MAGAZINE OF THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD ~ Vol. 35, No. 6
HIT THE HOMELAND
Ohio Guard members aid
fellow Americans in response
to severe summer storms
Volume 35, No. 6 November/December 2017
FOCUS ON HISTORY
AIR NATIONAL GUARD ANNALS
A closer look into the origins and lineage of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 112th Fighter Squadron,
now part of the 180th Fighter Wing, which was organized 100 years ago as a supply unit at Kelly Field in
San Antonio, Texas.
Large-scale disaster response is nothing new for the National Guard. One of the largest domestic call-ups of the Ohio National Guard was the response to Hurricane Katrina.
HIT THE HOMELAND
THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD
he appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the Public Affairs Office will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.
Maj. Gen. Bartman highlights the Ohio National Guard helping its fellow Americans — Soldiers and Airmen supporting the response to a series of devastating hurricanes this summer and fall and missions that contribute to the health and wellness of communities.
Jan. 1, 2018, marks the start of the military’s new Blended Retirement System — mandatory for new enlistees and an option for current mid-career service members.
Commander in Chief
Gov. John Kasich
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman
Director, Government and Public Affairs
Lt. Col. Dan Roche
Public Affairs Officer (Federal)
1st Lt. Jordyn Sadowski
Public Information Officer (State)
Ms. Stephanie Beougher
Mr. Steve Toth
Layout and Design
Ms. Cindy Ayers Hayter
Army Historical Content
Sgt. 1st Class Josh Mann
- Army and Air National Guard Photo/
- Unit Public Affairs Representatives (UPARs)
- Ohio Army National Guard Recruiting and
Retention Battalion Marketing Office
The Buckeye Guard is an authorized publication for members of the Department of Defense (DOD). Contents of the Buckeye Guard are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the DOD, the Departments of the Army and Air Force, or the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. The Buckeye Guard is published bimonthly and is available for viewing at ONG.Ohio.gov/buckeyeguard.html . The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the Public Affairs Office (NGOH-PAO), Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, 2825 West Dublin Granville Road, Columbus, Ohio 43235-2789. Direct communication is authorized to the editorial staff at 614-336-7003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Guard members, Family and other interested persons are encouraged to submit any articles and photos meant to inform, educate or entertain Buckeye Guard readers. Submitted content, if approved for usage, may be used additionally or exclusively on the Ohio National Guard website, ONG.Ohio.gov, official Ohio National Guard social media sites, or in other Public Affairs Office products.
The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the Public Affairs Office will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.
From Hurricane Harvey to Hurricane Maria,
more than 400 Ohio National Guard members
were deployed to assist emergency management teams with rescue and relief efforts in Texas,
Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico following a series of severe hurricanes in August
Ohio’s Hurricane Response: A Timeline
Serving the Community During AT: Engineers Assist in Youngstown
Soldiers of the Ohio Army National Guard’s 16th Engineer Brigade spent a portion of their annual training providing demolition support for the city of Youngstown as part of the South Side Blight Removal and Greening project, through the Department of Defense Civil-Military Innovative Readiness Training Program.
Providing Medical Care to Ohio, N.C.
Soldiers and Airmen supported GuardCare this summer in two Ohio counties, which provided no-cost health care to the host communities. Also, a group of Airmen from the 180th Fighter Wing joined more than 200 other service members to provide similar services to residents in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains region.
READ FULL BIOGRAPHY
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman is the Ohio adjutant general. He is a member of the governor’s cabinet and is responsible for the command of the Ohio National Guard and the military readiness of the Ohio Militia. The Ohio National Guard consists of the Ohio Army National Guard, Ohio Air National Guard, Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia, totaling more than 16,000 personnel.
Gen. Bartman graduated from The Ohio State University in 1982 and entered military service in September 1982 through Air Force ROTC. He has served in various operations and command positions and is a command pilot with more than 3,200 flying hours, including 29 combat missions in Operations Provide Comfort, Northern Watch and Southern Watch.
When our neighbors need help, it’s often the National Guard that answers the call. Because of our proximity to the communities we serve and our training, we’re typically the first military responders to domestic emergencies.
