Posts tagged ‘Air National Guard’

SHAKO: Happy Birthday National Guard

Happy 385th Birthday!

If you thought the creation of the U.S. National Guard dates back to the rebels who stood against tyranny at Lexington and Concord, you’d be wrong by more than 130 years.

The Minuteman statute by Daniel Chester French (photo via Wikipedia)

According to the National Guard (and who would know better?) the official birth date of the Army National Guard is December 13, 1636. That’s when the Massachusetts colonial legislature directed the colony’s existing militia companies to be organized into three regiments.

The selection of Dec. 13, 1636 is based upon the Defense Department practice of adopting the dates of initial authorizing legislation for organized units as the birthdates of the active and reserve components of the armed services.
The descendants of those first regiments – the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, the 101st Field Artillery, and the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard – share the distinction of being the oldest units in the U.S.
The enemy in colonial days was usually Native Americans fighting to save their lands and way of life. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries colonial militias battled the French and their Indian allies in a series of conflicts known, handily, as the French and Indian wars. By 1775 they were fighting British redcoats in the war for independence.
National Guard troops have served in nearly every U.S. conflict and war since then, and have responded to floods, fires, hurricanes, tornados, civil disorders and other emergencies both in their home states and elsewhere.

National Guardsmen and a Coast Guardsman monitor Hurricane Ida response efforts in the Houma Navigation Canal in Houma, Louisiana, Sept. 13, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Vincent Moreno)

 

A crew from the California National Guard fights the Dixie Fire in northern California, Aug. 16, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. Harley Ramirez)

 

The Puerto Rican National Guard assisted aid-relief efforts in hurricane-battered Haiti since August 2021. Here they help with treatment of a woman from the La Flandre community on Aug.22, 2021. (Puerto Rico National Guard photo by Sgt. Agustin Montanez)

 

Alabama National Guard Soldiers vaccinate Covington County citizens at Jaycee Park in Livingston Alabama on March 23, 2021. (Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. William Frye).

 

A pilot from the 55th Fighter Squadron performs pre-flight procedures inside an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Hulman Field Air National Guard Base, Indiana., Aug. 19, 2021.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by 2nd Lt. Jonathan W. Padish)

The official birth date of the Air National Guard as a reserve component of the Air Force is September 18, 1947. On that date, the first Secretary of the Air Force was sworn in under provisions of the National Security Act of 1947, the authorizing legislation for the United States Air Force and the Air National Guard. Soon afterwards, National Guard Army Air Forces units began to be transferred to the Air National Guard as a reserve component of the Air Force.

The oldest Air National Guard unit is the 102nd Rescue Squadron of the New York Air National Guard. This unit was originally organized in accordance with existing law, and authorized in the New York National Guard as the Aero Company, Signal Corps, on November 22, 1915. The oldest Air National Guard unit in continuous existence since its organization is the 109th Airlift Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard, which was organized and federally recognized as the 109th Observation Squadron, on January 17, 1921.
From fighting COVID-19 to flying jet fighters, the Guard has come a long way since the 1630s.

Illustration depicting the first muster of Massachusetts Bay Colony militia in the spring of 1637. (U.S. Army)

December 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 21, 2018)

Worth a thousand words.

Florence Flooding in Bladen County

(Nebraska National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Herschel Talley)

Nebraska Army National Guard Spc. Matthew Reidy surveys the flooding from the air on September 19 (Wednesday) in Bladen County, North Carolina.

Two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and 13 Soldiers assigned to a Lincoln-based Nebraska National Guard aviation unit supported the ongoing Hurricane Florence relief operations from the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Raleigh International Airport in North Carolina. The Company G, 2-104th General Aviation Battalion Soldiers are equipped and trained to conduct search and rescue operations, as well as air movement missions.

For days, the storm dumped relentless rain — in some places about 3 feet — and rivers keep on rising. The storm’s death toll ticked up to 41 people in the Mid-Atlantic region on Thursday (September 20); 31 of them in North Carolina alone, according to NPR.

The disaster sparked a widespread government response from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard units — as well as the Department of Homeland Security and local emergency workers.

