South Carolina Air National Guard
|South Carolina Air National Guard|
157th Fighter Squadron F-16C Fighting Falcon Block 52 aircraft flies next to a Lockheed C-130H-LM Hercules from the 169th Operations Support Flight, 169th Fighter Wing. The 157th is the oldest unit in the South Carolina Air National Guard, having over 50 years of service to the state and nation
|Active||9 December 1946 - present|
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Role||"To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."|
|Part of||South Carolina National Guard
United States National Guard Bureau
|Garrison/HQ||South Carolina Air National Guard, 1 National Guard Road, Columbia, South Carolina, 29201|
|Civilian leadership||President Barack Obama
Michael B. Donley
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Governor Nikki Haley
(Governor of the State of South Carolina)
|State military leadership||Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.|
|Emblem of the South Carolina Air National Guard|
|Fighter||F-16C/D Fighting Falcon|
The South Carolina Air National Guard (SC ANG) is the air force militia of the State of South Carolina, United States of America. It is, along with the South Carolina Army National Guard, an element of the South Carolina National Guard.
As state militia units, the units in the South Carolina Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of South Carolina though the office of the South Carolina Adjutant General unless they are are federalized by order of the President of the United States. The South Carolina Air National Guard is headquartered in Columbia, and its commander is Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.
Under the "Total Force" concept, South Carolina Air National Guard units are considered to be Air Reserve Components (ARC) of the United States Air Force (USAF). South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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.
The South Carolina Air National Guard consists of the following major unit:
- Established 9 December 1946 (as: 157th Fighter Squadron); operates: Block 52 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon (F-16CJ) and WC-130H Hercules
- Stationed at: McEntire Joint National Guard Base, Eastover; Gained by: Air Combat Command
- The federal mission of the 169th FW in accordance with Title 10 USC is to maintain wartime readiness and the ability to mobilize and deploy expeditiously to carry out tactical air missions or combat support activities in the event of a war or military emergency. More specifically, the wing specializes in the Suppression and Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD).
Support Unit Functions and Capabilities:
- 245th Air Traffic Control Squadron, McIntyre AGB
- The 245th ATCS has the ability to perform air traffic control at fixed air bases and at remote sites.
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.
The South Carolina Air National Guard origins date to 9 December 1946 with the establishment of the 157th Fighter Squadron and is oldest unit of the South Carolina Air National Guard. It was federally recognized and activated at Congaree Air Base, near Eastover and was equipped with F-51D Mustangs. Its mission was the air defense of the state. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the South Carolina 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.
In 1950 the 157th was re-equipped with former World War II F-5 Mustangs, now designated RF-51D which had been used in the United States in a training role. Te squadron became part of Tactical Air Command (TAC) as a Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The 157th Fighter Squadron was federalized due to the Korean War on 10 October 1950. During its federalization period, the 157th was deployed to Toul-Rosières Air Base, departing for Europe in January 1952. On 9 July 1952 the activated South Carolina Air National Guard was released from active duty and returned to state control.
On 5 September 1957, the 157th Fighter-Bomber Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 169th Fighter-Interceptor Group was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 157th was re-designated as a Fighter-Interceptor squadron and became the group's flying squadron. In late 1961, the SCANG was again called to active duty during the Berlin Crisis, and the 169th Tactical Fighter Group was stationed at Moron, Spain.
Today, the South Carolina Air National Guard is one of the most advanced and modern Air National Guard organizatons in the nation. The 169 FW was the first wing in the Air National Guard to fly the F-16. The 169 FW flew the F-16A from 1983-1994. In 1994, the wing transitioned to the F-16C/Block 52, the newest, most advanced F-16 in the Air Force inventory. The SCANG also flies a C-130H Hercules for airlift support. Prior to operating the F-16, the 169 FW operated the A-7D Corsair II during the 1970s and early 1980s and the F-104 Starfighter in the 1960s.
In late 1990, units of the SCANG were activated and deployed to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Storm, flying 2,000 combat missions and dropping 4 million pounds of munitions, while maintaining the highest aircraft mission capable rate in the theater. In January 2002, aircraft and personnel of the 169th Fighter Wing were deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, directly participating in combat operations. In late February 2002, the 240th Combat Communications Squadron deployed a 50-member team to Central Asia in support of War on Terrorism. The 240th members returned in August after six months in theater. In September 2002, the 245th ATCS deployed to Afghanistan Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, returning in January 2003. In February 2003, nearly 400 members of the 169th FW and all of its F-16s were mobilized and deployed to Southwest Asia as part of what became Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 169th was attached to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, stationed in Qatar. The unit flew more than 400 combat missions, performing the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) mission and flying numerous precision bombing missions over Iraq. The 169th FW was also a regular participant in the Air Expeditionary Force, which patrolled the Iraqi no-fly zones. The unit has deployed for: Operation Southern Watch (Qatar, 1996), Operation Northern Watch (Turkey, 2000), Operation Southern Watch (Saudi Arabia, 2001). The 169th FW was the first Air National Guard unit to deploy alongside active-duty Air Force units to comprise an AEF.
- Gross, Charles J (1996), The Air National Guard and the American Military Tradition, United States Dept. of Defense, ISBN: 0160483026
- South Carolina Military Department
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