussions with top echelon Air Force personnel, state officials, unit leaders, and members of Congress. Essentially, the Air Force agreed it would attempt to retain all ANG and Air Force Reserve flying units, while reducing its own as a cost-effective way to maintain a post-Cold War force structure. However, as limited amounts of newer equipment became available from a smaller Air Force, and budgets tightened, the ANG would reduce the numbers of aircraft assigned to each unit. If necessary, it would combine units at the same locations. Some organizations would close down, but only as a last resort.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Adapting the Force for the Post-Cold War Era Aided by the newer aircraft from the shrinking Air Force inventory, the Air National Guard modernized and reshaped its fleet after the Cold War. The size and composition of the ANG's aircraft inventory changed significantly after 1991. From 1991 to 2001 the ANG experienced an enormous growth in large aircraft including
C-130H Hercules The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 ...
tactical airlifters, upgraded KC-135E and KC-135R Stratotankers, and
B-1B Lancer The Rockwell B-1 Lancer is a supersonic variable-sweep wing, heavy bomber used by the United States Air Force. It is commonly called the "Bone" (from "B-One"). It is one of three strategic bombers serving in the U.S. Air Force fleet along with ...
strategic bombers at the expense of smaller fighter planes. One of the most critical modernization challenges facing the ANG involved its extensive fleet of older model F-16As and F-16Bs. As its goal, the ANG sought to acquire F-16C Block 25/30/32 aircraft, enabling ANG fighter units to have around-the-clock, all-weather, precision strike capabilities against surface targets. The first F-16As and F-16Bs to be retired from service entered storage with AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB during 1993, with three aircraft from the 138th Fighter Squadron of the
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
, followed by 17 examples from the 160th Fighter Squadron of the
Alabama Air National Guard The Alabama Air National Guard (AL ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alabama, State of Alabama, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama Army National Guard, an element of the Alabama National Guard. As state milit ...
, which were updated with F-16Cs and F-16Ds from the shrinking active duty force. In the general military drawdown following the end of the Cold War, many European-based F-15C Eagles previously assigned to USAFE were also transferred stateside. The 101st Fighter Squadron of the
Massachusetts Air National Guard The Massachusetts Air National Guard (MA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Massachusetts, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, an element of the Massachuse ...
received new F-15Cs that were previously with the 32nd Fighter Group, Soesterberg AB, Netherlands in 1994. Other F-15A / F-15B units were upgraded to the F-15C and F-15D as they became available during the mid-1990s. In the early 1990s, with the disestablishment of
Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) Major Command responsible for command and control of the strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile c ...
(SAC),
Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the U ...
(TAC) and
Military Airlift Command The Military Airlift Command (MAC) is an inactive United States Air Force List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, major command (MAJCOM) that was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Established on 1 January 1966, MA ...
(MAC) and their replacement with
Air Combat Command Air Combat Command (ACC) is one of nine List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, Major Commands (MAJCOMs) in the United States Air Force, reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force (HAF) at the Pentagon. It is the primary ...
(ACC) and
Air Mobility Command Air Mobility Command (AMC) is a major command (MAJCOM) of the U.S. Air Force. It is headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, east of St. Louis, Missouri. Air Mobility Command was established on 1 June 1992, and was formed from elem ...
(AMC), all Air National Guard units transitioned to the objective wing organization. Most flying unit designations were simplified to "Airlift" or "Fighter" or "Air Refueling" or "Rescue", with flying squadrons being assigned to Operations Groups. Also, on 1 October 1994, in accordance with the USAF "one base-one wing" policy, all Air National Guard flying units previously designated as a "group" had their status changed to a "wing" no later than 1 October 1995. Additionally, ANG stations hosting flying units were re-designated as an "Air National Guard Base" if they were not collocated on an active duty installation.


Balkans operations

Other overseas operations during the 1990s took Air National Guardsmen to
Somalia Somalia, , Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitut ...
, the former
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh-Latn-Cyrl, separator=" / ", Jugoslavija, Југославија ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; rue, label= Pannonian Rusyn, Югославия, translit=Juhoslavij ...
, Haiti, and
Rwanda Rwanda (; rw, u Rwanda ), officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and Southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the Equator ...
to augment the Air Force in a series of contingencies and humanitarian relief operations. Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units would generally assume responsibility for an operation for 30 to 90 days, and then rotate their personnel on 15- to 30-day tours to a given location until the commitment ended.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Real World Operations In July 1992, crews and C-130s from West Virginia's 167th Airlift Group inaugurated ANG involvement in Operation Provide Promise by flying food and relief supplies from Rhein-Main AB, Germany to
Sarajevo Sarajevo ( ; cyrl, Сарајево, ; ''see Names of European cities in different languages (Q–T)#S, names in other languages'') is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a population of 275,524 in its a ...
,
Bosnia Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
's capital, which had a population of 380,000. That operation expanded significantly the following February to include airdrops of food and medicine to Muslim enclaves in eastern Bosnia blockaded by
Bosnian Serbs The Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sr-Cyrl, Срби у Босни и Херцеговини, Srbi u Bosni i Hercegovini) are one of the three constitutive nations (state-forming nations) of the country, predominantly residing in the politi ...
. Altogether, personnel and C-130s from 12 ANG units participated in Provide Promise. During the operation, Air Force, ANG, and Air Force Reserve transports flew 4,533 sorties and delivered 62,802 metric tons of cargo. They performed airlift, airdrop, and medical evacuation missions. The Americans made a major contribution to the overall allied effort, which involved airmen from 21 nations. The humanitarian airlift operation accounted for about 95 percent of the aid delivered during the -year siege of Sarajevo. On 2 April 1993,
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental military alliance between 30 Member sta ...
troops from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Germany, and Italy as well as the United States launched
Operation Deny Flight Operation Deny Flight was a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmen ...
, a no-fly zone for Serbian aircraft over
Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina ( sh, / , ), abbreviated BiH () or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and Pars pro toto#Geography, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country at the crossroads of Southern Europe, south and southeast Euro ...
. It enforced a March 1993
UN Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the Organs of the United Nations, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN) and is charged with ensuring international security, international peace and security, recommending the admi ...
Resolution passed to help prevent the war from spreading. The operation also provided
close air support In military tactics, close air support (CAS) is defined as air action such as Airstrike, air strikes by Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed or rotorcraft, rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets near friendly forces and require detailed integration ...
to UN Protection Force ground troops serving as peacekeepers, and
airstrike An airstrike, air strike or air raid is an offensive operation carried out by aircraft. Air strikes are delivered from aircraft such as blimps, balloons, Fighter aircraft, fighters, bomber, heavy bombers, ground attack aircraft, attack helicopter ...
s against
Serb The Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are the most numerous South Slavs, South Slavic ethnic group native to the Balkans in Southeastern Europe, who share a common Serbian Cultural heritage, ancestry, Culture of Serbia, culture, History of ...
weapons threatening UN-designated safe areas in Bosnia. The first ANG fighter unit involved was the Connecticut Air National Guard's A-10-equipped 103rd Fighter Group. Aircraft and personnel from the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Fighter Group and Michigan Air National Guard's 110th Fighter Group joined the contingent from Connecticut. Along with unit personnel, the six Air National Guard and six Air Force Reserve A-10s returned to their home stations in mid-January 1994 after flying 520 sorties and accumulating over 1,400 hours of Deny Flight flying time. Air National Guard tanker support of Deny Flight began in June 1994 with the dispatch of 10 KC-135s and 18 aircrews from six units to Istres Air Base, France, and Pisa Airport, Italy. By the time Deny Flight ended on 20 December 1995, elements of seven Air Guard fighter and 11 air refueling units had participated in it.
Operation Deliberate Force Operation Deliberate Force was a sustained air campaign conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
, was initiated in August 1995 after the Bosnian Serb army shelled a Sarajevo marketplace killing 43 civilians and wounding 75 more. A contingent from the 104th Fighter Wing participated in the action. The intensity of the bombing stunned the Serbs. Coupled with victories of an American-trained Croatian-Muslim army in western Bosnia, that operation forced the Serbs to sue for peace. NATO halted the bombing on 14 September 1995, and ended Deliberate Force six days later. The Air National Guard returned to the Balkans in the mid-1990s as part of the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia, Operation Joint Guard, and its successor, Operation Joint Forge. Volunteers from 13 Air National Guard airlift units provided 71 C-130s to Joint Forge. On average, ANG airlift deployment packages consisted of approximately 75 personnel and two C-130 aircraft. They were based at
Ramstein AB Ramstein Air Base or Ramstein AB is a United States Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in southwestern Germany. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) and also ...
, Germany, to provide the necessary airlift support for U.S. military forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina and other locations across Europe.


Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) Concept

In August 1998, the Air Force inaugurated a new concept. Based on experiences during the Persian Gulf War and numerous deployments to the Balkans and other contingency operations, it organized more than 2,000 aircraft, including those of Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units, into 10 Air Expeditionary Forces (AEFs), later designated as the Aerospace Expeditionary Forces, and, in 2007, the Air Expeditionary Forces. AEFs would rotate in order to ease the strain of increased post-Cold War operations overseas. The AEF promised to spread the burden of deployments more widely among flying units, Active Duty, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard. Moreover, the timing of rotations became more predictable. Greater predictability would enable Airmen, especially those in the Air Reserve Component, to better manage the competing demands of families, civilian careers, and military service. Air National Guard aviation units would be expected to deploy overseas once every 15 months while support units would do so at 30-month intervals. Driven by those requirements, Air National Guard planners in the National Guard Bureau began to "reengineer" ANG units to better participate in their expeditionary roles. The benefits of this concept became apparent in the events of the early 2000s.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), The Expeditionary Force Concept


Global war on terrorism


11 September 2001

The defining events for the Air National Guard (ANG) as well as for the United States occurred with the
al Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; , ) is an Islamic extremism, Islamic extremist organization composed of Salafist jihadists. Its members are mostly composed of Arab, Arabs, but also include other peoples. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military ta ...
attacks of 11 September 2001 on the
World Trade Center World Trade Centers are sites recognized by the World Trade Centers Association. World Trade Center may refer to: Buildings * List of World Trade Centers * World Trade Center (2001–present), a building complex that includes five skyscrapers, a ...
in New York City and
the Pentagon The Pentagon is the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense. It was constructed on an accelerated schedule during World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, w ...
in Washington, D.C. The only air defense fighter units stationed within the entire northeastern United States belonged to the Air National Guard.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), America Attacked At 8:38 am, the
Federal Aviation Administration The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the largest transportation agency of the U.S. government and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the country as well as over surrounding international waters. Its powers include air traffi ...
(FAA) in Boston, Massachusetts, reported a possible hijacking and called the
Otis Air National Guard Base Otis Air National Guard Base is an Air National Guard installation located within Joint Base Cape Cod, a military training facility located on the western portion of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It was known a ...
control tower on Cape Cod, home to the Massachusetts ANG's 102nd Fighter Wing, to request military assistance. At that time, Major Dan Nash and Lieutenant Colonel Tim Duffy had air defense alert duty for the 102nd. At 8:40 am Colonel Bob Marr, a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman serving as NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector commander, learned from the FAA that
American Airlines Flight 11 American Airlines Flight 11 was a domestic Airline, passenger flight that was Aircraft hijacking, hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001 as part of the September 11 attacks. Lead hijacker Mohamed Atta deliberately crashed th ...
might have been hijacked. The two pilots immediately suited up and headed for their F-15s. Marr ordered Nash and Duffy into the air; their F-15s were airborne within six minutes and as directed, headed for New York City, 153 miles away. Unknown to the pilots, American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City just as Colonel Marr was delivering his order. Meanwhile, at 8:43 am, the FAA reported another possible hijacking to the Northeast Air Defense Sector. That was Boston to Los Angeles
United Airlines Flight 175 United Airlines Flight 175 was a domestic Airline, passenger flight that was Aircraft hijacking, hijacked by five al-Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001, as part of the September 11 attacks. The flight's scheduled plan was from Logan Intern ...
. At 9:02 am, with the F-15s still 71 miles away, that plane crashed into the World Trade Center's South Tower. At 9:09 am the pilots of the North Dakota Air National Guards F-16s of the 119th Fighter Wing were standing by, ready to launch, at their forward alert operating location at
Langley AFB Langley Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in Hampton, Virginia, adjacent to Newport News, Virginia, Newport News. It was one of List of airfields of the Training Section of the United States Army Air Service, thirty-two ...
, Virginia, located about 130 miles southeast of Washington, DC. They were at their battle stations because of a growing general concern about the situation that morning. Seven minutes later, the FAA reported that United Airlines Flight 93, outbound from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, California, might also have been hijacked. The FAA notified the Northeast Air Defense Sector eight minutes later that American Flight 77, a flight from Dulles International Airport, Virginia, near Washington, DC, to Los Angeles, California, also appeared to be the victim of hijackers. At 9:24 am Colonel Marr ordered three F-16s (two alert aircraft and a spare) scrambled from Langley AFB to check out an unidentified intermittent aircraft track heading toward Washington DC. In six minutes, the Langley F-16s were airborne. In accordance with established NORAD procedures, the F-16s were initially directed to head northeast to avoid some of the most heavily traveled commercial airline routes rather than to fly directly to the Washington, DC, area. Major Dean Eckmann and Major Brad Derrig, plus Captain Craig Borgstrom of the 119th Fighter Wing were directed to fly at maximum subsonic speed, 660 miles per hour. At about 40 miles away, they saw the billowing smoke of American Airlines Flight 77, which had crashed into the Pentagon at 9:43 am. As the North Dakota Air Guardsmen neared Washington, DC, Major Eckmann, the flight lead, set up a patrol over the nation's capital with the help of air traffic controllers at the Northeast Air Defense Sector. On 22 May 2002, a Joint Resolution was passed by the
Congress of the United States The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, composed of a lower body, the United States House of Representatives, House of Representatives, and an upper body, ...
recognizing the members of the 102nd Fighter Wingfor their actions on 11 September 2001. The resolution in part states:
Whereas on the morning of 11 September 2001, the 102nd Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard became the Nation's first airborne responder to the terrorist attacks of that day when it scrambled two F-15 fighter aircraft just six minutes after being informed of the terrorist hijackings of commercial airliners.


Operation Noble Eagle

As a result of the September 11 attacks in 2001, homeland defense became the top national defense priority the enhanced defense of North America and military support to civilian government agencies, known as
Operation Noble Eagle Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) is the United States and Canada, Canadian military operation related to homeland security and support to federal, state, and local agencies. The operation began 11 September 2001, in response to the September 11 atta ...
, began early the next day.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Operation Noble Eagle During the first 24 hours of the crisis, 34 Air National Guard fighter units flew 179 missions. Eighteen tanker units generated 78 aircraft in the same time period. Through 28 September, for example, the
Alabama Air National Guard The Alabama Air National Guard (AL ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alabama, State of Alabama, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama Army National Guard, an element of the Alabama National Guard. As state milit ...
's
117th Air Refueling Wing The 117th Air Refueling Wing is a unit of the Alabama Air National Guard The Alabama Air National Guard (AL ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alabama, State of Alabama, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama A ...
kept aircraft aloft on a continuous basis. Air National Guard units also contributed 111
C-130 The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 ...
aircraft for movement of personnel and equipment to needed locations, and more than 3,000 ANG security forces personnel supported the mission, augmenting civilian security police as necessary. A week after the attacks, Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld Donald Henry Rumsfeld (July 9, 1932 – June 29, 2021) was an American politician, government official and businessman who served as United States Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under president Gerald Ford, and a ...
announced the call up of over more than 5,000 members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to support the nation's increased security requirements. On 22 September, President
George W. Bush George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. A member of the Republican Party (United States), Republican Party, Bush family, and son of the 41st ...
mobilized about 5,100 more members of the air reserve components, including approximately 3,000 air refueling and about 130 security specialists. Guardsmen gained national visibility starting 27 September when President George W. Bush asked the governors for their temporary help at commercial airports, which had reopened a few days after 9/11 with new security restrictions. In the airports they would "Temporarily augment the civilian airport security function of the nation's commercial airports with a trained, armed, and highly visible military presence." For more than seven months, several thousand Guardsmen performed those security duties, with additional Guardsmen called into service during the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holiday period. Although the Army Guard provided the vast majority of the enhanced airport security force, several hundred Air National Guard personnel also participated. Combat Air Patrols (CAPs) began to be flown 24/7 over major cities in the United States. ANG squadrons at 26 bases were put at tremendous strain to support the operations. The Air National Guard ran continuous round-the-clock combat air patrols over New York City and Washington, D.C., until spring 2002. In addition, when key events occurred such as the
2002 Winter Olympics The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially the XIX Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Salt Lake 2002 ( arp, Niico'ooowu' 2002; Gosiute Shoshoni: ''Tit'-so-pi 2002''; nv, Sooléí 2002; Shoshoni: ''Soónkahni 2002''), was an internation ...
in Utah,
Space Shuttle The Space Shuttle is a retired, partially reusable launch system, reusable low Earth orbital spacecraft system operated from 1981 to 2011 by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of the Space Shuttle program. I ...
launches in Florida, baseball's
World Series The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada, contested since 1903 World Series, 1903 between the champion teams of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The ...
and football's
Super Bowl The Super Bowl is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League (NFL) to determine the History of the National Football League championship, league champion. It has served as the final game of every NFL season since 1966, repla ...
, similar air patrols helped provide security. The Air National Guard also flew random patrols over various urban areas; nuclear power plants; major military installations such as
MacDill AFB MacDill Air Force Base (MacDill AFB) is an active United States Air Force installation located 4 miles (6.4 km) south-southwest of downtown Tampa, Florida. The "host wing" for MacDill AFB is the 6th Air Refueling Wing (6 ARW), assig ...
, Florida,
Peterson AFB Peterson Space Force Base, previously Peterson Air Force Base, Peterson Field, and Army Air Base, Colorado Springs, is a United States Space Force, U.S. Space Force Base that shares an airfield with the adjacent Colorado Springs Municipal Airp ...
, Colorado,
Offutt AFB Offutt Air Force Base is a United States Air Force, U.S. Air Force Air Force Base, base south of Omaha, Nebraska, Omaha, adjacent to Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue in Sarpy County, Nebraska. It is the headquarters of the United States Strategic ...
, Nebraska and Scott AFB, Illinois that were home to various combatant command headquarters; weapons storage facilities and laboratories. Because estimates of the nation's security situation became more optimistic, in spring 2002, the Air Force eliminated the continuous patrols and substituted random ones by the summer.