September 21, 2018 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 14, 2017)

Above the Inferno.

FRIFO 9-15-2017

(Air National Guard photo by Technical Sergeant Jeff Allen)

An Air National Guard pilot flying a C-130J cargo plane follows a Forest Service plane under a large column of smoke while preparing to drop retardant on the Pier Fire southeast of Fresno, California. The photo was taken August 29, 2017.

September 15, 2017 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 17, 2017)

Sky Divers/Space Divers.

103rd Rescue Squadron Assists NASA during SENTRY ALOHA

(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher Muncy.)

Airmen practicing new spacecraft recovery techniques jump from a C-17 cargo plane into the waters off Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam near Honolulu, Hawaii on March 7, 2017.

The white ring near the diver on the right is not a cloud or smoke but the wake of a small boat circling the orange target in the water far below these parachutists.

These pararescuemen and combat rescue officers, assigned to the New York Air National Guard’s 103rd Rescue Squadron, 106th Rescue Wing, are training with the equipment and  techniques that will be used to recover the crew module of NASA’s Orion spacecraft. The skydivers got their lift to the exercise on a C-17 supplied by the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing, 204th Airlift Squadron.

To see more photos of this operation, click here.

 

March 17, 2017 at 12:21 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 30, 2016)

Wintry Mix.

Now that winter is underway in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought we’d run a series of photos illustrating U.S. forces dealing with cold and snowy weather around the world.

frifo-12-30-2016-no-1-sun-and-snow

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Kirstin Merrimarahajara.)

The first photo (above) comes from Lithuania, where a Marine works his way through sun beams and snow in a field training exercise November 29, 2016 during Iron Sword 16, at the Rukla Training Area.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-2-snow-propeller

(U.S. Navy photo.)

As snow streams down, sailors change a propeller on an EP-3E Aries II aircraft during a night check at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington. The sailors are assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-3-ice-drilling

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman.)

Senior Airman Carlos Aleman and Technical Sergeant Craig Slaten drill a hole in the frozen Tanana River in Fairbanks, Alaska on December 5, 2016. The airmen, both assigned to the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, drilled in the area to build up the ice and create a stable bridge for transporting equipment and supplies.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-4-pickax-arm

(U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher.)

Army Specialist Joseph Feola loosens the frozen ground so his fellow soldiers can drive tent stakes while conducting cold weather training in single-digit temperatures at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska on November 29, 2016. Feola is assigned to the 95th Chemical Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

 

3rd ID teaches suppressive fire to Ukrainian Soldiers

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Tarr.)

Ukrainian and U.S. soldiers exit an armored vehicle during suppressive fire training in Yavoriv, Ukraine, November 18, 2016.

 

U.S. Marine live-fire exercise in Norway

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Michelle Reif.)

Marines and Norwegian soldiers operated a variety of armored vehicles including this tank in Setermoen, Norway, during a live-fire exercise to acclimate troops to mountainous regions and extreme cold weather conditions, November 17, 2016.

 

106th Rescue Wing Honor Guard Trains in the Snow

(Air National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Muncy.)

Airman 1st Class Avery Friedman performs taps during training at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, Dec. 15, 2016. Friedman is a member of the 106th Rescue Wing Honor Guard.

 

 

December 30, 2016 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

SEASON’S GREETINGS: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines Show Holiday Spirit

Simon Says Do This.

 (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan B)

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Burke

Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Godson Bagnabana supervises inflation of an inflatable snowman on the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) at Yokosuka, Japan, December 17, 2015.

Young Santa.

U.S. Navy photo by Grady T. Fontana

U.S. Navy photo by Grady T. Fontana

Joe Gutierrez hands out gifts to students during a community outreach event at an elementary school in Chanthaburi, Thailand, December 21, 2015. Gutierrez, a midshipman cadet from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, is assigned to the USNS Walter S. Diehl.

Military Sealift Command Far East along with partners in Singapore donated more than 1,200 English books to the Pong Nam Ron, Pliu and Ban Trok Nong elementary schools. To see more photos from this event, click here.

