Ohio Air National Guard

Ohio Air National Guard
Ohio Air National Guard
Air national guard shield.svg

Active 21 August 1946 - present
Country United States
Branch Air National Guard
Role "To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."
Garrison/HQ Beightler Armory, Columbus, Ohio
Civilian leadership Governor John Kasich
State military leadership Brig. Gen. Mark E. Bartman
USAF Roundel Roundel of the USAF.svg
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-16C Fighting Falcon
Transport C-130H Hercules
C-27J Spartan

The Ohio Air National Guard is a part of the United States National Guard and an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is composed of approximately 5,000 airmen and officers assigned to four flying wings and eight non-flying support units. OHANG units are based in Columbus, Springfield, Mansfield, Toledo, Zanesville, Blue Ash, and Port Clinton. The Ohio Air National Guard maintains and operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon, C-130 Hercules, and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.

The commander of the Ohio Air National Guard since January 2011 is Brigadier General Mark E. Bartman. General Bartman, previously commander of the OANG's 180th Fighter Wing, also serves as Ohio Assistant Adjutant General-Air, and between 2002 and 2010 served in all the command positions within the 180th FW.




Aviation units of the National Guard first began operating in 1915. The state of Ohio received its first aerial unit after World War I, when the 112th Observation Squadron (consolidated with the World War I 112th Aero Squadron on October 20, 1936) was constituted in 1921 and assigned to the 37th Division, but not activated. The 112th O.S. was organized and federally recognized on June 20, 1927, at Cleveland Airport. In 1933 the unit was assigned to the 45th Observation Group, a Regular Army Inactive (RAI) unit assigned to support the V Corps in wartime. The unit was inducted into federal service on November 25, 1940, and assigned to Pope Field, North Carolina, in support of the I Corps.

One of its former members, Lt. Col. Addison E. Baker, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor while commanding the B-24-equipped 93rd Bomb Group during a mission against the Ploesti oil refineries on August 1, 1943. The 112th Observation Squadron continues today as the 112th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo.

The Ohio Air National Guard was formed when the 357th Fighter Group, a highly-decorated fighter unit in World War II, was inactivated on August 20, 1946, and its squadrons designated for assignment to the Ohio ANG. The official site of the Ohio Air National Guard notes that it is "descended from the 357th Fighter Group".[1] The 357th Fighter Group was re-designated the 121st Fighter Group on August 21, 1946, and the 121st FG then allocated to the OHANG.[2] In 1947, with the passage of the National Security Act of 1947 creating a separate Air Force, the Ohio Air National Guard came into being as a federally-recognized reserve component.[3] The 121st FG received its federal recognition on June 26, 1948.

The three fighter squadrons of the 357th were also re-designated as squadrons of the Ohio Air National Guard. (Subsequently the 121st FG was inactivated.) Initially fighter squadrons flying F-84 and later F-100 and A-7 jets, these redesignated squadrons that formed the first units of the OHANG are:

  • 162d Fighter Squadron (formerly the 362d FS), now an F-16 training squadron. Federally recognized on November 2, 1947.
  • 164th Airlift Squadron (formerly the 363d FS), now a C-130 squadron. Federally recognized on June 20, 1948.
  • 166th Air Refueling Squadron (formerly the 364th FS), now a KC-135 tanker squadron. Federally recognized on March 2, 1948.

Operational history

180th FW F-16Cs.
179th AW C-130H Hercules.

The 121st Fighter Wing, of which the 121st FG was initially a part, was created as the 55th Fighter Wing on December 7, 1947, to continue the history and the lineage of the 55th Bomb Wing, a B-24 outfit that saw combat in Italy during World War II.[4] In November 1950 it was redesignated as the 121st Fighter Wing and equipped with the first jet aircraft to serve in the OHANG. The 121st FW was called to federal service during the Korean War, although neither it nor its squadrons saw combat. Other units saw service during the Berlin Airlift, the Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm.