In recent months, back-to-back hurricanes barreled through several states and territories, leveling neighborhoods, ripping down power lines and cutting people off from help. Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen joined tens of thousands of other Guard members from across the nation in response to Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma and then Hurricane Maria.
Ohio National Guard units, both Army and Air, have deployed more than 400 personnel since shortly after the first hurricane made landfall. Because of the diligence and dedication of our Soldiers and Airmen, we’ve been ready to respond when called for help. Among the many missions, they delivered purified water and pallets of food, provided emergency shelter, and cared for the sick.
Our ability to respond is rooted in the training we receive. Not only are Guard members trained to the same standard as their active-duty counterparts, they are also able to gain valuable experience through Innovative Readiness Training (IRT). This Department of Defense program allows the National Guard to conduct community projects that support military training requirements utilizing training and/or drill funds and equipment. Instead of going to a training facility to conduct their training, our Soldiers and Airmen apply their skills to a project in their local communities.
One particular IRT project we’ve been proud to be a part of for more than 20 years is GuardCare. This unique partnership with the Ohio Department of Health allows Ohio National Guard medical personnel to provide free health services in Ohio communities, while also providing training and professional development opportunities for Guard members. This year, more than 500 Ohioans received free health services at two events held in Union and Madison counties. GuardCare is a clear example of how the military is applying wartime assets for the good of Ohioans by closing the gap for those who need health care and cannot afford it.
Additional IRTs this year included Soldiers of the 112th Engineer Battalion providing assistance to the City of Youngstown to remove blighted homes and Airmen of the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo working with other military branches to support a medical clinic in North Carolina.
From Ohio’s backyard to the coasts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, whether it’s a planned training event or an unexpected natural disaster, the Ohio National Guard stands ready to assist when called. Always ready, always there!
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman
Ohio Adjutant General
fellow Ohioans, Americans
By Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, The Adjutant General
The Adjutant General’s Department Diversity & Inclusion and Equal Employment Office provides opportunities for Ohio National Guard members to enhance their professional development and embrace diversity and inclusion. Among those opportunities is a reading list suggested by Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general.
Starting in 1997, Bob Chapman and others pioneered a dramatically different approach to leadership that creates off-the-charts morale, loyalty, creativity and business performance. The company utterly rejects the idea that employees are simply functions, to be moved around, “managed” with carrots and sticks or discarded at will. Instead, they manifest the reality that every single person matters, just like in a family. That’s not a cliché on a mission statement; it’s the bedrock of the company’s success.
See the Adjutant General's full reading list
on the Ohio National Guard website.
Everybody Matters, The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family
By Bob Chapman
and Raj Sisodia
Harvey, Irma and Maria. Three names many will not soon forget.
In August and September, beginning with Harvey and followed by Irma and Maria, three major hurricanes hit the mainland United States or two of its territories during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
Since the first storm made landfall in August, the men and women of the Ohio National Guard were engaged with rescue and relief efforts in Texas, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. More than 400 personnel deployed with their assigned equipment deployed to assist emergency management teams on the ground and in the air. Assistance from the Buckeye State came in the form of communications, medical aid, transportation, shelters, mobile kitchens, water purifying and imagery analysis, to name a few ways the ONG aided its fellow citizens.
“It’s because of the hard work and selfless service from each Citizen-Soldier and -Airman that the Ohio National Guard was able to fulfill multiple missions during a time of nearly unprecedented natural disaster relief efforts,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. “Even though it meant spending time away from their Families, jobs and college education, Ohio Guard members put the needs of others first and answered the call to help our neighbors.”
Assisting with the basic necessities
Two CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the Ohio Army National Guard were among the first to respond after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. While the crews worked to transport water, food, fuel and personnel, it was one particular mission that caught the media’s attention. Affectionately dubbed “Operation Happy Cow” by the Soldiers from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, based out of North Canton, Ohio, bales of hay were dropped from the backs of the helicopters into livestock fields that became islands after flood waters created by Harvey.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Forson was part of the crew. “A lot of the cows were stranded in areas that weren’t accessible by road and farmers were having a hard time feeding them. So we just loaded up the Chinook,” he said.
By the end of the four-day mission, crews flew more than 20 flights, providing food for more than 10,000 cows.
