Florida Air National Guard

Florida Air National Guard

159th Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle, Jacksonville ANGB. The 159th is the oldest unit in the Florida Air National Guard, having nearly 70 years of service to the state and nation.
Active 9 February 1947 - present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Florida
Branch   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(s) "Guarding America, Defending Freedom"
Civilian leadership President Barack Obama
Deborah Lee James
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Rick Scott
(Governor of Florida)
State military leadership Brigadier General James Eifert
Emblem of the Florida Air National Guard
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-22A Raptor, F-15C/D Eagle
Transport C-26 Metroliner

The Florida Air National Guard is the air force militia of the State of Florida and, as part of the air force militia of the United States, is part of the Air National Guard. On a state level, along with the Florida Army National Guard, it is also an element of the Florida National Guard.

As an Air Force organization, it also part of the Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the U.S. Air Force, a position it shares with its "federal" ARC partner, the Air Force Reserve Command.

As state militia units, the units in the Florida Air National Guard (FL ANG) are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. FL ANG units remain 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. This jurisdictional model of answering to state, commonwealth or territorial governors applies to all Air National Guard units in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with the sole exception being the District of Columbia Air National Guard, which is under the direct jurisdiction of the President of the United States through the office of the Commanding General District of Columbia National Guard.

The Florida Air National Guard is headquartered at St. Francis Barracks (also known as the State Arsenal), in St. Augustine, and its commander is Brigadier General James Eifert.[1]


Under the "Total Force" concept, all Florida Air National Guard units at the wing, group, squadron and flight level are considered to be part of the Air Reserve Component (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 (MAJCOM) 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 Command 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.


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

Established 9 February 1947 (as the 159th Fighter Squadron); operates the F-15C/D Eagle plus the C-26A Metroliner
Stationed at: Jacksonville International Airport (Jacksonville Air National Guard Base), Jacksonville
Operationally Gained by: Air Combat Command
As a unit of the First Air Force (1 AF) and AFNORTH, the 125 FW performs an air defense mission for United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) / North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) under the Continental NORAD Region (CONR) commander in peacetime, wartime, or in the event of national emergency, for the defense of the North American continent. The 125 FW is also available to other combatant commanders for forward deployment to perform air superiority/air dominance missions in other theaters outside of the United States, providing air superiority/air dominance as part of Air and Space Expeditionary Forces.

125th Fighter Wing Detachment 1 (125 FW Det 1)
Stationed at: Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead
Rotational F-15 aircraft, pilots and maintenance crews from the 125 FW at Jacksonville, manning FL ANG Operating Location Alfa Alfa (OL-AA), an air defense Alert Facility at Homestead ARB
Operationally Gained by: Air Combat Command
Provides the Continental NORAD Region (CONR) commander with rapid response to invasions of the sovereign airspace of the southern United States and to respond with appropriate air defense measures.

Stationed at: Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City
Operationally Gained by: Air Combat Command
The 325th Fighter Wing Associate Unit provides instructor pilot augmentation to the active duty 325th Fighter Wing (325 FW) and 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-22A Raptor aircraft in the Air Dominance Role.

Stationed at: Tyndall AFB, Panama City
Operationally Gained by: Air Combat Command
Previously known as the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), the 101 AOG provides manning for First Air Force's 601st Air and Space Operations Center (601 AOC) for operational-level Command and Control (C2) of air and space forces and as the focal point for planning, directing, and assessing air and space operations within the CONUS NORAD Region (CONR) and USNORTHCOM.[2] The 101 AOG is operationally-gained by Air Combat Command.

Support Unit Functions and Capabilities:

Provides defensive and offensive counter-space and space situational awareness in support of global and theater campaigns. The 114 SPCS is operationally gained by Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).[3]

As a Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron (RED HORSE), the 202 RHS provides a highly mobile, rapidly deployable civil engineering response force, optimized to perform heavy damage repair for the recovery of air fields, other critical Air Force facilities, and associated military utility systems following enemy attack or natural disaster. The 202 RHS is operationally gained by Air Combat Command (ACC).

Provides Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, globally deployable, enroute, and early entry communications support to geographic combatant commands, the United States Special Operations Command, individual U.S. armed services, other Department of Defense activities and combat support agencies, other U.S. Government agencies, and the state of Florida. The 290 JCSS is associated with the U.S. Transportation Command's Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC) and the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE). As a USAF organization, the squadron is operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).[4]

Previously known as the Air National Guard Weather Readiness Training Center (ANGWRTC),[5] the 131 TF trains and provides personnel to the Air National Guard weather community. The 131 TF is operationally gained by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).

Trains wartime ready, professional teams to provide the highest quality meteorological services to varying national, state and local missions. The 159 WF is operationally gained by the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).


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.[6]

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

A National Guard Bureau document dated 16 March 1946, gave states permission to request an Army Air Forces unit allotment. Months later, Florida accepted the 159th Fighter Squadron with an authorized strength of 50 officers and 303 enlisted men. The unit was established at Imeson Airport in Jacksonville and Governor Millard F. Caldwell formally accepted the unit on 30 August 1946. Full federal recognition of the unit was granted on 9 February 1947, when it became a National Guard unit under the U.S. Army Air Forces.[7] However, 18 September 1947 is considered to be 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 of 1947.[6]

In 1954, the 159th relinquished their F-51s for F-80 Shooting Stars and in 1956 upgraded again to F-86 Sabres. On 1 July 1956, the 159th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level organization and the 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group (125 FIG) was established by the National Guard Bureau, with the 159 FIS becoming the group's flying squadron. Both organizations remained operationally gained by the Air Defense Command (ADC) and in 1960 transitioned to the F-102 Delta Dagger.

In 1968, ADC was renamed Aerospace Defense Command and remained the 125 FIG's gaining command. That same year, the 125 FIG and its F-102 aircraft relocated from the soon-to-be closing Imeson Airport to a newly constructed military installation at the new Jacksonville International Airport. This was followed by another aircraft transition in 1974 to the F-106 Delta Dart.

With the disestablishment of ADC in October 1979, operational claimancy of the 125 FIG was shifted to Tactical Air Command (TAC) and the unit transitioned to the F-16 Fighting Falcon in 1987. 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 and renamed the 125th Fighter Wing (125 FW), operationally gained by Air Combat Command (ACC). The same year, the 125th also transitioned from the F-16 to the F-15 Eagle, the aircraft that it continues to fly today.

Another Florida ANG flying unit, originally designated as Detachment 1, Southeast Air Defense Sector (Det 1, SEADS), is the 325th Fighter Wing Associate Unit (325 FW AU), which was officially activated on 1 October 1999 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The unit's initial mission was to train active duty and Air National Guard pilots to fly the F-15 Eagle in its F-15A/B and F-15C/D variants in the air dominance role. The Associate Unit members were completely integrated into all aspects of the active duty 2nd, 43rd, and 95th Fighter Squadrons, as well as the 325th Operations Support Squadron. Today, the unit continues that mission training responsibility for 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.[7]

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.

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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