Fun and Games.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Melanye E. Martinez

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Melanye E. Martinez

U.S. Marines, sailors, and soldiers play games at an early Christmas celebration with Romanian children at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania, December 19, 2015. To see more photos from this event, click here.

Santa Wears Combat Boots.

U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena

U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena

Alaska National Guardsmen and other volunteers deliver boxes of donated food and presents to the residents of St. Mary’s, Alaska, during Operation Santa Claus, December 5, 2015.

Nobody Gets Coal Here.

Air Force photo by Andrew Pena.

U.S. Air Force photo by Andrew Pena.

Service members and volunteers from approximately 30 groups and organizations came together to bring holiday cheer during Operation Santa Claus to the village of St. Mary’s, Alaska, Dec. 5, 2015. This year marks the 59th year of the program, which serves to bring Christmas to underserved, remote villages across Alaska each year. To see more photos from this event, click here.

Toys for Tots.

U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena

U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena

Marine Corps Sergeant Mauricio Sandoval, front, and Master Gunnery Sergeant Jason Milbery, drive snowmobiles between McGrath and Takotna, Alaska, during Toys for Tots, December 10, 2015. Sandoval and Milbery are assigned to Delta Company, 4th Law Enforcement Battalion and 2nd Maintenance Battalion. To see more photos of this event, click here.

Seranading Seniors.

 New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Master Sergeant Mark C. Olsen

New Jersey Air National Guard photo by Master Sergeant Mark C. Olsen

U.S. airmen sing along with fourth graders from the Seaview School in Linwood, New Jersey, during the 15th Annual Holiday “Songfest” at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland, N.J., Dec. 16, 2015. To see more photos from this event, click here.

December 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (April 17, 2015)

No Day at the Beach.

(New York Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher S Muncy

New York Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Muncy

This is not what your 4GWAR editor imagines when we think of a weekend in the Hamptons. In this photo, members of the New York Air National Guard’s 103rd Rescue Squadron, 106th Rescue Wing conduct a multi-day training course at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base firing range, in West Hampton Beach, on New York’s Long Island. The live-fire exercise included training in tactical movement, responding to incoming fire, retrieving and caring for wounded individuals and night-time shooting.

The guardsmen of the 103rd Rescue Squadron are Special Operations para-rescue jumpers (PJs) — meaning they jump out of airplanes and helicopters on combat search and rescue missions to find, treat — if injured — and extract downed airmen and others in trouble on the ground. Six of  the 103rd’s PJs received the Bronze Star medal with “V” for valor device in 2013 for the rescue under fire of American and Afghan soldiers caught in an ambush on December 12, 2012, according to the Air Force Times.

Editor’s Note: For those unfamiliar with Army Air Force history, Colonel “Gabby” Gabreski was the top American fighter ace of the European Theater in World War II, knocking down 28 German planes. In the Air Force over Korea in the 1950s, he became a jet ace, shooting down six Russian-made MiG-16 fighter jets.

April 17, 2015 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

DISASTER RELIEF: Army, National Guard Response to Colorado Floods

Air Evacuation

(Photo by Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division)

(Photo by Sgt. Jonathan C. Thibault, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs Office, 4th Infantry Division)

As you’ve probably seen, read or heard, northwest Colorado has been deluged with flooding after days of heavy rains. U.S. Army units as well as members of the Colorado National Guard have been deployed to assist local first responders in evacuations, sandbagging operations as well as search and rescue. At least eight people have died as a result of the flooding and thousands  have been evacuated from their homes — according to the Los Angeles Times and other news outlets.

Sometimes those rescues came at the end of a helicopter hoist cable.

In the photo above, Staff Sgt. Jose Pantoja, a flight medic with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, assists an evacuee onto a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter during rescue and recovery operations in Boulder, Colorado on Monday (September 16). Pantoja is assigned to Company C, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. (Wonder if they call it the “Triple 4”?) The unit is based at Fort Kit Carson in Colorado.

For more photos of aerial evacuations, click here and here.