Wherever Ohio National Guard members went, they received an outpouring of thanks from residents. Master Sgt. Isaac Strickler was in Comerio, Puerto Rico with the 200th RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer) Squadron to supply potable water to the area with a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU).
“We (had) people stopping on the side of the road just to thank us and to take photos of us helping the community. There (were) countless people coming to us, teary-eyed, thanking us for coming down to help,” Strickler said of the experience.
The unit supplied approximately 9,000 gallons of potable water a day to civilians. In addition to locating a safe water source and providing the area with safe, drinkable water, the team brought with them an ice machine and gave out ice so residents could keep medical supplies and food cold.
Food and shelter for all of the first responders was also a priority during the recovery efforts. The 200 RHS sent two complete Disaster Relief Bed-down Systems to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and to Puerto Rico. Each system provided basic life needs such as shelter, showers, latrines and laundry. Airmen from the 179th AW and the 178th Wing served about 9,400 meals during the month they operated a Disaster Relief Mobile Kitchen Trailer in Puerto Rico.
Limited access to medical care can also be an issue after a hurricane, which is why the 285th Medical Company (Area Support) went to Puerto Rico. The combat medics, based in Columbus, assisted more than 2,000 patients at four different locations in Puerto Rico, including the cities of Ponce and Manati. Operating in two, 12-hour shifts around the clock, members of the unit also went into the mountains for daily outreach missions to help residents who couldn’t make it to the city.
“In Ponce, most of the job included refilling prescriptions, handling issues related to diabetes and blood pressure, and gastrointestinal and upper respiratory issues. At Manati, the level of care needed was greater. We averaged six to eight evacuations a day to local hospitals because we didn’t have the capability to care for some of the patients,” said Maj. Bryanna Singleton, the 285th commander.
In the air and on the ground
Ohio National Guard members provided logistical support during hurricane relief efforts in the air and on the ground. Flying two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, 16 members of the 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment, based in Columbus, flew nearly 40 missions to transport more than 230 passengers, about 8 tons of food and 4,600 gallons of water to isolated areas in Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, Soldiers from the 1483rd Transportation Company assisted with logistics on the ground to deliver much-needed food and water. The company conducted more than 120 missions, moved 780 tons of food and water and delivered to 67,500 families.
The 269th Combat Communication Squadron (CBCS) from Springfield set up satellite and telephone communications for five key agencies on the Virgin Islands. They repaired the communications links to the Virgin Islands Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, enabling interagency coordination and expanded situational awareness outside of the local St. Thomas area. The 269th CBCS supported the Department of Energy and, working together, were able to restore power and bring in water, fuel, new telephone poles and generators.
“Our team was able to identify communication shortfalls around the island and either provide solutions by design or directly support additional mission sets without reducing capability to our primary customer,” said Tech. Sgt. Zachary Ruoff, a member of the 269th CBCS.
In Puerto Rico, Soldiers from the 137th Signal Company, based out of Newark, Ohio, worked with the Joint Task Force Puerto Rico to provide mobile satellite, telephone, internet, video conferencing and information technology services for more than 50 missions conducted by deployed military assets on the ground. In an interview with theCleveland Plain Dealer, Capt. Denise Stewart, 137th commander, said of the mission: “It’s a pride thing with being in the military and being able to be here to assist. To see so many organizations — both branches of the military and civilians — all come together for a common interest, is definitely a great thing.”
The National Guard’s support wasn’t limited to boots on the ground. Members of the 178th Wing analyzed airborne and commercial satellite imagery from their Ohio Air National Guard base in Springfield during response efforts after Harvey and Irma. The information included checking routes throughout the flooded areas, especially important for first responder crews, and checking on critical infrastructure. “Anything we can do outside of the disaster zone helps free up those people that are on the ground trying to do those rescue efforts,” said Col. Rebecca O’Connor of the 178th.
Additional mission support came from the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, with its KC-135 Stratotankers flying more than 95 total hours to transport more than 110,000 pounds of cargo and nearly 400 military personnel. The 179th Airlift Wing provided two C-130H Hercules to run missions to and from the Virgin Islands and conducted numerous other airlifts to transport personnel and equipment to other hurricane-affected areas. Altogether, all four Ohio Air National Guard Wings, two geographically-separated units and six Ohio Army National Guard units provided personnel and equipment to support hurricane relief efforts.