Operation Enduring Freedom

On 20 September 2001, President Bush told a televised joint session of Congress and the American people that
Osama bin Laden Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (10 March 1957 – 2 May 2011) was a Saudi-born extremist militant who founded al-Qaeda and served as its leader from 1988 until Killing of Osama bin Laden, his death in 2011. Ideologically a Pan-Islamism ...
and his
al Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; , ) is an Islamic extremism, Islamic extremist organization composed of Salafist jihadists. Its members are mostly composed of Arab, Arabs, but also include other peoples. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military ta ...
network were responsible for the recent terrorist attacks on the United States. The refusal of the Taliban to comply resulted in the United States taking military action to achieve the president's demands, the action given the name
Operation Enduring Freedom Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was the official name used synonymously by the U.S. government for both the War in Afghanistan (2001–2014) and the larger-scale Global War on Terrorism. On 7 October 2001, in response to the September 11 atta ...
.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Operation Enduring Freedom The ANG was involved even before the fighting in Afghanistan began. With the war imminent, the Air Force quickly established an airlift operations plan that included active duty, Guard, and Reserve components. It became one of the most extensive operations in Air Force history. Furthermore, the Air Force met the logistical needs of that operation despite the severe shortage of strategic airlift and troublesome maintenance needs of the older planes. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and weeks before the first U.S. bomb was dropped over Afghanistan, the Air Force established air bridges to help funnel material and personnel overseas to support multiple operations in conjunction with Enduring Freedom. Air National Guard tanker units received orders by 20 September 2001, to be in their deployed locations before the start of their air bridge operations. Some ANG tanker units also flew humanitarian support missions. By using European bases, the Air Force could transfer cargo from the larger aircraft to smaller planes, refuel aircraft on the ground, exchange flight crews, give crews rest opportunities, and repair broken aircraft. The Air National Guard contributed two
C-141 Starlifter The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter is a retired military strategic airlifter that served with the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), its successor organization the Military Airlift Command (MAC), and finally the Air Mobility Command (AMC) of t ...
units, the 155th Airlift Squadron / 164th Airlift Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard; and the 183rd Airlift Squadron / 172nd Airlift Wing, Mississippi Air National Guard, to the strategic airlift mission. The Air National Guard's sole
C-5 Galaxy The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed, and now maintained and upgraded by its successor, Lockheed Martin. It provides the United States Air Force (USAF) with a heavy ...
unit, the 137th Airlift Squadron / 105th Airlift Wing,
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, also contributed to the operation. Through the ANG's airlift participation in Europe, the Regular Air Force and Air Force Reserve (Associate)
C-17 Globemaster III The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of t ...
s could support Enduring Freedom directly. When the war began, only Air National Guard units assigned to
Air Force Special Operations Command Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), headquartered at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is the Special forces, special operations component of the United States Air Force. An Air Force List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, majo ...
(AFSOC) deployed directly to Afghanistan to support combat operations. Typically, ANG special operations units in 13-man teams first went to active duty bases in the United States, and later to overseas locations. The 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard, was the first ANG fighter unit to deploy to Southwest Asia in direct support of the air war over Afghanistan. It sent over 200 personnel and six F-16CJs in January 2002 to
Al Udeid Air Base Al Udeid Air Base ( ar, قاعدة العديد الجوية) is one of two military bases southwest of Doha Doha ( ar, الدوحة, ad-Dawḥa or ''ad-Dōḥa'') is the capital city and main financial hub of Qatar. Located on the Pers ...
in Doha, Qatar, to assist air combat operations over Afghanistan. In particular, they provided Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) against Taliban and al Qaeda positions, the only Air Force fighter unit in the theater to do so. F-16s sometimes were also configured for Cluster Bomb Units (CBUw). In addition, F-16 pilots sometimes fired their 20mm gun against ground targets. Missions could last up to 10 hours with multiple air refuelings. After so many hours strapped in their seats, pilots generally received one to three days of crew rest. The unit returned to South Carolina on 3 April 2002. The
Pennsylvania Air National Guard The Pennsylvania Air National Guard (PA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, an element of the Pennsylvania ...
's 103rd Fighter Squadron of the
111th Fighter Wing The 111th Attack Wing (111 ATKW) is a unit of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, headquartered at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force ...
, became the first A-10 ANG unit to deploy directly to Afghanistan. From December 2002 to January 2003, the 111th Fighter Wing deployed personnel and sent its aircraft to
Bagram Air Base Bagram Airfield-BAF, also known as Bagram Air Base , is located southeast of Charikar in the Parwan Province of Afghanistan. It is under the Ministry of Defense (Afghanistan), Afghan Ministry of Defense. Sitting on the site of the ancient Bagram ...
, Afghanistan to carry out ground support missions for both United States as well as Afghan Northern Alliance ground forces. In March 2003, the 104th Fighter Squadron of Maryland's 175th Wing deployed to Afghanistan. While there, it flew all the A-10 combat missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.


