About the Air National Guard

The Air National Guard's state and federal mission is to provide trained, well-equipped men and women who can augment the active force during national emergencies or war, and provide assistance during natural disasters and civil disturbances.

When Guard units are in a non-mobilized status they are commanded by the governor of their respective state, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands and the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. The governors (except in the District of Columbia) are represented in the chain of command by the adjutant general of the state or territory.

The ANG, under order of state authorities, provides protection of life and property, and preserves peace, order and public safety. State missions, which are funded by the individual states, include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue; protection of vital public services; and support to civil defense.

As part of the total Air Force, the ANG provides operationally ready combat units and combat support units and qualified personnel for active duty in the Air Force to fulfill war and contingency commitments. ANG units are assigned to most major commands during peacetime to accomplish this mission. The major commands establish training standards, provide advisory assistance and evaluate ANG units for unit training, readiness and safety programs.

The primary means of providing full-time support for ANG units is through use of dual-status military technicians, plus guardsmen on active duty. These full-time support personnel perform day-to-day management, administration and maintenance. By law, dual-status military technicians are civil service employees of the federal government who must be military members of the unit in which they are employed. They participate in training activities and are mobilized with the unit when it is ordered to active duty. Active duty members serve under the command authority of their respective state and territorial governors until mobilized, and are not a part of the worldwide pool of Air Force manpower until that time.

The ANG has more than 109,000 officers and enlisted personnel who serve in 89 flying units and 242 mission support units.

The ANG provides 100 percent of the Air Force's air defense interceptor force, 33 percent of the general-purpose fighter force, 45 percent of the tactical airlift and 6 percent of the special operations capability. In addition, the ANG provides 43 percent of the air refueling KC-135 tankers, 28 percent of the rescue and recovery capability, 23 percent of tactical air support forces, 10 percent of the bomber force and 8 percent of the strategic airlift forces.

Airlift squadrons, flying C-130 Hercules aircraft, transport personnel, equipment and supplies. Eleven aeromedical evacuation units and23 aerial port units augment the Air Force. The ANG's airlift capability includes one C-5 Galaxy and two C-141 Starlifter units. Air refueling units, flying KC-135 Stratotankers, provide air-to-air refueling for strategic and tactical missions. The ANG has one special operations unit flying EC-130 aircraft.

Rescue units, flying HH-60 helicopters and HC-130 aircraft, provide a lifesaving capability to military and civilian agencies. The ANG has three rescue and recovery squadrons.

The first heavy bomber unit was activated in 1994. Flying B-1 bomber aircraft, the unit provides strategic strike and deterrence capabilities. Air support units, flying OA-10s, provide forward air control support for close air support missions. The general-purpose fighter force is equipped with F-15, F-16, A-10, and F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft.

Support units are essential to the Air Force mission. In the ANG they include: air control units; combat communications squadrons; civil engineering, engineering installation and civil engineering heavy repair squadrons; and communication flights and squadrons. Support units also include weather flights, aircraft control and warming squadrons, a range control squadron and an electronic security unit.

ANG men and women provide 80 percent of the Air Force's combat communication units and 74 percent of the engineering installation capability. Other mission support units contribute 49 percent of the total Air Force civil engineering forces, 68 percent of air control, and 100 percent of the aircraft control and warning forces.

Civil engineering squadrons provide engineer and firefighter forces trained and equipped to deploy on short notice. Other civil engineering squadrons provide self-sufficient, deployable civil engineering teams to perform heavy repair and maintenance on air bases and remote sites.

Medical units, located with parent flying organizations, provide day-to-day health care for flying and non-flying personnel during their two-week annual training period or during monthly two-day unit training assemblies.

Training in the ANG is categorized into two general areas for officers and enlisted personnel - technical skills training and professional military education. ANG officers and airmen have opportunities to participate in the same professional military education as their active-duty Air Force counterparts. Professional military education also is available through correspondence courses, on-base seminars and video teleconferencing.