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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 Guammarker and the U.S.marker Virgin Islandsmarker, and the District of Columbiamarker 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. 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, and earthquakes.

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. If federally recognized, the member or unit becomes part of the Air National Guard of the United States, which is one of two reserve components of the United States Air Force, and part of the National Guard of the United States. 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 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 with the regular armed forces to execute the laws of the United States. 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 as a separate component of the USAF until 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 Coloradomarker, New York, Iowamarker, and New Mexicomarker served at Phan Rang ABmarker, 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 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.

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 currently flies the F-15C/D Eagle at St. Louis International Airportmarker/Lambert Field Air National Guard Station, but is transitioning to the B-2 Spirit and as the redesignated 131st Bomb Wing, will become an "Associate" bomb wing to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFBmarker, Missouri.

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

According to news and Congressional sources, 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 Basemarker in Cape Cod, Massachusettsmarker. 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 wing later changed to that of an intelligence mission, ending its prestigious history.

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".

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

Air National Guard Units


Federal District and Territories

See also


  1. [1] Military Reserves Federal Call Up Authority
  2. [2] 10 USC 12212. Officers: Air National Guard of the United States
  3. [3] 10 USC 12107. Army National Guard of United States; Air National Guard of the United States: enlistment in
  4. [4] 32 USC 101. Definitions (NATIONAL GUARD)
  5. [5] 10 USC 12401. Army and Air National Guard of the United States: status
  6. [6] 10 USC 10111. Air National Guard of the United States: composition
  7. [7] 10 USC 12406. National Guard in Federal service: call

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