=Takur Ghar

= For
Operation Anaconda Operation Anaconda was a military operation that took place in early March 2002 as part of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present), War in Afghanistan. CIA paramilitary officers, working with their allies, attempted to destroy al-Qaeda and Tali ...
, its commander, Army Major General Franklin L. Hagenbeck, directed coalition forces, U.S. soldiers and Afghan forces, to destroy remaining
al Qaeda Al-Qaeda (; , ) is an Islamic extremism, Islamic extremist organization composed of Salafist jihadists. Its members are mostly composed of Arab, Arabs, but also include other peoples. Al-Qaeda has mounted attacks on civilian and military ta ...
and
Taliban The Taliban (; ps, طالبان, ṭālibān, lit=students or 'seekers'), which also refers to itself by its state (polity), state name, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a Deobandi Islamic fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalist, m ...
forces in an area located roughly 65 nautical miles south of the Afghan capital,
Kabul Kabul (; ps, , ; , ) is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. Located in the eastern half of the country, it is also a municipality, forming part of the Kabul Province; it is administratively divided into #Districts, 22 municipal dist ...
. One reconnaissance team in two helicopters landed on Takur Ghar, Ghar, a snowcapped, 10,200-foot mountain where temperatures at the top reached during the day and dropped to a negative five at night. One helicopter carried a Navy SEAL team and an Air Force combat controller, Technical Sergeant John Chapman. As the SEAL team disem-barked, automatic weapons fire laced the helicopter's side while a rocket propelled grenade ripped into it. The crew chief yelled, "We're taking fire! Go! Go! Go!" and the SEAL team rushed back inside. As the pilots added power to evade the heavy ground fire, the damaged helicopter bucked violently, causing Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts, who was standing on the ramp, to fall about 12 feet to the ground below. The helicopter escaped the ambush and crash-landed about seven kilometers north of where Petty Officer Roberts fell. The second helicopter rescued the other SEALs and Sergeant Chapman but after returning to their base, they decided to try and rescue Petty Officer Roberts. Regardless of the danger they knew the al Qaeda would treat Roberts badly and time was running out for him. Despite intense ground fire, the six men successfully returned to Takur Ghar. Nevertheless, the battle continued and Sergeant Chapman was killed along with several enemy fighters. Surrounded by gunfire, the men on the ground called upon a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), designed for such emergencies. Those forces consisted of 23 men and two helicopters. The team included Tech Sergeant Miller. "We were notified that we would be launching in 45 minutes," he recalled, "and were going into n al Qaeda and Talibaninfested area." Also on the team were Army Rangers. During Operation Enduring Freedom, Rangers and special operations formed the focal point of the U.S. ground campaign. Because of communications failures, the Quick Reaction Force landed in the same spot as the previous helicopters and, like them, was greeted with gunfire. Miller's helicopter managed to land, and the QRF called in close air support. For the next five and a half hours, they battled with the enemy. Three Rangers died and others were wounded. According to Sergeant Miller, "We continued to treat the patients, continued moving ammunition and grenades to where they were needed. I grabbed a radio … and set up satellite communication and then returned to the rear." Tech Sergeant Miller and Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, like Miller, a pararescueman, worked hard to keep the patients from succumbing to hypothermia. They put them in the helicopter and removed its insulation and wrapped it around the wounded Rangers. In addition, they used the majority of the fluids available in the medical kits and anything else, including the heaters packed in their food rations. With the help of the additional Rangers and more air strikes, they took the hill, killing many al Qaeda combatants. They also recovered the bodies of Petty Officer Roberts and Sergeant Chapman. Approximately 10 minutes after the Rangers took control of the hill, they began to receive more frequent enemy mortar and automatic weapons fire. Although combat air support prevailed, the enemy wounded an Army medic and fatally wounded Airman Cunningham. At that point the Quick Reaction Force had 11 wounded and seven dead. After 17 hours on the mountaintop, a nighttime rescue took place and the ordeal was over. Operation Anaconda continued for another 19 days. By March 2002, ANG C-130 units had flown 55 percent of the missions for the Afghanistan war. The 193rd Special Operations Wing of the
Pennsylvania Air National Guard The Pennsylvania Air National Guard (PA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, an element of the Pennsylvania ...
, using the EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft, performed an unusual mission in Afghanistan: psychological operations (PSYOPS). Since 1968, the 193rd had been handling airborne psychological operations missions. The EC-130E acquired the mission name Commando Solo during the 1990s, when the aircraft was modified to handle color television operations. One of the first ANG flying units deployed to the area, the 193rd began transmitting by the end of October 2001. For almost six months the unit relayed broadcasts of
Voice of America Voice of America (VOA or VoA) is the State media, state-owned news network and International broadcasting, international radio broadcaster of the United States, United States of America. It is the largest and oldest U.S.-funded international br ...
in the Dari and Pashtu languages and
Radio Free Europe Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is a United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North Am ...
/ Radio Liberty in Uzbek, Tajik, and Persian. According to a White House spokesman, the Commando Solo missions gave the Afghan people "full knowledge about what is happening in Afghanistan from a source other than a repressive Taliban regime." The 193rd remained in the region until ground psychological warfare operations stations were safely established. Once the Iraq conflict began in March 2003, the military began to reduce its resources in Afghanistan. Yet the reliance on using the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units, aircraft and personnel there continues to the present supporting the combat operations under
United States Air Forces Central The Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) is a Numbered Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint De ...
(USAFCENT). Air National Guardsmen and aircraft deploy to Afghanistan routinely as part of the Air Expeditionary Units at bases there.


Operation Iraqi Freedom

On 18 March 2003, the United States and coalition forces launched the
invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was a United States-led invasion of the Ba'athist Iraq, Republic of Iraq and the first stage of the Iraq War. The invasion phase began on 19 March 2003 (air) and 20 March 2003 (ground) and lasted just over one mont ...
in order to remove Saddam Hussein's regime from power, the invasion being designated
Operation Iraqi Freedom {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Iraq War , partof = the Iraq conflict (2003–present), Iraq conflict and the War on terror , image = Iraq War montage.png , image_size = 300px , caption ...
. In addition to flying units, such as fighter, air refueling, airlift, special operations and rescue, the ANG also provided a robust force of over 3,530 additional personnel for the expeditionary combat support functions and many Air National Guard senior officers held command positions during the war.Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Operation Iraqi Freedom


=Siege of the Haditha Dam

= As operations began, Army Rangers embarked on a mission to protect the Haditha Dam from being destroyed by Iraqi forces. The Rangers expected the operation to last approximately 24 hours. Instead it took them more than 12 days. The dam is a critical source of water and electrical in western Iraq. If the Iraqis succeeded in blowing up the dam, the releasing waters would flood the down-river areas, causing a humanitarian and environmental disaster. The Rangers expected the dam to be well defended. In preparation for the assault on the dam, fighters assigned to the 410th Air Expeditionary Wing (410 AEW) conducted preparatory air strikes against Iraqi forces in the dam's vicinity. Air support for
Special Forces Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military units trained to conduct special operations. NATO has defined special operations as "military activities conducted by specially designated, organized, selected, trained and equip ...
in the battle came from various coalition aircraft including U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation units. However, that battle became one of the defining operations for the AEW, and in particular, Air National Guard pilots. The 410th was responsible for providing combat search and rescue capability for western and central Iraq. During the month-long air campaign over the western Iraqi desert, the A-10 and F-16 Air National Guard pilots assigned to the AEW were involved in countless missions supporting Special Forces teams in need of close air support. The highly experienced Air National Guard pilots assigned to the AEW, especially the A-10 pilots, helped insure the successful employment of close air support for friendly forces fighting to retain the Haditha Dam.
AH-6 The Boeing AH-6 is a series of light helicopter gunships based on the MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird, MH-6 Little Bird and MD Helicopters MD 500, MD 500 family. Developed by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, these include the Unmanned Little Bird (ULB ...
helicopters of the U.S. Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and F-16s from the 410 AEW provided air cover as the Rangers took their convoy to Haditha. During the night of 1 April 2003, with support from the 410th, the Rangers seized the dam, a power station, and a transformer yard while facing light to moderate enemy resistance. Several Iraqis were killed and wounded; others, including 25 civilian workers, were taken prisoner. As daylight broke over the dam, the Rangers began taking increasing enemy fire from the south as well as coordinated attacks at both ends of the dam. Although the Rangers repelled the initial assault, Iraqi counterattacks continued with heavy mortar and artillery shells that rained down on the Rangers. Fortunately, the Rangers had ample air support from the 410th which attacked several mortar positions. Even without the protection of darkness, the Air National Guard A-10s attacked numerous enemy positions. At nightfall the Iraqis resumed their attacks against the Rangers, but once again close air supported the U.S. forces. A single bomb obliterated the attackers and shattered every window in the dam complex. Nevertheless, the siege continued for ten more days. The Rangers on the dam were greatly outnumbered. Nevertheless, the combined efforts of a
Forward Air Controller Forward air control is the provision of guidance to close air support In military tactics, close air support (CAS) is defined as air action such as Airstrike, air strikes by Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed or rotorcraft, rotary-winged aircraft ag ...
-qualified pilot (FAC), a
Combat Search and Rescue Combat search and rescue (CSAR) are search and rescue operations that are carried out during war that are within or near combat zones. A CSAR mission may be carried out by a task force of Military helicopter, helicopters, ground-attack aircraft ...
(CSAR) pilot, and observation posts manned by additional Rangers and Air Force enlisted terminal attack controllers (who cleared airborne weapons for release) ensured the Rangers on the dam would not be overrun. That operation reflected the typical attitude held by Air National Guard aviators, especially A-10 pilots, who believed that when ground troops needed help, the pilots would remain as long as possible to, "...lay it on the line more and expose themselves more over the target area." Even when the Rangers were not taking enemy fire, the A-10s provided cover so the Rangers could catch a few hours of sleep. The 410th fighters also supplied air cover during medical evacuation missions for killed and wounded Rangers. During the twelfth day of the siege, the outnumbered Rangers continued to face repeated attacks by the enemy force. The Air National Guard A-10 and F-16 pilots realized early in the battle that the close air support they provided was the vital element that kept the Iraqi forces at bay, a matter of life and death for the Rangers. In the end the coalition forces prevailed. Military experts believed that without the air support, especially the A-10s, the Rangers would not have won the battle. Not only did the coalition forces secure the Haditha Dam complex, but they seriously reduced the fighting effectiveness of the Iraqi Armored Task Force in the Haditha area.