While the hurricane season deployments have ended and the Ohio Soldiers and Airmen are back home, Ohio National Guard units always stand ready to be there, wherever it’s needed, the next time there’s a call for assistance in the homeland.
HIT THE HOMELAND
Ohio Guard members aid fellow Americans
in response to severe summer storms
By Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
1483rd Transportation Company helping with Puerto Rico recovery
200th RED HORSE Airmen helping provide safe water in Puerto Rico
285th Medical Company provides care in Puerto Rico
The 200th RED HORSE Squadron sent about 20 members to the U.S. Virgin Islands to build and operate a Disaster Relief Bed-down System (DRBS) to provide basic life needs such as shelter, showers, and latrines for up to 300 people.
16 Soldiers and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment, based in Columbus, departed for Puerto Rico to transport food, water and personnel to areas isolated by damaged roads and infrastructure.
14 Soldiers and two Chinooks from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment deployed again, this time to Florida to deliver fuel and water.
Six Airmen from the 269th Combat Communications Squadron flew
to the U.S. Virgin Islands where,
in the first 24-hours of operations, they enabled communications services to five key agencies supporting 70,000 residents.
A C-130H took off from the 179th Airlift
Wing with a team of six Airmen from the 200th RED HORSE Squadron to deliver
a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification
Unit (ROWPU) to provide drinking water.
14 Soldiers and two Chinooks from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment, based in North Canton, deployed to Texas to deliver fuel, water, and food -- including hay for stranded livestock.
30 Soldiers, part of an advance team made up of members of the 285th Medical Company (Area Support), Columbus, and 137th Signal Company, Newark, flew to Puerto Rico to prepare for the deployment of the units’ remaining Soldiers.
15 Airmen from the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield and the 178th Wing joined resources to respond to relief efforts
in Puerto Rico with a Disaster Relief
Mobile Kitchen Trailer (DRMKT).
Deployment of 40 Soldiers from the 137th Signal Company, Newark; unit began to provide communication support to the Puerto Rico National Guard.
Throughout the hurricane season, satellite imagery analysts at the 178th Wing in Springfield kept a watchful eye on critical infrastructure and assisted with key information used by first
responders to rescue residents in
30 Ohio Army National Guard Soldiers
from the 285th Medical Company
arrived in Puerto Rico to begin medical support efforts.
86 Soldiers in the 1483rd Transportation Company based in Walbridge, departed for Puerto Rico to assist in transporting food, water, equipment and fuel in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts.
Engineers help remove urban
blight in Youngstown
Story by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — With great care, the large metal claw of the hydraulic excavator systematically removed the front corner of the house, then the entire front room. When the dust had settled, where once had been a condemned building sat a clean lot ready for urban renewal.
Soldiers of the Ohio National Guard’s 16th Engineer Brigade spent part of their annual training providing demolition support for the city of Youngstown as part of the South Side Blight Removal and Greening (SS-BRAG) project, through the Department of Defense Civil-Military Innovative Readiness Training Program.
“The city of Youngstown has an overwhelming blight problem with about 3,500 homes that need taken down,” said Abigail Beniston, code enforcement superintendent for the city of Youngstown. “We chose a neighborhood on the south side of town that is overwhelmed with blight and houses that need to be demolished and the residents are so excited and receptive.”
Some of the Guard members taking part in the demolition grew up in the surrounding area and knew firsthand the impact they could have in the community.
“It’s really a heart-touching feeling to come to Youngstown. When I was in high school I would play football here and been through the town a lot going to camps,” said Pvt. Thomas Pepe, a horizontal construction engineer with the 1192nd Engineer Company. “As a 19-year-old kid I’d never thought I’d have the opportunity to help the community the way I am.”
During the course of the demolition, a local church threw a community picnic with more than 50 children in attendance. Taking a pause from tearing down decrepit houses, Soldiers spent time building relationships with locals.
“It changes attitudes in the community,” said Pastor Charles Hudson, a youth pastor at Martin Luther Lutheran Church and the picnic event organizer. “It changes how people act towards each other.”
While this is the first time the Ohio National Guard has combated urban blight in Youngstown, city organizers don’t want it to be the last.
