ALASKA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
The Alaska Army National Guard headquarters is located on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson at Camp Denali. Only a portion of the 1,900 fully mission-capable Soldiers work full time at the headquarters. Most are “M-day” citizen Soldiers who work and train one weekend a month and perform two weeks of annual training throughout the year. Guardsmen live in nearly every community across Alaska and maintain proficiency in their ability to perform the Guard’s state and federal missions, including state emergency response, air and ground search and rescue support, and ballistic missile defense.
The Alaska Army National Guard’s two major subordinate commands are the 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and the 38th Troop Command. The 297th BFSB conducts intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations for the federal government and conducts Defense Support to Civil Authorities for the state. The 38th Troop Command is composed of multiple units, including a public affairs detachment, civil support team, contingency contracting team, regional training institute, ground-based midcourse missile defense battalion, military police battalion, aviation battalion, recruiting and retention command, and a medical command.
The Alaska Army National Guard serves the communities of Alaska with extensive Innovative Readiness Training exercises and outreach programs such as Arctic Care, a recurring health care program; and Operation Santa Claus, an Alaska National Guard yearly community relations and support program that provides toys, clothing, books, school supplies and fresh fruit to children in rural communities across the state.
The Alaska Army National Guard is fully ready to perform its federal mission and protect Alaskans from natural and man-made threats by assisting the state when called upon.
176TH WING, ALASKA AIR NATIONAL GUARD
The 176th Wing is one of the largest and most active Air National Guard wings in the country. Its more than 1,400 members serve Alaska and the United States as pilots, navigators, pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, mechanics, engineers, electricians, administrative support personnel, network programmers, air controllers, medical technicians, chaplains, photojournalists, firefighters and more. Many of these highly trained men and women work full time for the wing. Most, however, are “traditional” members, that is, citizen Airmen from all walks of life who work and train one weekend a month and 15 other days throughout the year.
From 1955 to 2011, the 176th Wing operated out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, just south of Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage. In early 2011, the unit moved to new buildings on JBER. The 176th Wing’s operational units include the 144th Airlift Squadron; the 210th, 211th and 212th rescue squadrons; and the 176th Air Defense Squadron.
Another important part of the 176th Wing’s mission is manning the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. The RCC’s Guardsmen serve at the hub of Alaska’s rescue infrastructure, coordinating not only Air Guard units but also rescue units of the Coast Guard, National Park Service, Alaska State Troopers and other rescue agencies. The Alaska Air National Guard assumed control of this crucial rescue function in 1994. Since then, Alaska Guard members have coordinated 5,563 missions and are credited with saving more than 2,300 lives.
To learn more about the Alaska National Guard’s 176th Wing, visit www.176wg.ang.af.mil.