Arizona Air National Guard

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Arizona Air National Guard
Shield of the Arizona Air National Guard
Active12 December 1946 – present
Country United States of America
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Air Force
Role"To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."
Part of Air National Guard
Arizona National Guard
Garrison/HQJoint Force Headquarters, 5636 E McDowell Road, Phoenix
Civilian leadershipPresident Joe Biden
Frank Kendall III
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Governor Katie Hobbs
(Governor of the State of Arizona)
State military leadershipMajor General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck
Aircraft flown
FighterF-16 Fighting Falcon
ReconnaissanceMQ-1 Predator
TankerKC-135 Stratotanker

The Arizona Air National Guard (AZ ANG) is the aerial militia of the state of Arizona, United States of America. It is, along with the Arizona Army National Guard, an element of the Arizona National Guard.

As state militia units, the units in the Arizona Air National Guard are not typically in the normal United States Air Force chain of command unless federalized. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Arizona through the office of the Arizona Adjutant General unless they are federalized when ordered by the President of the United States. The Arizona Air National Guard is headquartered at the Joint Force Headquarters in Phoenix and at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and its commander is currently Major General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck.


Under the "Total Force" concept, Arizona Air National Guard units are an Air Reserve Components (ARC) of the United States Air Force (USAF). Arizona 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 Arizona 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 Arizona 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 Arizona Air National Guard consists of the following major units:

The wing's origins can be traced to the establishment of the 197th Fighter Squadron on 12 December 1946. It operates: KC-135R Stratotankers
Stationed at: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix
Gained by: Air Mobility Command
Provides aerial refueling support to Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and allied nation aircraft.[1]
Established 1969 as group, operates F-16C/D Fighting Falcons
Stationed at: Tucson Air National Guard Base, Tucson
Gained by: Air Education and Training Command
The largest ANG fighter wing consisting of about 1,100 full-time members and 600 part-time citizen airmen. The wing consists of three squadrons and more than 70 F-16 aircraft. the 162d conducts international pilot training in support of foreign military sales (FMS) program.[1][2]
Established 29 August 2007; operates: MQ-1B Predators
Stationed at: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson
Gained by: Air Combat Command
The wing flies the MQ-1B Predator over Afghanistan via satellite from ground control stations in Tucson[3]

Support Unit Functions and Capabilities:

  • 107th Air Control Squadron
Stationed at: Luke Air Force Base, Glendale
Gained by: Air Education and Training Command
It provides radar control to flying units operating in local airspaces. It operates and maintains extensive radar and communications to train student Weapons Directors for postings throughout the Air Force and Air National Guard.[4]
Stationed at: Sky Harbor Air National Guard Base, Phoenix
Gained by: Air Force Space Command
It is a space communications unit, being the military's first unit to operate free-floating balloons in the near space environment.


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.[5]

An F-51H Mustang of the 197th Fighter Squadron. The Mustang was flown from 1946 until 1954.

The Arizona ANG was founded by Barry Goldwater, and its origins date to the formation of the 197th Fighter Squadron at Luke Army Airfield, Glendale, receiving federal recognition on 12 December 1946. It was equipped with F-51D Mustangs and its mission was the air defense of the state. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Arizona 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[5]

Under Goldwater‘s direction, the Arizona ANG integrated in 1947, two years before President Truman's Executive Order 9981 ending racial segregation in the United States Armed Forces.[6]

On 2 October 1957 the 197th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 161st Fighter-Interceptor Group was allotted by the National Guard Bureau, extended federal recognition and activated.

Today, the Arizona ANG performs a worldwide air refueling mission, a homeland defense training mission and tactical battlefield reconnaissance missions. Its 111th Space Operations Squadron is the first space communications unit in the United States military.

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

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b "Home | Department of Emergency and Military Affairs". Archived from the original on 2021-08-13. Retrieved 2021-09-13.
  2. ^ "162nd Fighter Wing". Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  3. ^ "214th RG website". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ "107th ACS Factsheet". Archived from the original on February 21, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Rosenfeld, Susan and Gross, Charles J (2007), Air National Guard at 60: A History. Air National Guard history program AFD-080527-040" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 13, 2016.
  6. ^ "Life". Books. September 18, 1964. Retrieved March 3, 2012.

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