“Our hope is that we will continue this partnership, whether it be on weekend tours or two-week training,” Beniston said. “Our hope is that we will continue this for years to come.”
Ohio National Guard video by Staff Sgt. George Davis.
Members of the 1192nd Engineer company remove abandoned houses in Youngstown, Ohio this summer as part of the innovative readiness training program.
ONG PROVIDES MEDICAL SUPPORT TO UNDERSERVED AREAS
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Alexis Curry couldn’t wait to jump into the dentist’s chair.
“She hopped into the chair right before her sister,” said her mom, Kristin Curry. “She’s been talking about this since yesterday, telling everybody she is going to the dentist.”
The fact that the dentist was wearing a military uniform and the chair was sitting in the middle of a high school classroom didn’t seem to faze the 9-year-old from West Jefferson, Ohio.
Maj. James Bennett, a member of the Ohio Army National Guard Medical Detachment and a dentist from West Lake, Ohio, was one of the Soldiers and Airmen who helped patients like Alexis during GuardCare. The annual event allows medically underserved communities to receive free health screening services.
Through the events at London High School in Madison County on Aug. 5, and the Union County Health Department in Marysville on Aug. 12-13, Ohio National Guard medical personnel partnered with local health care providers to deliver free services to more than 530 people.
“It’s always rewarding to help people, but having the ability to help people who don’t always have access to care is something you can take pride in. It’s a way for us as members of the Ohio National Guard to give back to citizens of Ohio and thank them for supporting us,” Bennett said.
In addition to dental exams, residents of all ages were also able to get free immunizations, sports physicals, women’s health services, and hearing and vision testing.
“Our Soldiers and Airmen have a calling to serve others. GuardCare provides Ohio National Guard medical personnel an opportunity to give back to the community while leveraging training resources,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. “We’re pleased to have been able to partner with Madison and Union county health officials in support of our community mission.”
This year marked the 22nd year for GuardCare in Ohio, which has provided free health care services to more than 13,000 Ohioans overall.
“Access to care, whether it’s something as simple as transportation to their doctor or more complex as not being able to find a doctor who will take their insurance, is a critical issue in Madison County. Because of that, GuardCare is still very relevant,” Madison County Health Commissioner Chris Cook said.
Cook’s counterpart in Union County, Jason Orcena, oversaw a team of health department employees and volunteers who worked with the Ohio National Guard to make sure the two-day GuardCare event in Marysville went smoothly.
“The experience of planning for and executing the GuardCare event has been wonderful for both our staff and our partners,” Orcena said. “It really has given us an opportunity to build new relationships with both our state partners, the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio National Guard, as well as our local partners.”
Orcena said they were able to conduct an emergency operation exercise during GuardCare, allowing them to test their response for a large-scale disaster where immunizations were necessary.
The Ohio Department of Health makes recommendations for GuardCare communities based on health data, health professional shortage areas, geographic location when compared to where prior GuardCare events have been held, and the local health department’s service capacity.
“GuardCare is a great event that provides free health services and access to health care to those who might not have it otherwise,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes. “With the strong participation of local health departments and community service providers, we are able to help protect the health of all Ohioans.”
Whether providing a free dentist chair to jump in or providing security for state and nation, the Ohio National Guard is always ready to give back to the local communities that give so much unwavering support in return.
Photos by Airman 1st Class Christi Richter & Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, ONG
Guard gives back to residents in two Central Ohio counties
By Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
Photos by Staff Sgt. John Wilkes & Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell, Smoky Mountain Medical
HAYESVILLE, N.C. — More than 200 U.S. Navy, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Army Reserve members deployed to Hayesville and Bryson City for the Smoky Mountain Medical Innovative Readiness Training mission, conducted Aug. 2-10.
The two-week event brought together service members from various branches into a joint environment to provide medical, dental, ophthalmologic and veterinary services to more than 5,800 residents of Clay County, Swain County and the surrounding areas. These services included basic medical and wellness exams, optical exams and prescription eyeglasses, dental exams, extractions and fillings among others.
In addition, hundreds of people from surrounding communities volunteered their time to assist during the mission.