=Intelligence operations

= Air National Guard intelligence personnel deployed overseas and supported the war effort in signals intelligence by flying Senior Scout missions and augmented RC-135V/W Rivet Joint
ELINT Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is list of intelligence gathering disciplines, intelligence-gathering by interception of ''Signal, signals'', whether communications between people (communications intelligence—abbreviated to COMINT) or from ele ...
crews to "monitor the electronic activity of adversaries." Although their pilots sat at controls in the United States, Air National Guardsmen also "flew" RQ-4 Global Hawk and
MQ-1 Predator The General Atomics MQ-1 Predator (often referred to as the predator drone) is an American remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) built by General Atomics that was used primarily by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Central Intelligence Agency ( ...
unmanned aerial vehicle intelligence missions in Southwest Asia. Operation Iraqi Freedom's intelligence collection efforts were enhanced by the initial combat employment of the Air Force's first and only "blended" wing: the newly formed 116th Air Control Wing, composed of both ANG and active duty Air Force personnel based in Robins AFB, Georgia. The wing deployed nine of its 11 assigned
E-8 Joint STARS The Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a United States Air Force airborne ground surveillance, Battle Management, battle management and Command and control (military), command and control aircraf ...
aircraft to the Iraqi Freedom theater as well as over 600 unit personnel including one-tenth of the aircrews. Air National Guardsmen composed about one-fourth of the Wing's deployed personnel. Although the wing has since reverted to an all-ANG organization, it continues to be integral to operation of the
E-8 Joint STARS The Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) is a United States Air Force airborne ground surveillance, Battle Management, battle management and Command and control (military), command and control aircraf ...
weapon system. The 193rd Special Operations Wing of the
Pennsylvania Air National Guard The Pennsylvania Air National Guard (PA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, an element of the Pennsylvania ...
deployed its EC-130 Commando Solo aircraft for a variety of PSYOPS support to coalition agencies in Iraq. Flying from March to June 2003, its missions apparently fulfilled their goals. According to an Iraqi
prisoner of war A prisoner of war (POW) is a person who is held Captivity, captive by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the phrase "prisoner of war" dates back to 1610. Belligerents hold priso ...
and former mid-level intelligence officer, the population in southern Iraq considered the coalition radio broadcasts more truthful than state-owned media. The leaflets also had a significant impact on the morale of Iraqi military and prompted considerations to surrender. The Iraqis concluded that U.S. planes could as easily target them with bombs as leaflets if their intent was lethal.


=Support operations

= As in Afghanistan, the Air National Guard contributed significant airlift capability to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thirteen of ANG's 25 airlift units participated, including 72 of 124 Air Force C-130s. Among their missions, Air National Guard C-130 crews airlifted elements of the
82nd Airborne Division The 82nd Airborne Division is an airborne infantry division of the United States Army specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areasSof, Eric"82nd Airborne Division" ''Spec Ops Magazine'', 25 November 2012. Archived from tho ...
and the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. Those crews also flew one of the first day/night airlift missions into an Iraqi air base and delivered the first humanitarian supplies into
Baghdad International Airport Baghdad International Airport , previously Saddam International Airport ( ar, مطار بغداد الدولي, Maṭār Baġdād ad-Dawaliyy) is Iraq's largest international airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the ...
. During Operation Iraqi Freedom's first six months, Air National Guard C-130 crews airlifted 22,000 tons of cargo, 47,000 passengers, and flew 8,600 sorties in 21,000 hours. As essential to the war effort as were C-130s, A-10s, and piloted reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft, they could not have completed their missions efficiently without aerial refueling. During the war in Iraq, the Air Force deployed 200 tanker aircraft based at 15 locations. Air National Guard KC-135 tankers provided one-third of the Air Force refueling aircraft deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and an additional 35 ANG tanker aircraft conducted air bridge operations. The Air National Guard also deployed air traffic control personnel, maintainers, and airspace managers. Over 27 percent of the total Air Force civil engineering force in Iraq came from the ANG; other Air Guard engineers supported Iraqi Freedom while operating in several other countries. The Iraqi conflict continued through 2011 and the Air National Guard continued its involvement. By 2004 nearly 40 percent of the total Air Force aircraft deployed for overseas operations were assigned to the Air National Guard. The ANG supported Air Expeditionary Force deployments to Iraq throughout the 2000s, until the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011.


State and local government support


Natural disasters

Traditionally, governors called out National Guard units when faced with natural but localized disasters such as
blizzard A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong sustained winds and low visibility, lasting for a prolonged period of time—typically at least three or four hours. A ground blizzard is a weather condition where snow is not falling ...
s, earthquakes,
flood A flood is an overflow of water (list of non-water floods, or rarely other fluids) that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Floods are an area of study o ...
s, and
forest fire A wildfire, forest fire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, uncontrolled and unpredictable fire in an area of Combustibility and flammability, combustible vegetation. Depending on the type of vegetation present, a wildfire ...
s. The president could also federalize them in major disasters that threatened to overwhelm the resources of individual states or communities. According to the National Guard Bureau, "The indigenous skills and capabilities National Guardsmen to respond to natural disasters are the same skills and capabilities that enable us to successfully respond to potential terrorist threats."Rosenfield and Gross (2007), State and Local Government Support The Air National Guard's main tool for fighting forest fires is the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS), which has undergone several updates since its first use in September 1971 by the
California Air National Guard The California Air National Guard (CA ANG) is one of three components of the California National Guard, a reserve of the United States Air Force, and part of the United States National Guard, National Guard of the United States. As militia units ...
's then- 146th Tactical Airlift Wing and the North Carolina Air National Guard's then 145th Tactical Airlift Group. Housed in C-130s, MAFFS could disperse up to 27,000 pounds ... almost 3,000 gallons ... of commercial fire retardants or an equivalent amount of water. Newer aircraft like the C-130J carry the MAFFS II, which carry even more fire retardant, can disperse it more rapidly over a wider area, and is easier to recharge after a mission than its predecessor. Blizzards also created the need for National Guard support. Often both Army National Guard and Air National Guard units assisted with health and welfare matters, conducted debris removal and power generation, and provided supply and transportation support in connection with snowstorms. For example, a Christmas-time 2006 blizzard at the airport hub of
Denver International Airport Denver International Airport , locally known as DIA, is an international airport in the Western United States The Western United States (also called the American West, the Far West, and the West) is the List of regions of the United States#C ...
closed that facility down for two days. Army and Air National Guardsmen took food and water to thousands of travelers trapped there. In the same storm, western Kansas received between 15 and 36 inches of snow with drifts as high as 13 feet. The Air National Guard not only assisted people, but also dropped bales of hay to feed stranded cattle.