People and their pets evacuated by high clearance Army truck in Boulder County. (Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida)

People and their pets evacuated by high clearance Army truck in Boulder County.
(Army National Guard Photo by Sgt. Joseph K. VonNida)

The photo below captures some of the destruction caused by flash floods through mountainous country in and around Boulder where past drought and forest fire damage have weakened top soil and tree roots, causing landslides, mudslides, washed out roads and trapping residents in isolated communities on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains.

Severe flooding shutdown roads leading out of Jamestown, Colorado. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares)

Severe flooding shutdown roads leading out of Jamestown, Colorado.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares)

We confess a special interest in this story since your 4GWAR editor and spouse were just in this area last month for a little R&R after dropping off the blog’s in-house IT consulant for his sophomore year at University of Colorado-Boulder. (Said consultant has informed his parents he’s all right, although classes at CU-Boulder were cancelled for two days and some areas around campus were evacuated.) Many smaller communities in the mountains of Boulder and Larimer counties have only two-lane roads winding through narrow canyons for access, and when they are flooded, buried in debris or washed away residents have no way of getting out.

In the last photo, U.S. soldiers and airmen from the Colorado National Guard, along with members of civilian emergency response agencies, fill sandbags in Arvada, Colorado. More than 17 inches of rain fell on Boulder in just over a week. The average annual rainfall for Boulder is a little over 19 inches.

 (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares)

(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Manzanares)

To read more about Defense Department efforts in the disaster (U.S. Northern Command and NORAD are both headquartered in Colorado) click on this DoD webpage.

September 18, 2013 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (November 2, 2012) UPDATE

Hurricane Sandy: Before, During and After

See additional photo and video links below.

The damage and loss of life caused by Hurricane Sandy is still being tallied but we thought we’d bring you just a few of the images captured by Defense Department photographers.

Before the Storm Hit

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

Empty cots await guests at the National Guard Armory in Jersey City, N.J. on Oct 31.  The Jersey City Armory prepared to take on 1,000+ local displaced citizens  evacuated from areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy, providing them with medical facilities and hot meals.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Gabriel Bevan

Sailors assigned to Naval Submarine School place sandbags around the power plant at Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut in preparation for the storm surge expected from Hurricane Sandy. With Sandy’s arrival during a time of a full moon and high tide, storm surge was forecast to possibly top some of the base’s lower waterfront areas.

During the Storm

Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia National Guard

Virginia National Guard soldiers from G Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team conduct reconnaissance patrols during Hurricane Sandy operations Oct. 29, 2012, in Norfolk, Va. The Virginia National Guard and Virginia Defense Force staged throughout Virginia with personnel and equipment capable of performing high water transport, debris reduction and reconnaissance patrols.

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Robertson

Airmen in a WC-130J Hercules cargo aircraft fly into Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 29, 2012, to collect weather reconnaissance data somewhere over the East Coast. The Hercules is assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Video Still

The Coast Guard rescued 14 people from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., on Oct. 29,. One person died and another was missing. The first MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted five people into the aircraft, and a second helo rescued nine people. Crews took all to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., with no life-threatening conditions.

The Aftermath

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen

Aerial views during an Army search and rescue mission show damage from Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast, Oct. 30, 2012. The soldiers are assigned to the 1-150 Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard.

Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olse

Soldiers prepare UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for further search and rescue missions on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Oct. 30, 2012, following the passing of Hurricane Sandy. The soldiers are assigned to the 1-150th Assault Helicopter Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard.

U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo

Air Force crews offload Southern California Edison power repair equipment from a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane on Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., Nov. 1, 2012. The Defense Department initiated the airlift operation to aid recovery efforts in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath.

NEW Hurricane Sandy photos, videos and stories

To see more photos of National Guard assistance efforts in New York City, New Jersey and West Virginia click here.

To see a photo slideshow of Marine Corps helicopters doing hurricane damage surveys above New York and New Jersey click here.

For some surprising photos (downed tree clearance, generator assembly) of New York National Guard relief efforts in the

suburban counties outside New York City, click here.

To see the Maryland National Guard’s response to heavy snow in the Western part of the state due in part to Sandy, click here.

The Defense Department has an all Sandy Webpage featuring stories, photos and video here.

November 2, 2012 at 1:21 am Leave a comment


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