Air National Guard

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The Air National Guard (ANG) is a the aerial warfare branch of the United States National Guard. It is also a reserve component of the United States Air Force that provides prompt mobilization during war and assistance during U.S. national emergencies. Each state, territory, and Washington, D.C. has an Air National Guard. As federally-organized militia, Air National Guard units are liable to activation by both the President of the United States and the governor of the state in which the ANG unit resides. Former President of the United States, George W. Bush, served in the Texas Air National Guard.

The ANG in the Vietnam War

Despite common misconception, ANG components were indeed actively involved in the Vietnam War. All of the pilots of the Colorado Air National Guard's 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron flew combat missions in the war and the 174th Tactical Fighter Squadron of Iowa, the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron of New Mexico and the 136th Tactical Fighter Squadron of New York were all deployed to Vietnam with their F-100s. Another deployed squadron was the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron, of which Air Guardsmen made up 85 percent of the personnel. In Vietnam, Air National Guards units flew 24,124 sortie and 38,614 combat hours. Those numbers rise to approximately 30,000 sorties and 50,000 combat hours if the predominantly Air Guard 355th is included.

The Air National Guard supported U.S. Air Force operations throughout Southeast Asia. They flew regular airlift to the region from 1965 to 1972. Air Guard domestic and offshore aeromedical evacuation flights freed active duty Air Force resources for such missions in Southeast Asia. In July of 1970, two EC-121 "Super Constellations" from the 193rd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard departed their home station for Korat, Thailand. During the next six months, about 60 personnel of the Air National Guard were rotated through the latter installation on thirty to sixty day tours in "Operation Commando Buzz." These ANG aircraft served as flying radar stations and airborne control platforms for U.S. air operations in Southeast Asia until January of 1971.

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