1st Air Base Group
|1st Air Base Group - Puerto Rico State Guard|
1st Air Base Group Coat of Arms
|Allegiance||Constitution of Puerto Rico & United States Constitution|
|Type||State Defense Force|
|Role||Military Support to Civil Authorities|
|Size||Authorized Maximum Strength of 585 state guard airmen|
|Part of||Puerto Rico National Guard|
|Garrison/HQ||Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Carolina, Puerto Rico|
|Col José E. Picó-Del Rosario|
|Ceremonial chief||Alejandro García Padilla|
The 1st Air Base Group of the Puerto Rico State Guard (1ABG-PRSG) — is the main unit of the Air State Defense Force of the Military Forces of Puerto Rico that operates under the sole authority of the governor of Puerto Rico who, in turn, delegates such authority to the Puerto Rico Adjutant General and to the Commanding General of the Puerto Rico State Guard.
- In 1970, Brig Gen Roberto Vargas, Commander of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard (PRANG), and Mrs. Carmen Colbert organized the 1st Air Base Group with a similar structure to that of the then-156th Tactical Fighter Group's units. At that time the 1 ABG was composed by 25 officers and 4 enlisted personnel.
- 1970: Brig Gen Mihel Ghilormini was commissioned by Brig Gen Vargas to command the 1 ABG.
- 1982, Col Roberto Montes, Commander of the PRANG, started a recruiting effort to manned the PR Air State Guard cadre organization in support of the 156 TFG.
- 1986: Col(Ret) Miguel Martoranni, former Air Force pilot, became the commander of the 1 ABG.
- 1988: Col(Ret) Dennis López, former 156 TFG Commander, commanded the 1 ABG.
- 1992: Col(PR) John J. Gonzalez, was named commander of 1 ABG. He had prior service with the US Navy and US Air Force.
- 2004: Col(PR) Orlando Olivera, was named 1 ABG commander. Col Olivera served in the US Army Reserve.
- 2010: Col(PR) José E. Picó-Del Rosario, was named 1 ABG commander by BG(PR) Hector Sorrentini.
Along with Texas, California and New York, the Puerto Rico State Guard is one of the few SDFs that has an air division that embrace the Air Force culture. The 1st Air Base Group, located at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, is an excellent example of integration and teamwork with the PRANG units, especially with the current 156th Airlift Wing.
The 1st Air Base Group is composed of:
- Headquarters Squadron (Unit 700)
- Logistic Squadron (Unit 701)
- Transportation Flight
- Supply Flight
- Aerial Port Flight
- Medical Squadron (Unit 702)
- Mission Support Squadron (Unit 703)
- Engineering Flight
- Services Flight
- Personnel Flight
- Security Forces Flight
- Fire Fighter Flight
The 1ABG is recruiting and organizing two support units for the 140th Air Defense Squadron in Aguadilla and the 141st Air Control Squadron in Punta Salinas. All 1st Air Base Group units are organized to meet the military training requirements necessary to take over the Puerto Rico Air National Guard installations upon mobilization and deployment of their units.
The 1st Air Base Group training is conducted in accordance with USAF regulations, which supplements the PRSG and PRNG regulations, directives and guidance. Unit Training Assemblies (UTAs) are performed jointly with PRANG’s 156th AW in a consolidated drill concept. These trainings are performed jointly with 156th AW personnel. It allows 1ABG personnel to acquire hands-on experience of what their duty will be if PRANG units are mobilize and deployed. It also gives them the opportunity to be trained by their counterpart in their specialty and get the feeling of a real life scenario, while getting ready for it. These drills are performed concurrently with 156th AW UTA schedule.
All 1st Air Base Group units and members attend consolidated drills. This form of UTA’s is used to:
- Maintain lines of communication among all units
- Conduct general military training and OJT with the Puerto Rico Air National Guard counterparts
- Conduct Emergency Management training under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Guidelines and the SGAUS's Military Emergency Management Specialist Academy
- Conduct promotion and award ceremonies and other special events
- General inspections
- Practice drills and ceremonies
- Maintain Unit Integrity
- Operational Support to the 156 AW units (Mission Support Squadron (Engineering Flight, Services Flight, Personnel Flight, Security Forces Flight and Fire Fighter Flight), a Medical Squadron, and a Logistic Squadron (Transportation Flight, Supply Flight and an Aerial Port Flight))
- Military Emergency Management Specialists and Assists local civil authorities and Volunteer coordination during emergencies
- Medical Services (Doctors, Nurses, Mental Health & Paramedics)
- Legal Support (attorneys & paralegals)
- Chaplain Services
The PRSG is the state’s authorized militia and assumes the state mission of the Puerto Rico National Guard in the event the National Guard is mobilized. Unlike the Civil Air Patrol or the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, the PRSG is a statutory military entity of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico with each PRSG member subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) per the Military Code of Puerto Rico. Under state law, enlisted members and officers of the PRSG have the same similar legal status, privileges, and/or immunities as members of the state National Guard (in state status) when called to State Active Duty (SAD) or in drill status.
As a state organized militia, the PRSG ranks are official state military ranks in accordance with the Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the United States Constitution were the US Congress received the power “to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress”. All PRSG appointments, commissions, warrants, and enlistments are recognized and authorized by the Governor of Puerto Rico through the Adjutant General of PR. The PRSG military personnel render to all members of the military community, and receive from them, all courtesies common to all such members, such as saluting, and forms of address.