Hurricane Katrina

On 29 August 2005, the largest natural disaster the Air National Guard faced in its then 58-year history began when
Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Katrina was a destructive List of Category 5 Atlantic hurricanes, Category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 fatalities and $125 billion in damage in late August 2005, especially in the city of New Orleans and the surrou ...
hit the United States Gulf Coast. The most severe damage came from a 30-plus-foot storm surge along the Mississippi coast and the north shore of
Lake Pontchartrain Lake Pontchartrain ( ) is an estuary located in southeastern Louisiana in the United States. It covers an area of with an average depth of . Some shipping channels are kept deeper through dredging. It is roughly oval in shape, about from west ...
in Louisiana and breaks in the levies along a canal in
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...
. Several weeks later Hurricane Rita devastated portions of western Louisiana and eastern Texas, and then the less severe
Hurricane Wilma Hurricane Wilma was an extremely intense and destructive Atlantic hurricane which was the most intense storm of its kind and the second-most intense tropical cyclone recorded in the Western Hemisphere, after Hurricane Patricia in 2015. Part o ...
damaged Florida. By the time Katrina made landfall, the Air National Guard had mobilized 840 personnel in Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Although the Air National Guard had a domestic mission to support local authorities in rescue and relief operations following a natural disaster, its utilization for such missions had been limited primarily to a select group of career fields such as civil engineers, medical personnel, and services. In response to Hurricane Katrina, ANG units in all 54 states and territories responded to the recovery efforts in the Gulf States, with the Mississippi Air National Guard's Jackson Air National Guard Base serving as a hub and operating location for numerous active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Naval Reserve and Army National Guard aircraft. The ANG flew 73 percent of the airlift for the relief operations including its brand new C-130J and
C-17 Globemaster III The McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. The C-17 carries forward the name of t ...
aircraft. In addition, ANG Combat Search and Rescue pararescuemen and Combat Controllers saved over 1,300 victims. ANG personnel arrived on the Gulf Coast on 29 August, a few hours after the storm's arrival. Personnel from the
Florida Air National Guard The Florida Air National Guard (FL ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by ...
's 202nd RED HORSE Squadron of the
125th Fighter Wing The 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW) is a unit of the Florida Air National Guard, stationed at Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Florida. If activated to federal service with the United States Air Force, the 125 ...
were some of the first to enter the area. Seventy-three engineers from this unit worked in hard-hit Hancock County, Mississippi. Initially establishing a basecamp for other emergency personnel, the unit began repairs in Hancock County communities working nearly around-the-clock on multiple construction projects to restore power, clean and repair schools, and refurbish electrical supplies. As a Florida unit, the 202nd had worked many other hurricanes. However, Katrina's devastation surpassed anything in their previous experience. To support rescue and relief operations in
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...
, the Air National Guard used Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River's West Bank. Within five hours of its orders, the
136th Airlift Wing The 136th Airlift Wing (136 AW) is a unit of the Texas Air National Guard, stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. If activated to federal service, the wing is gained by the United States Air Force's Ai ...
of the
Texas Air National Guard The Texas Air National Guard (TX ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Texas, United States of America. It is, along with the Texas Army National Guard, an element of the Texas National Guard. No element of the Texas Air National Guard is ...
deployed 41 Air National Guardsmen to Belle Chasse. Less than 24 hours later, a C-130H landed at the air station with members of the Louisiana Air National Guard's 159th Fighter Wing. Soon more aircraft arrived, delivering troops and supplies for New Orleans; offloaded pallets were stacked 10 deep on the aircraft parking ramp. Instead of heading into the flooded city, the 136th team remained at Belle Chasse and, within 36 hours of arriving, it established a fully functioning Air Terminal Operations Center and was keeping pace with the demanding mission schedule. That Aerial Port team, augmented by U.S. Navy cargo handlers and members of the 133rd Aerial Port Squadron, 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard, handled over 124 missions with 1.5 million pounds of cargo and 974 passengers in one day. As one of its most crucial tasks, the Texas squadron downloaded the German pump system used to drain the city of New Orleans because its own pumps were inundated. It also uploaded two KC-135s with 140 kennels filled with rescued dogs bound for adoption in Arizona.


Operation Deep Freeze

The Air National Guard also participates in noncombat support missions that sometimes take it beyond the U.S. boundaries. For example, in Operation Winter Freeze, from November 2004 through January 2005, nearly 250 Army and Air National Guardsmen provided assistance to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) along 295 miles of the United States-Canada border. That operation included military personnel from U.S. Northern Command's Joint Task Force North who helped the Border Patrol to, "...keep potential terrorists out of the country and to break up smuggling rings that try to get them in." n orderto detect, deter, and monitor suspicious actions ... Air Guard crews flew twin-engine, C-26 airplanes out of Syracuse, New York"Rosenfield and Gross (2007), Operation Winter Freeze The
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
's 109th Airlift Wing operates ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules transports that fly into arctic regions. In 2006, two LC-130s closed the 2006 Operation Deep Freeze located at
McMurdo Station McMurdo Station is a United States Antarctica, Antarctic Research stations in Antarctica, research station on the south tip of Ross Island, which is in the New Zealand-claimed Ross Dependency on the shore of McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. It is op ...
near the
South Pole The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole, Terrestrial South Pole or 90th Parallel South, is one of the geographical pole, two points where Earth's rotation, Earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface. It is the southernmo ...
. The mission ended because the temperature dropped to almost minus in three days. Since 1988, the squadron had provided the air supply bridge to McMurdo, landing with wheels on an ice runway near the station. However, as it got colder, the ski-equipped LC-130s landed on a snow-covered skiway on the
Ross Ice Shelf The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf of Antarctica (, an area of roughly and about across: about the size of France). It is several hundred metres thick. The nearly vertical ice front to the open sea is more than long, and between hi ...
a few miles from the station. In the spring and summer, the 109th heads toward the
North Pole The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is the point in the Northern Hemisphere where the Earth's rotation, Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface. It is called the True North Pole to distingu ...
where it supports the
National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government that supports fundamental research and education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitti ...
and several other nations in
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an island country in North America that is part of the Danish Realm, Kingdom of Denmark. It is located between the Arctic Ocean, Arctic and Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic oceans, east of the ...
and above the
Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circles, and the most northerly of the five major circles of latitude as shown on maps of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. ...
.


Air National Guard units (headquarters, wing and group level)


National

* Air National Guard Readiness Center,
Joint Base Andrews Joint Base Andrews (JBA) is a United States military facility located in Prince George's County, Maryland. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 316th Wing, Air Force District of Washington (AFDW). The base was e ...
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; ...
* Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center, Tucson ANGB,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak ) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States. It is the list of U.S. states and territories by area, 6th largest and the list of U.S. states and territories by population, 14 ...
* Air National Guard Weather Readiness Training Center,
Camp Blanding Camp Blanding Joint Training Center is the primary military reservation and training base for the Florida National Guard, both the Florida Army National Guard and certain nonflying activities of the Florida Air National Guard. The installation is ...
, Florida * I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center, McGhee Tyson ANGB,
Knoxville, Tennessee Knoxville is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Tennessee, Knox County in the U.S. state of Tennessee. As of the 2020 United States census, Knoxville's population was 190,740, making it the largest city in the East Tennessee Grand Di ...