“Smoky Mountain Medical is bringing additional resources into our community to help those we don’t have the resources to reach,” said Janice Patterson, Clay County health director. “We have a lot of self-employed and small business employers who do not offer health care benefits. Unlike what many people think, the uninsured are most often employed hard-working people, who just can’t afford health insurance or they have a really high insurance deductible they can only meet if they have a major health care event with hospitalization.”
Hundreds of community members began lining up outside as early as 4 a.m. on Aug. 2 at Swain County and Hayesville high schools to receive much needed medical services. As word of the event spread, people lined up overnight in hopes of beating the lines.
Throughout the event, service members treated an average of more than 600 patients per day. Doors opened at 8 a.m. each day, where numbers were issued to patients on a first-come, first-served basis. In the waiting areas, service members assisted patients with filling out paperwork in preparation for being seen by a provider.
According to the Swain County Health Department, transportation availability and cost are the primary barriers to care in this region.
“(Smoky Mountain Medical provides) an opportunity for community members to receive medical, dental and visual care when they don’t have the insurance or extra money to afford these services,” Patterson said. “Many people live paycheck to paycheck.”
Dental care was in high demand at both locations during Smoky Mountain Medical IRT. Dental professionals provided a range of services including cleanings, tooth fillings and extractions, as well as evaluations and referrals if necessary.
“Health care is very expensive; I have three children,” said Ashley Riddle, a resident of Robbinsville, North Carolina, who visited the dental and vision clinic. “My husband is the only one working because I am going to school full-time. It is very helpful that I am able to receive these services.”
Senior Airman Delaney Preston, a medic with the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing in Swanton, Ohio, recalled an encounter she had in which the family was very grateful. “Some children didn’t have shoes or any clothes to wear but a diaper,” Preston said. “It’s a reality that exists. I feel like I am doing something good and bringing happiness into the community.”
Air Force, Army and Navy optometrists provided more than 5,900 vision screenings and optical exams to patients resulting in more than 1,200 pairs of eyeglasses being produced.
“I am very thankful that the service members are able to help everybody; not many people get this option,” said Riddle, who prior to visiting the vision clinic was not aware that she needed glasses.
Sailors from the Naval Ophthalmic Support & Training Activity, also known as NOSTRA, were on hand to produce prescription lenses on-site, allowing patients to receive their glasses at no cost within 24 to 48 hours.
The training value for IRT missions is high. During Smoky Mountain Medical, service members completed more than 24,500 hours of training. In addition, IRT missions provide realistic training in austere environments while also providing a direct and lasting benefit to the communities that are served.
Throughout the two-week event, service members conducted more than 14,500 medical and dental procedures and exams. Veterinarians performed more than 1,300 spay and neuter procedures, vaccinations and exams. These services resulted in an estimated more than $1,000,000 in care provided.
“Smoky Mountain Medical provided a great two weeks of training while assisting fellow Americans,” said Lt. Col. Gary Easterly, medical planner at the 180th FW and officer-in-charge of Smoky Mountain Medical IRT. “ It's not only beneficial to the people that receive health care, but it fulfills necessary training requirements and increases readiness amongst our (military) health professionals.”
The IRT is a civil-military program which builds mutually beneficial partnerships between U.S. communities and the Department of Defense to meet training and readiness requirements for active, Reserve and National Guard service members and units while addressing public and society needs.
“It is great to see our Airmen working side-by-side with other military personnel to help our own,” said Col. Kevin Doyle, 180th FW commander. “Their efforts have helped those who are unable to afford health care for themselves and their children, greatly improving their quality of life.”
180th FW leads Smoky Mountain Medical IRT
By Staff Sgt. John Wilkes, 180th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Video by 1st Lt. Matt Eck, 180th Fighter Wing and Smoky Mountain Medical 2017
Video by Airman Marc Wilson, 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Construction complete on Northwest
Ohio 9/11 Memorial at 180th FW
Brig. Gen. Gregory N. Schnulo (left), Ohio assistant adjutant general for Air, celebrates his retirement with his Family following an official ceremony Oct. 15, 2017, at Springfield Air National Guard Base in Springfield, Ohio. During 37 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Schnulo’s dedication to Airmen allowed him to rise through the ranks and serve in many leadership positions throughout his military career.