As approved by the Puerto Rico Adjutant General, the military uniforms worn by the 1st Air Base Group personnel are a variation of the U.S. Air Force's Airman Battle Uniform, the USAF's Service Dress Uniform and the USAF's Mess Dress. 1st Air Base Group members must use the PRSG AIR FORCE distinctive marking on those authorized uniforms. All units commanders will ensure that all members, individually and collectively, present a professional, well-groomed appearance, which will reflect credit upon PRSG Air Force as the State Command of the Puerto Rico National Guard. The following Military and USAF Style Specialty Badges are authorized to professional members of the 1st Air Base Group:
- Military Emergency Management Specialist (Basic, Senior or Master)
- Civil Engineering Badge (Basic, Senior or Master)
- Medical Corps Badge (Basic, Senior or Master)
- Dental Corps Badge (Basic, Senior or Master)
- Nurse Corps Badge (Basic, Senior or Master)
- Chaplain (Christian) Badge
- Judge Advocate Badge
- Security Forces Badge & Flash
- Fire Fighter Badge
As a regulation governing the use of those Specialty Badges, the 1ABG published the Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP) Policy Manual. The CFETP provides information for the Civil Engineer, Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Nurse Corps, Chaplain, Judge Advocate, Emergency Managers, Security Forces and Fire Protection occupational series. That plan outlines desired training, education, and experience to chart and execute a career in those career fields—from entry-level officer/NCO through squadron commander. The CFETP also provides officers, supervisors, and commanders a means to jointly plan and program training and education opportunities. Each officer and NCO should use The CFETP to work with supervisors and commanders to determine appropriate levels and timing of education and training, and ensure they have every opportunity to attend continual education courses. Every officer or NCO should take the initiative to determine realistic milestones for achieving their goals. Completion of education, training, and experience is a joint responsibility between the officer, their supervisor, and the commander.
In January 2014, the 1st Air Base Group published the 1ABG Airman Manual establishing military standards, qualifications,and as a mean to verify readiness. This manual has been created to assist 1ABG airmen in their military career. It is intended to provide quick guidance to the customs, courtesies, and basic knowledge of the United States Air Force (USAF) and life in the PRSG Air Force. Whether the member have prior military experience, or no military experience, this guide sets forth the basic military principles and policies required of an airman.
The contents of this publication are a compilation of materials from military manuals and guides and is designed to serve as a guide to all members of the 1st Air Base Group-Puerto Rico Air Sate Guard. This manual is intended to be used as an orientation resource for new members and a reference document for all personnel.
The 1ABG Airman Manual includes the following chapters:
- PRSG History, Legal Definition & Capabilities
- PRNG & USAF History
- 1ABG History & Organization
- Military Uniforms & Ranks
- Customs, Courtesies & Protocols
- Drill & Ceremonies
- Airman's Basic Skills
- Military Emergency Management
- PRSG Regulations 600-100 (Officers Program Regulation)
- PRSG Regulations 600-200 (Enlisted & NCO Program Regulation)
- PRSG 1ABG Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP) Policy Manual
- National Guard Bureau Regulation 10-4
Also, all 1st Air Base Group personnel participate in the PRSG Military Academy specialized and general trainings:
- Basic Military Training (Non Prior Service Leadership Course)
- Basic and Advanced Non Commissioned Officer Training (Basic NCO Leaders Course, Advance NCO Leaders Course, and First Sergeant School)
- Basic and Advanced Officer Training (Basic Officer Leaders Course & Advance Officer Leaders Course)
- Basic Military Marksmanship Course
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) given in concert with FEMA/DHS
- Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Certification
During Training Year 2010-2011 the 1st Air Base Group participated as a Unit in the Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Program. The Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) Academy was established by the State Guard Association of the United States, Inc. (SGAUS) in 1998 to promote and advance the practice of emergency management among the various State Defense Forces or State Military Reserves. The program is structured around the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS).
The 1ABG certified the 90% of their personnel as MEMS Basic and NIMS Compliance, being the first and only State Defense Force Unit in the Nation to achieve that goal.
With the support of the PRSG MEMS Academy staff & instructors, the 1ABG completed the following FEMA-Emergency Management Institute classroom courses:
- IS100 Introduction to Incident Command System
- IS200 Basic Incident Command System
- IS700 National Incident Management System
- IS800b National Response Framework
- IS775 Emergency Operations Center
- IS208 State Disaster Management
- Q534 Emergency Response to Terrorism
Also as a Group, as a requirement for the Basic MEMS Certification, they completed a Point of Distribution Exercise planned under Incident Command principles at Puerto Rico National Guard's Camp Santiago Joint Maneuvering Training Site, Salinas, PR.
- Military history of Puerto Rico
- State Guard Association of the United States
- Puerto Rico State Guard
- Puerto Rico National Guard
- Puerto Rico Air National Guard
- Muñiz Air National Guard Base
- 156th Airlift Wing
- Awards and decorations of the State Defense Forces
- Puerto Rico Code of Military Justice (Spanish)
- Puerto Rico State Guard Regulations 600-100 & 600-200
- 1st Air Base Group Guidelines for the use of the USAF Professional Specialty Badges by PRSG Air Force Personnel
- Evaluation of Department of Defense Interaction with State Defense Forces
- National Guard Regulation 10-4, "National Guard Interaction With State Defense Forces", 2011.
- U.S. Army War College Paper "State Defense Forces and Homeland Security"; Arthus Tulak, Robert Kraft, and Don Silbaugh, 2004.
- DoD Report to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees on Homeland Defense Force for Homeland Defense and Homeland Security Missions, November 2005 HR Report 108-491.
- "US State Defense Forces". Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- American Legion Magazine "A well-regulated militia," 2008.