States

*
Alabama Air National Guard The Alabama Air National Guard (AL ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alabama, State of Alabama, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama Army National Guard, an element of the Alabama National Guard. As state milit ...
:
117th Air Refueling Wing The 117th Air Refueling Wing is a unit of the Alabama Air National Guard The Alabama Air National Guard (AL ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alabama, State of Alabama, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama A ...
, Birmingham ANGB :
187th Fighter Wing The 187th Fighter Wing (187 FW) is a unit of the Alabama Air National Guard, assigned to Dannelly Field, Alabama. If activated to federal service in the United States Air Force, the 187 FW is operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC). ...
, Montgomery ANGB/ Dannelly Field : 226th Combat Communications Group, Abston ANGS, Montgomery *
Alaska Air National Guard The Alaska Air National Guard (AK ANG) is the aerial militia of the Alaska, State of Alaska, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Alaska Army National Guard, an element of the Alaska National Guard. As state military u ...
: 168th Air Refueling Wing,
Eielson AFB Eielson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force (USAF) base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and redes ...
: 176th Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (aka
Elmendorf AFB Elmendorf Air Force Base is a United States Air Force (USAF) facility in Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska. Originally known as Elmendorf Field, it became Elmendorf Air Force Base after World War II. It is the home of the Headquarters, Alas ...
) :: 176th Wing Rescue Alert Detachment,
Eielson AFB Eielson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force (USAF) base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and redes ...
* Arizona Air National Guard : 161st Air Refueling Wing, Barry M. Goldwater ANGB : 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson ANGB :: 162nd Fighter Wing Aerospace Control Alert Detachment, Davis-Monthan AFB : 214th Attack Group, Davis-Monthan AFB * Arkansas Air National Guard : 188th Wing, Ebbing ANGB : 189th Airlift Wing,
Little Rock AFB Little Rock Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately northeast of Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock AFB is the primary C-130 Hercules training base for the United States Department of Defense, Department of De ...
*
California Air National Guard The California Air National Guard (CA ANG) is one of three components of the California National Guard, a reserve of the United States Air Force, and part of the United States National Guard, National Guard of the United States. As militia units ...
: 129th Rescue Wing,
Moffett Federal Airfield Moffett Federal Airfield , also known as Moffett Field, is a joint civil-military airport located in an Local government in California#Counties, unincorporated part of Santa Clara County, California, Santa Clara County, California, United States, ...
(former
NAS Moffett Field Moffett Federal Airfield , also known as Moffett Field, is a joint civil-military airport located in an Local government in California#Counties, unincorporated part of Santa Clara County, California, Santa Clara County, California, United States, ...
) : 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno Air National Guard Base :: 144th Fighter Wing Alert Detachment,
March ARB March Air Reserve Base (March ARB), previously known as March Air Force Base (March AFB) is located in Riverside County, California, Riverside County, California between the cities of Riverside, California, Riverside, Moreno Valley, California, ...
(former March AFB) :
146th Airlift Wing The 146th Airlift Wing (146 AW) is a unit of the California Air National Guard, stationed at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Oxnard, California. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air ...
,
NAS Point Mugu Naval Air Station Point Mugu was a United States Navy, United States naval air station near Oxnard, California, which operated as an independent Military base, base from 1941 to 2000, when it merged with nearby Naval Construction Battalion Center ...
/ Channel Islands ANGS : 162nd Combat Communications Group, North Highlands ANGS : 163rd Attack Wing, March ARB : Band of the Southwest, 562nd Air Force Band, NAS Point Mugu/Channel Islands ANGS : Band of the West Coast, 561st Air Force Band,
Moffett Federal Airfield Moffett Federal Airfield , also known as Moffett Field, is a joint civil-military airport located in an Local government in California#Counties, unincorporated part of Santa Clara County, California, Santa Clara County, California, United States, ...
* Colorado Air National Guard : 140th Wing,
Buckley Space Force Base Buckley Space Force Base is a United States Space Force base in Aurora, Colorado named after United States Army Air Service First lieutenant, First Lieutenant John Harold Buckley. The base is run by Space Base Delta 2, with major units including ...
* Connecticut Air National Guard : 103rd Airlift Wing, Bradley ANGB * Delaware Air National Guard : 166th Airlift Wing, New Castle ANGB *
Florida Air National Guard The Florida Air National Guard (FL ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by ...
:Headquarters, St. Francis Barracks, St. Augustine :
125th Fighter Wing The 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW) is a unit of the Florida Air National Guard, stationed at Jacksonville International Airport, Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Florida. If activated to federal service with the United States Air Force, the 125 ...
, Jacksonville ANGB :: 125th Fighter Wing, Detachment 1, Homestead ARB (former Homestead AFB) : Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke *
Georgia Air National Guard The Georgia Air National Guard (GA ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Georgia Georgia is a state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina; to ...
: 116th Air Control Wing, Robins AFB :
165th Airlift Wing The 165th Airlift Wing (165 AW) is a unit of the Georgia Air National Guard, stationed at Savannah Air National Guard Base, in the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. If activated to federal service, the wing is gained by the United Stat ...
,
Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is a commercial and military-use airport in Savannah, Georgia, Savannah, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. Savannah/Hilton Head International provides travelers with access to Savannah, G ...
: Georgia ANG Combat Readiness Training Center, Savannah/Hilton Head IAP : Air Force Band of the South, 530th Air Force Band, Dobbins ARB (former Dobbins AFB) * Hawaii Air National Guard : 154th Wing,
Hickam AFB Hickam Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel (United States), Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The installation merged in 2010 with Naval Station Pearl Harbor to beco ...
*
Idaho Air National Guard The Idaho Air National Guard (ID ANG) is the aerial militia of the Idaho, State of Idaho, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Idaho Army National Guard, an element of the Idaho National Guard. As state militia units, the ...
: 124th Fighter Wing, Gowen Field ANGB * Illinois Air National Guard : 126th Air Refueling Wing, Scott AFB : 182nd Airlift Wing, Peoria ANGB : 183rd Fighter Wing, Capital Airport ANGS : Air Force Band of the Midwest, 566th Air Force Band, Peoria ANGB * Indiana Air National Guard : 122nd Fighter Wing, Fort Wayne ANGS : 181st Intelligence Wing, Terre Haute ANGB * Iowa Air National Guard : 132nd Fighter Wing, Des Moines ANGB : 185th Air Refueling Wing, Sioux City ANGB *
Kansas Air National Guard The Kansas Air National Guard (KS ANG) is the aerial militia of the Kansas, State of Kansas, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Kansas Army National Guard, an element of the Kansas National Guard. As state militia un ...
: 184th Intelligence Wing, McConnell AFB : 190th Air Refueling Wing, Forbes Field ANGB (former
Forbes AFB Topeka Regional Airport , formerly known as Forbes Field, is a joint civil-military public airport An airport is an aerodrome with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports usually consists of a landing area, ...
) * Kentucky Air National Guard : 123rd Airlift Wing, Louisville ANGB/Standiford Field * Louisiana Air National Guard : 159th Fighter Wing, NAS JRB New Orleans * Maine Air National Guard : 101st Air Refueling Wing, Bangor ANGB (former
Dow AFB Bangor Air National Guard Base is a United States Air National Guard base. Created in 1927 as the commercial Godfrey Field, the airfield was taken over by the U.S. Army just before World War II and renamed Godfrey Army Airfield and later Dow Arm ...
) * Maryland Air National Guard : 175th Wing,
Martin State Airport Martin State Airport is a joint civil-military public use airport located nine nautical miles (10 mi, 17 km) east of the central business district of Baltimore, in Baltimore County, Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland, United States. ...
/ Warfield ANGB *
Massachusetts Air National Guard The Massachusetts Air National Guard (MA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Massachusetts, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, an element of the Massachuse ...
: 102nd Intelligence Wing,
Otis ANGB Otis Air National Guard Base is an Air National Guard installation located within Joint Base Cape Cod, a military training facility located on the western portion of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It was known a ...
(former Otis AFB) : 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANGB : 253rd Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, Otis ANGB : Air Force Band of Northeast, 567th Air Force Band, Milford * Michigan Air National Guard : 127th Wing, Selfridge ANGB (former Selfridge AFB) : 110th Attack Wing, Battle Creek ANGB : Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena * Minnesota Air National Guard : 133rd Airlift Wing, Minneapolis-St. Paul ARS : 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth ANGB * Mississippi Air National Guard : 172nd Airlift Wing, Jackson ANGB : 186th Air Refueling Wing, Key Field ANGB : Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport * Missouri Air National Guard : 131st Bomb Wing,
Whiteman Air Force Base Whiteman Air Force Base is a United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United ...
: 139th Airlift Wing, Rosecrans ANGB : Air Force Band of the Central States, 571st Air Force Band, Bridgeton * Montana Air National Guard : 120th Airlift Wing, Great Falls ANGB * Nebraska Air National Guard : 155th Air Refueling Wing, Lincoln ANGB (former Lincoln AFB) * Nevada Air National Guard : 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada ANGB * New Hampshire Air National Guard :
157th Air Refueling Wing The 157th Air Refueling Wing (157 ARW) is a unit of the New Hampshire Air National Guard, stationed at Pease Air National Guard Base, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States. If activated to federal service, the Wing ...
, Pease ANGB (former Pease AFB) *
New Jersey Air National Guard The New Jersey Air National Guard (NJ ANG) is the aerial militia of the New Jersey, State of New Jersey, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the New Jersey Army National Guard, an element of the New Jersey National Guard. A ...
:
108th Air Refueling Wing 1 (one, unit, unity) is a number representing a single or the only entity. 1 is also a numerical digit and represents a single unit (measurement), unit of counting or measurement. For example, a line segment of ''unit length'' is a line segment ...
,
McGuire AFB McGuire AFB/McGuire, the common name of the McGuire unit of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, is a United States Air Force base in Burlington County, New Jersey, United States, approximately south-southeast of Trenton. McGuire is under th ...
: 177th Fighter Wing, Atlantic City ANGB *
New Mexico Air National Guard The New Mexico Air National Guard (NM ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New Mexico, United States of America. It is, along with the New Mexico Army National Guard, an element of the New Mexico National Guard. As state militia units, t ...
:
150th Special Operations Wing The 150th Special Operations Wing (150 SOW) is a unit of the New Mexico Air National Guard, stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base. The wing traces its history back to the expansion of the 150th Tactical Fighter Group into the 150th Fighter Wing i ...
,
Kirtland AFB Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the ea ...
*
New York Air National Guard The New York Air National Guard (NY ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of New York New York, officially the State of New York, is a U.S. state, state in the Northeastern United States. It is often called New York State to distinguish it ...
: 105th Airlift Wing, Stewart ANGB (former Stewart AFB) : 106th Rescue Wing, Francis S. Gabreski ANGB (former Suffolk County AFB) : 107th Attack Wing, Niagara Falls ARS : 109th Airlift Wing, Stratton ANGB :
174th Attack Wing The 174th Attack Wing (174 ATKW) is a unit of the New York Air National Guard, stationed at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York. The 174th is equipped with the MQ-9 Reaper. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gaine ...
, Syracuse/ Hancock Field ANGB : Eastern Air Defense Sector, Rome * North Carolina Air National Guard : 145th Airlift Wing, Charlotte ANGB * North Dakota Air National Guard : 119th Wing, Fargo ANGB * Ohio Air National Guard : 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker ANGB (former Rickenbacker AFB) : 178th Wing, Springfield ANGB : 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm ANGB : 180th Fighter Wing, Toledo ANGB : 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group, Springfield ANGB : Camp Perry Joint Military Training Center, Port Clinton : Band of the Great Lakes, 555th Air Force Band, Swanton : Headquarters, Ohio Air National Guard, Columbus *
Oklahoma Air National Guard The Oklahoma Air National Guard (OK ANG) is the aerial militia of the Oklahoma, State of Oklahoma, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, an element of the Oklahoma National Guard. As state mi ...
: 137th Air Refueling Wing,
Tinker AFB Tinker Air Force Base is a major United States Air Force base, with tenant U.S. Navy and other United States Department of Defense, Department of Defense missions, located in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, surrounded by Del City, Oklahoma, Del Cit ...
: 138th Fighter Wing, Tulsa ANGB :: 138th Fighter Wing, Detachment 1 (Alert Det), Ellington Field JRB, Texas * Oregon Air National Guard : 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland ANGB : 173rd Fighter Wing, Kingsley Field ANGB *
Pennsylvania Air National Guard The Pennsylvania Air National Guard (PA ANG) is the aerial militia of the Pennsylvania, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States, United States of America. It is, along with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, an element of the Pennsylvania ...
:
111th Fighter Wing The 111th Attack Wing (111 ATKW) is a unit of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, headquartered at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham, Pennsylvania. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force ...
, Horsham ANGS : 171st Air Refueling Wing, Pittsburgh IAP ARS : 193rd Special Operations Wing, Harrisburg ANGB (former Olmstead AFB) : Air Force Band of the Mid-Atlantic, 553rd Air Force Band, Annville * Rhode Island Air National Guard : 143rd Airlift Wing, Quonset Point ANGS (former
NAS Quonset Point Quonset Point Air National Guard Station is the home base of the Rhode Island Air National Guard 143d Airlift Wing. Naval Air Station (NAS) Quonset Point was a United States Navy, United States Naval Base in Quonset Point, Rhode Island that was de ...
) * South Carolina Air National Guard : 169th Fighter Wing, McEntire ANGB * South Dakota Air National Guard : 114th Fighter Wing, Joe Foss Field ANGS * Tennessee Air National Guard : 118th Airlift Wing, Berry Field ANGB : 134th Air Refueling Wing, McGhee Tyson ANGB (former McGhee Tyson AFB : 164th Airlift Wing, Memphis ANGB : Air Force Band of the Smoky Mountains, 572nd Air Force Band, McGhee Tyson ANGB *
Texas Air National Guard The Texas Air National Guard (TX ANG) is the aerial militia of the State of Texas, United States of America. It is, along with the Texas Army National Guard, an element of the Texas National Guard. No element of the Texas Air National Guard is ...
:
136th Airlift Wing The 136th Airlift Wing (136 AW) is a unit of the Texas Air National Guard, stationed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas. If activated to federal service, the wing is gained by the United States Air Force's Ai ...
, NAS JRB Fort Worth (former Carswell AFB) : 147th Attack Wing, Ellington Field JRB (former Ellington AFB) : 149th Fighter Wing, Lackland AFB/ Kelly Field Annex (former Kelly AFB) : 254th Combat Communications Group, Grand Prairie AFRC : Band of the Southwest, 531st Air Force Band, NAS JRB Fort Worth : Headquarters, Texas Air National Guard, Camp Mabry, Austin *
Utah Air National Guard The Utah Air National Guard (UT ANG) is the aerial militia of the Utah, State of Utah, United States, USA. Along with the Utah Army National Guard it is an element of the Utah National Guard. As state militia units, the units in the Utah Air Natio ...
: 151st Air Refueling Wing, Roland R. Wright ANGB * Vermont Air National Guard : 158th Fighter Wing, Burlington ANGB (former Ethan Allen AFB) * Virginia Air National Guard : 192nd Fighter Wing,
Langley AFB Langley Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in Hampton, Virginia, adjacent to Newport News, Virginia, Newport News. It was one of List of airfields of the Training Section of the United States Army Air Service, thirty-two ...
* Washington Air National Guard : 141st Air Refueling Wing,
Fairchild AFB Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force Military airbase, base, located in the Northwestern United States, northwest United States in Eastern Washington, eastern Washington (state), Washington, approximately southwest of Spo ...
: 194th Regional Support Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (aka McChord AFB) : Air Force Band of the Northwest, 560th Air Force Band,
Fairchild AFB Fairchild Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force Military airbase, base, located in the Northwestern United States, northwest United States in Eastern Washington, eastern Washington (state), Washington, approximately southwest of Spo ...
* West Virginia Air National Guard : 130th Airlift Wing, Charleston ANGB : 167th Airlift Wing, Shepherd Field ANGB * Wisconsin Air National Guard : 115th Fighter Wing, Truax Field ANGB :
128th Air Refueling Wing The 128th Air Refueling Wing (128 ARW) is a unit of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, stationed at General Mitchell Air National Guard Base, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If activated to federal service in the United States Air Force, the wing is operati ...
, General Mitchell ANGB : Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center, Volk Field ANGB * Wyoming Air National Guard : 153rd Airlift Wing, Cheyenne ANGB : Camp Guernsey Joint Training Center, Guernsey