The 160th Air Refueling Wing was assigned to the Strategic Air Command on July 1, 1976. Based at Rickenbacker AFB and equipped with KC-135s, the 160th ARW was one of 13 Air Guard refueling units assigned to SAC as part of the initial integration of Air Reserve Component units into its forces and mission. On the disbandment of SAC , the 160th Wing was reassigned to Air Mobility Command, Fifteenth Air Force on May 31, 1992, and its 160th Air Refueling Group merged with the 121st Fighter Wing to become the current 121st Air Refueling Wing. The 160th ARG was inactivated but its 145th ARS continues as a unit of the 121st ARW today. The Major Command assignment of the 121st ARW is the Air Mobility Command.

The 178th Tactical Fighter Group was formed on October 15, 1962, from the 162nd Tactical Fighter Squadron and its supporting units after serving on active duty in response to the 1961 Berlin Crisis. In 1993 it also transitioned from A-7 Corsair fighter bombers to F-16s and became the 178th Fighter Wing. The Major Command assignment of the 178th FW is the Air Education and Training Command. The 178th is currently a Fighter Training Unit and the mission since 2007 has been a Foreign Sales Mission. The 178th engages in full scale training of the Royal Netherlands Air Force under the FSM. This mission is scheduled through 2010.

The 179th Tactical Fighter Group was formed out of the 164th TFS on October 19, 1962, after its release from federal service. Initially equipped with F-84s, the group converted to C-130 Hercules airlifters in January 1976 and became the 179th Tactical Airlift Group. It underwent its most current redesignation on October 1, 1995, when it became the 179th Airlift Wing. The 179th is currently re-equipping with the C-27 Spartan tactical airlifter with planned initial operational capability delayed until 2011, and a deployment to Afghanistan originally scheduled for March 2011 delayed four months. The Major Command assignment of the 179th AW is the Air Mobility Command.

The 180th Tactical Fighter Group was formed in October 1962 flying F-84 Thunderstreak fighter bombers, shortly after its release from federal service. It later converted to F-100 Super Sabres and A-7s, and participated in Operation Just Cause in 1989. In 1993 it acquired F-16 fighters and became the 180th Fighter Wing. The Major Command assignment of the 180th FW is the Air Combat Command.

Currently, the Ohio Air National Guard is serving a joint state-federal mission as part of the Global War on Terror. F-16 and C-130 aircraft of all OHANG units display the tail code "OH".

In 2005 the 179th Airlift Wing, 121st Air Refueling Wing, 180th Fighter Wing, 178th Fighter Wing, 200th Red Horse Squadron, 251st Combat Communications Group, 269th combat Communications Squadron, 123rd Air Control Squadron where deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina.

Ohio Air National Guard organizations

Headquarters, Ohio Air National Guard, Beightler Armory, Columbus, Ohio

Flying units

121st ARW KC-135R Stratotanker.
178th FW F-16C.

Support units

  • 251st Combat Communications Group, Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, Ohio
  • 269th Combat Communications Squadron, Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport
  • 123rd Air Control Squadron, Blue Ash Air Station, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 200th Red Horse Squadron, Camp Perry Air National Guard Station, Port Clinton, Ohio
  • 220th Engineering Installation Squadron, Zanesville Municipal Airport, Zanesville, Ohio
  • 164th Weather Flight, Rickenbacker International Airport, Columbus, Ohio
  • 555th Air Force Band, Air Force Band of the Great Lakes ("Triple Nickel"), Toledo Express Airport, Swanton, Ohio



  1. ^ "History". Ohio Air National Guard. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060903232622/http://www.oh.ang.af.mil/pages/history.htm. Retrieved 14 October 2006. 
  2. ^ Maurer Maurer (1961). "357th Fighter Group". Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0405121946. 
  3. ^ "History on-line". National Guard Bureau Historical Services Division. http://www.ang.af.mil/history/. Retrieved 11 January 2007. 
  4. ^ "121st Air Refueling Wing". Ohio Air National Guard. http://www.ohcolu.ang.af.mil/. Retrieved 11 January 2007. 

External links

Official sites
Unofficial pages from GlobalSecurity.org

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