Florida Air National Guard

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Florida Air National Guard
US Air Force 050519-F-1279W-035 Beach Eagle.jpg
159th Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle, Jacksonville ANGB. The 159th is the oldest unit in the Florida Air National Guard, having over 60 years of service to the state and nation
Active 9 February 1947 - present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Florida
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Role "To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."
Part of Florida Department of Military Affairs
United States National Guard Bureau
Garrison/HQ Florida Air National Guard, St. Francis Barracks, 82 Marine Street Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32088
Motto "Guarding America, Defending Freedom"
Commanders
Civilian leadership President Barack Obama
(Commander-in-Chief)
Michael B. Donley
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Rick Scott
(Governor of Florida)
State military leadership Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr.
Insignia
Emblem of the Florida Air National Guard Florida Air National Guard HQ patch.svg
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-22A Raptor, F-15C/D Eagle
Transport C-130H Hercules, C-26 Metroliner

The Florida Air National Guard (FL ANG) is the air force militia of the State of Florida, United States of America. It is, along with the Florida Army National Guard, an element of the Florida National Guard.

As state militia units, the units in the Florida Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Florida though the office of the Florida Adjutant General unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States. The Florida Air National Guard is headquartered at St. Francis Barracks in St. Augustine, and its commander is Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr.

Overview[edit]

Under the "Total Force" concept, Florida Air National Guard units are considered to be Air Reserve Components (ARC) of the United States Air Force (USAF). Florida ANG units are trained and equipped by the Air Force and are operationally gained by a Major Command of the USAF if federalized. In addition, the Florida Air National Guard forces are assigned to Air Expeditionary Forces and are subject to deployment tasking orders along with their active duty and Air Force Reserve counterparts in their assigned cycle deployment window.

Along with their federal reserve obligations, as state militia units the elements of the Florida ANG are subject to being activated by order of the Governor to provide protection of life and property, and preserve peace, order and public safety. State missions 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.

Components[edit]

The Florida Air National Guard consists of the following major units:

Established 9 February 1947 (as 159th Fighter Squadron); operates: F-15C/D Eagle
Stationed at: Jacksonville Air National Guard Base, Jacksonville
Gained by: Air Combat Command
Provides air defense as part of the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) / North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in time of war or national emergency for the defense of the North American continent. Provides air superiority/air dominance for unified combatant commanders when deployed worldwide as part of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces. Operationally-gained by Air Combat Command.
125th Fighter Wing Detachment 1
Stationed at: Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead (rotational aircraft, pilots and maintenance crews from Jacksonville Air National Guard Base)
Provides the Continental NORAD Region (CONR) commander with rapid response to invasions of the sovereign airspace of the United States and respond with appropriate defense measures.
Stationed at: Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City
The 325th Fighter Wing Associate Unit (325 FW AU) is the premier Air National Guard (ANG) fighter associate unit, training active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard personnel for the F-22 Air Dominance Role. Operationally-gained by Air Combat Command.

Support Unit Functions and Capabilities:

Provides operational-level Command and Control (C2) of air and space forces as the focal point for planning, directing, and assessing air and space operations within CONUS NORAD Region (CONR) and USNORTHCOM. Operationally-gained by Air Combat Command.
  • Air National Guard Weather Readiness Training Center, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke
Trains and provides personnel to the Air National Guard weather community.
Provides defensive and offensive counterspace and space situational awareness in support of global and theater campaigns. Operationally-gained by Air Force Space Command.[1]
  • 202d RED HORSE Squadron, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke
Provides a highly mobile, rapidly deployable civil engineering response force; and to perform heavy damage repair for recovery of critical air force facilities and utility systems following enemy attack or natural disaster.
Provides Unified Commands, Services, Defense Agencies and non-Defense Agencies, tactical communications systems to support United States national security objectives during time of crisis, war and natural disaster recovery. Operationally-gained by Air Mobility Command.
  • 159th Weather Flight, Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Starke
Trains wartime ready, professional teams to provide the highest quality meteorological services to varying national, state and local missions.

History[edit]

On 24 May 1946, the United States Army Air Forces, in response to dramatic postwar military budget cuts imposed by President Harry S. Truman, allocated inactive unit designations to the National Guard Bureau for the formation of an Air Force National Guard. These unit designations were allotted and transferred to various State National Guard bureaus to provide them unit designations to re-establish them as Air National Guard units.[2]

Florida Air National Guard F-51H Mustang AF Ser. No. 44-64603. The 159th Fighter Squadron operated the Mustang between 1947-1954

A National Guard Bureau document dated 16 March 1946, gave states permission to request an Air Force unit allotment. Months later, Florida accepted the 159th Fighter Squadron with an authorized strength of 50 officers and 303 enlisted men. Governor Millard F. Caldwell formally accepted the unit on 30 August 1946, and full federal recognition was granted on 9 February 1947.[3] 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Florida Air National Guard's official birth concurrent with the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the United States military under the National Security Act.[2]

On 1 July 1956 the 159th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level and the 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group (125 FIG) was established by the National Guard Bureau, the 159th FIS becoming the group's flying squadron, both organizations operationally-gained by Air Defense Command (ADC) until 1968 when ADC was renamed Aerospace Defense Command. With the disestablishment of ADC, the 125 FIG operational claimancy was shifted to Tactical Air Command in October 1979. With the disestablishment of TAC in 1992, the 125 FIG was renamed the 125th Fighter Group (125 FG) and in October 1995 it was expanded to a wing level organization flying the F-15 Eagle and renamed the 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW), operationally-gained by Air Combat Command (ACC).

Originally designated as Detachment 1, Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), the 325th Fighter Wing Air National Guard Fighter Associate Unit was officially activated on October 1, 1999 at Tyndall Air Force Base. The unit's initial mission was to train active duty and Air National Guard pilots to fly the F-15 Eagle in the air dominance role. The Associate Unit members were completely integrated into all aspects of the 2nd, 43rd, and 95th Fighter Squadrons, as well as the 325th Operations Support Squadron. Today, the unit continues that mission training active duty Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard pilots to fly the F-22 Raptor in the air dominance role. The associate unit is operationally controlled by the 325th Operations Group under the overall direction of the 325th Fighter Wing.[3]

After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, elements of every Air National Guard unit in Florida have been activated in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Flight crews, aircraft maintenance personnel, communications technicians, air controllers and air security personnel were also engaged in Operation Noble Eagle air defense overflights of major United States cities. Florida ANG units have been deployed overseas as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, as well as other overseas locations as directed.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]