Ohio National Guard photo by
Airman Amber Mullen
Always Ready, Always There
1-148th Infantry represents Buckeye State while training in Jordan
Bidding adieu to an
Airman among Airmen
Sgt. John Siler, a member of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade and a Purple Heart recipient, leads the Ohio State football team onto the field at Ohio Stadium before the Buckeyes’ game against Army, Sept. 16, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen provided varied pregame support to the contest, the first in the two schools’ histories.
Ohio National Guard photos by
Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
Four Soldiers from the Ohio Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment spell out “O-H-I-O” to show their state pride and support of the Ohio State Buckeyes while on their overseas joint training mission with the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army. About 300 of the battalion’s Soldiers were welcomed home following the 10-month mission during a ceremony Nov. 29, 2017, at the Stranahan Theater in Toledo, Ohio.
323rd MP Company returns home from overseas deployment
Wherever in the world they are needed: ‘All Things at All Times’
A KC-135 Stratotanker from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 121st Air Refueling Wing refuels a B-1B Lancer assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron during a sequenced multilateral mission with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea air force Oct. 10, 2017, in the vicinity of the Sea of Japan. The purpose of the training was to foster increased interoperability among Japan, South Korea and U.S. aircraft and enable the operational units to improve their combined capabilities and tactical skills.
U.S. Air Force photo by
Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger
The Ohio National Guard
The Ohio National Guard welcomed home about 80 Soldiers from the 323rd Military Police Company during a ceremony Oct. 13, 2017, in Perrysburg, Ohio. The 323rd, stationed in Toledo, returned from a nearly yearlong deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. While there, the 323rd provided force protection and base security in support of U.S. European Command in Turkey.
Ohio National Guard photos by
Staff Sgt. Michael Carden
‘Our honor defend we will fight to the end for OHIO!’
The Northwest Ohio 9/11 Memorial, located at the 180th Fighter Wing in Swanton, Ohio, was unveiled following the completion of construction phase 1 on Sept. 11, 2016, to mark the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Construction was completed and marked by a dedication ceremony on Sept. 11, 2017. The 180th Fighter Wing is currently working to finalize the online tour program that will allow members of the community to schedule a visit to the 9/11 Memorial on base. READ MORE
Video by Master Sgt. George Wolfe
180th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Celebrating a Century of Service:
The 112th Fighter Squadron
The history of the 112th Fighter Squadron patch dates back to Feb. 24, 1954, when the unit submitted a formal request to change the old emblem representing the 112th Bombardment Squadron to a new emblem that would represent the newly formed 112th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The new emblem was officially approved and became federally recognized on March 9, 1954. A brief description of the emblem as written in 1954 is as follows:
The bee is social in its habits, living in communities where each member performs some service for the common welfare of all.
The Guardsman, in addition to his everyday routine of living, participates in the activities of his National Guard unit, to be prepared to insure the security of his community and the nation should that security be threatened.
Like the bee community, our nation does not look for trouble or prepare itself for aggression. The bee is provided with a sting purely for defensive purposes; this alludes to the Air Guard as the sting is housed in the state of readiness of its various military units. The sting of the 112th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, as depicted by the armament carried by the bee, is the firepower of the unit’s aircraft, always sharp and ready when needed.
Today’s 180th Fighter Wing was formed in October 1995, but its origins stretch back to Aug. 18, 1917, when the 112th Aero Squadron was organized as a supply unit at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas. Ten years later, in 1927, the 112th moved to the Cleveland (Ohio) Hopkins Airport, where it became known as the 112th Observation Squadron, flying a wide range of aircraft throughout the late 1920s and 1930s including the PT-1, BT-1, the O-2 and the O-11. In 1940, the unit was regrouped as the 112th Liaison Squadron.
During that time, the 112th was activated in support of World War II and Lt. Col. Addison Baker, a B-24 Liberator pilot, received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the raids on the oil fields at Ploesti, Romania. After the war, the unit was reorganized as the 112th Bombardment Squadron (Light), flying Douglas A-26 Invaders, and they were activated at Lawson Field, Georgia in support of the Korean Conflict in 1950. After the conflict ended, the unit returned to Ohio as an Air National Guard fighter bomber squadron, flying F-51 Mustangs at the Akron-Canton Airport.
