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Air National Guard

The Air National Guard (ANG), often referred to as the Air Guard, is the air force militia organized by each of the fifty U.S. states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territories of Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia of the United States. 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 and U.S. territories and operates under their respective state governor or territorial government.[1] The Air National Guard may be called up for active duty by the state governors or territorial commanding generals to help respond to domestic emergencies and disasters, such as those caused by hurricanes, floods, fires, and earthquakes.[1]

With the consent of state governors, 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 service of the United States.[2][3] If federally recognized, the member or unit becomes part of the Air National Guard of the United States,[4][5][6] which is one of two reserve components of the United States Air Force,[4] and part of the National Guard of the United States.[4] 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.[1] The President may also call up members and units of state Air National Guard, with the consent of state governors, 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.[7] Because both state Air National Guard and the Air National Guard of the United States relatively go hand-in-hand, they are both usually referred to as just Air National Guard.



The oldest ANG unit is the 102nd Rescue Squadron, New York Air National Guard. The unit was federalized for service in 1916. It was a component of the Army National Guard at the time, and has the distinction of flying balloons as early as 1908. The 102nd was commanded by Capt Raynal C. Bolling, who was killed in France during World War I. The 102nd was also highlighted in the national best selling book, The Perfect Storm, written by Sebastian Junger, as well as the film by the same title which was based on the book.

Although the ANG was not established until the creation of the USAF on 18 September 1947, throughout the twentieth century National Guard aviators have played significant roles in all wars involving the United States and in most of its major contingencies. ANG units served on active duty during the Korean War, and ANG F-100 squadrons from Colorado, New York, Iowa, and New Mexico served at Phan Rang AB, Vietnam, for eleven months of 1968 1969, flying over 24,000 combat sorties. In recent operations, entire units and individuals have also been activated.

The ANG is often described as a "reserve" force of "part-time airmen," although the demands of maintaining modern aircraft mean that many ANG members work full-time, either as full time Military Technicians 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.

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 bomber and the AC-130 Gunship. The Georgia Air National Guard and the Kansas Air National Guard previously flew the B-1B Lancer prior to converting to the E-8 Joint STARS and KC-135R Stratotanker, respectively. In addition, the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard recently transitioned from flying the F-15C/D Eagle at St. Louis International Airport/Lambert Field Air National Guard Station to the B-2 Spirit. As the redesignated 131st Bomb Wing, the 131st will become an "Associate" bomb wing to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.

In the years following the 1991 Gulf War, ANG pilots patrolled Iraq's no-fly zones. During the 9/11 terrorist attacks the first unit to provide air cover was the Happy Hooligans, a North Dakota ANG F-16 unit diverted from flight training while deployed to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. Another ANG F-16 unit from Vermont, the Green Mountain Boys of the 158th Fighter Wing, later patrolled the skies over New York City.

The first fighter unit over New York after the attacks began was the 102nd Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, its F-15s being stationed at Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. On 22 May 2002 a Joint Resolution was passed by the Congress of the United States recognizing the members of the 102 FW for 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".[8]

The United States Air National Guard has about 110,000 men and women in service.

Air National Guard Units


Air National Guard F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters fly over Kunsan, South Korea. Note tailflashes from New Mexico, Colorado and Montana ANGs

Wisconsin ANG]] F-16s over Madison, Wisconsin

Federal District and Territories

List of Air National Guard Leaders

This is a list of the senior leaders or Generals of the Air National Guard. The title has changes over time: The Assistant Chief, National Guard Bureau for Air,; Chief, Air Force Division, National Guard Bureau; Director Air National Guard.[9][10]

Number Name From To
1 COL William A. R. Robertson 28 November 1945 October 1948
2 MG Georg G. Finch October 1948 25 September 1950
3 MG Earl T. Ricks 13 October 1950 4 January 1954
4 MG Winston P. Wilson 26 January 1954 5 August 1962
5 MG I. G. Brown 6 August 1962 19 April 1974
6 MG John J. Pesch 20 April 1974 31 January 1977
7 MG John T. Guice 1 February 1977 1 April 1981
8 MG John B. Conaway 1 April 1981 1 November 1988
9 MG Philip G. Killey 1 November 1988 28 January 1994
10 MG Donald W. Shepperd 28 January 1994 28 January 1998
11 MG Paul A. Weaver Jr. 28 January 1998 3 December 2001
(Acting) BG David A. Brubaker 3 December 2001 3 June 2002
12 Lt Gen Daniel James III 3 June 2002 20 May 2006
13 Lt Gen Craig R. McKinley 20 May 2006 17 November 2008
(Acting) MG Emmett R. Titshaw Jr. 17 November 2008 2 February 2009
14 Lt Gen Harry M. Wyatt III 2 February 2009 Present

See also

  • List of U.S. Air Force bases
  • Flying Squadrons of the Air National Guard


External links

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