ANG: A Short Story

The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.

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ANG History Program

Mission Statement
The Air National Guard History Program supports present and future U.S. Warfighters by documenting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating the history of the Air National Guard in order to:

  • Preserve an official record of ANG mission accomplishment at home and around the world
  • Make valuable information available to decision makers and action officers
  • Support professional military education
  • Promote awareness of ANG heritage
  • Provide reference material for researchers

Utah Air National Guard History

The Utah Air National Guard was founded on November 18, 1946. The base is located on over 82 acres in the northeast corner of the Salt Lake International Airport. Nearly 1500 trained men and women serve in the Utah ANG to guard the state of Utah and defend the United States of America.

Commanded by Brigadier General David R. Fountain, the Assistant Adjutant General for Air, the Utah ANG assignments include real-world military operations as well as daily activities that support state and federal missions and fulfill training requirements.

Utah ANG's largest component, the 151st Air Refueling Wing, is commanded by Col. Darwin L. Craig. The 151st ARW includes 17 squadrons and 6 commanders who are committed to building excellent organizations within the wing. Four additional tenant units and commanders are also located at the Utah ANG base.

The Utah ANG began as a fighter-bomber unit, but now serves an air refueling mission. Its assigned mission has changed three times over the past 60 years. The type of aircraft flown by the wing has changed a total of eight times. The current primary aircraft assigned to the wing are the KC-135R Stratotankers. The 151st ARW has been operating the KC-135 since it was originally assigned to Utah in 1978, when the unit became part of the Strategic Air Command. The Strategic Air Command became the Air Mobility Command in June 1992.

Historical examples of federal service are numerous.

Members were called to serve 21 months during the Korean Conflict. Flying P-51 fighter aircraft, 10 pilots flew over 100 missions. Two Utah pilots were killed in this conflict. One Utah ANG pilot, Capt.Clifford Jolley, flying an F-86 Sabrejet, shot down seven soviet made MIG-15 aircraft and became the first Air Guard "Ace" of the Korean Conflict.

During the Vietnam War, Utah Air Guard crews flew 6,600 hours of support missions for American forces.

During the Middle East Crisis in August of 1990, Utah ANG crews were some of the first to volunteer in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Utah ANG's support of this operation continued well into 1991.

In 1999 many members were deployed in support of Operation Allied Force.

The Utah ANG participates in ongoing Aerospace Expeditionary Force missions. With the onset of the on-going war on terror, all units of the Utah Air National Guard have maintained extremely high operational and deployment tempos. Since September 11, 2001, members of Utah ANG have been activated and deployed for worldwide duty to include operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. In addition, members are continuously volunteering to provide support for worldwide humanitarian missions.

At home, local communities see many benefits from the Utah ANG. Many opportunities exist to meet legitimate military training needs while serving the community. Activities include Sub-for-Santa, blood drives, Adopt a School Program, highway cleanup and the 2002 Olympics. The Utah ANG also maintains a state of readiness should Utah need support during an earthquake, flood, civil disturbance, or major disaster. Since 1946, the Utah ANG has responded to numerous local and national emergencies; including assisting evacuees in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in September 2005.