Federal District and Territories

* District of Columbia Air National Guard :
113th Wing The 113th Wing, known as the "Capital Guardians", is a unit of the District of Columbia Air National Guard, stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. If activated to federal service, the fighter portion of the Wing is gained by the United State ...
,
Joint Base Andrews Joint Base Andrews (JBA) is a United States military facility located in Prince George's County, Maryland. The facility is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force 316th Wing, Air Force District of Washington (AFDW). The base was e ...
(former
Andrews AFB Andrews Air Force Base (Andrews AFB, AAFB) is the airfield portion of Joint Base Andrews, which is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force. In 2009, Andrews Air Force Base merged with Naval Air Facility Washington to form Joint Bas ...
),
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; ...
* Guam Air National Guard : 254th Air Base Group, Andersen AFB, Joint Region Marianas * Puerto Rico Air National Guard : 156th Airlift Wing, Muniz ANGB : 141st Air Control Squadron, Rafael Hernández Airport (former Ramey AFB) * Virgin Islands Air National Guard : 285th Civil Engineering Squadron, St. Croix ANGS


List of Air National Guard Leaders

This is a list of the senior leaders or Generals of the Air National Guard. The title has changed over time: The Assistant Chief, National Guard Bureau for Air,; Chief, Air Force Division, National Guard Bureau; Director Air National Guard.


See also

* Space National Guard * Air National Guard Readiness Center * I.G. Brown Air National Guard Training and Education Center * Flying Squadrons of the Air National Guard Comparable organizations *
Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG), in conjunction with the Air National Guard, is an organized Militia (United States), militia force and a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States A ...
(U.S. Army) *
United States Army Reserve The United States Army Reserve (USAR) is a Military reserve force, reserve force of the United States Army. Together, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard constitute the Army element of the reserve components of the United States Armed F ...
*
United States Marine Corps Reserve The Marine Forces Reserve (MARFORRES or MFR), also known as the United States Marine Corps Reserve (USMCR) and the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve, is the Reserve components of the United States armed forces, reserve force of the United States M ...
*
United States Navy Reserve The United States Navy Reserve (USNR), known as the United States Naval Reserve from 1915 to 2005, is the Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, Reserve Component (RC) of the United States Navy. Members of the Navy Reserve, called R ...
* United States Coast Guard Reserve *
Air Force Reserve Command The Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) is a MAJCOM, major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force, with its headquarters at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. It is the federal Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, consisting of ...
(U.S. Air Force)


References


Sources

*


External links


Official site

Official factsheet

Air National Guard Human Factors Safety Portal
{{Authority control National Guard (United States) Reserve air forces 1947 establishments in the United States