Several more reorganizations and aircraft conversions took place throughout the next 20 years. First, the unit moved to Toledo as a fighter interceptor squadron and converted from the F-51 to the F-84 E/F Thunderjet model aircraft in 1958. Then the unit became the 112th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1958 and was activated for the Berlin Crisis in 1961. In 1962, the 112th FS became part of the newly formed 180th Tactical Fighter Group. In 1970, the 180th TFG transitioned from the F-84 to the F-100 Super Sabre and then to the A-7 Corsaire in 1979. Then in 1992, the 180th received its first F-16 Fighting Falcon, just before being renamed the 180th Fighter Wing in 1995.
Over the years, members of the 180th FW and the 112th FS have answered the call to duty by supporting several real-world contingencies including Operation Just Cause in 1989 and Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield in 1991. In 1994, 1996 and 1999-2002, unit members volunteered to enforce the “no fly zones” over Iraq in support of Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch. Following the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, unit members have volunteered to support both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005 and Operation Iraqi Freedom again in 2007 and 2008. Most recently, in 2013, the wing deployed for the first time to Djibouti, Africa, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While deployed to Africa, the wing received an unscheduled tasking to forward deploy to Azraq, Jordan. The men and women of the 180th FW accepted this short-notice challenge and moved 221 personnel, eight F-16 Fighting Falcons and 250 tons of support equipment to stand up a bare base in less than 72 hours. Before returning home, 180th FW Airmen assisted in yet another relocation, from Jordan to Afghanistan, moving personnel, aircraft and support equipment to Kandahar.
Activated in October 2008, the Air Sovereignty Alert mission became the newest mission at the 180th FW. Today, the mission is known as Aerospace Control Alert, directly supporting Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), where the 180th FW aids in the protection of the continental United States and Canada under the direction of the North American Air Defense Command, or NORAD. Since the activation of the mission at the 180th FW, ACA has responded to 135 real-world events, totaling 380 flying hours in support of ONE. The ACA team continues to excel at the nation’s number one priority, its 24/7/365 mission, year after year, earning the highest possible “Mission Ready” NORAD Command inspection ratings. The 180th FW ACA was the first unit to ever win the 1st Air Force ACA Unit of the Year title, two consecutive years in a row, in 2010 and 2011.
In the future, the 180th FW and the 112th FS will continue to be major contributors to the nation’s air superiority and remain committed to maintaining the long-standing tradition of high standards when providing combat ready Airmen for federal, state and community missions.
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THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD
AIR NATIONAL GUARD ANNALS
180th Fighter Wing
180th Tactical Fighter Group Sheet Metal Shop in 1958.
112th Observation Squadron
at Wayne Airport, Mich. in 1931.
Federal inspection of the 112th Observation Squadron’s medical detachment in 1931.
180th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron at Al-Dhafra Air Base,
United Arab Emirates in 2002.
180th Tactical Fighter Group
technicians inspect the tail of an
F-84 Thunderjet in the 1960s.
The 112th Observation Squadron at Camp Perry, near Port Clinton, Ohio in 1931.
Members of the 180th Fighter Wing, 2017.
180th Tactical Fighter Group Security Forces members conduct training at Camp Perry, near Port Clinton, Ohio, in the 1970s.
180th Tactical Fighter Group
recruiting team in 1977.
Aerial view of the 180th Tactical Fighter Group, April 1972.
Toledo Blade photo of the 180th Tactical Fighter Group in 1958.
Members of the 180th Fighter Wing
pose with the mayor of Perrysburg,
Ohio following a ceremony where an
F-16 was dedicated to the city in 2000.
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What Will You Choose?
Blended Retirement System Highlights:
All currently serving members are grandfathered under their legacy retirement plans. Active component service members with fewer than 12 years of service as of Dec. 31, 2017, and reservists in a pay status with fewer than 4,320 retirement points as of Dec. 31, 2017, are covered under the existing system, but are eligible to opt into the Blended Retirement System if they choose.
Eligible service members have until the end of 2018 to make the switch. Service members who join the military on or after Jan. 1, 2018, will be automatically enrolled in the new system and will be required to take mandated training about the Blended Retirement System within their first year of service.
Under BRS about 85 percent of service members will receive a government retirement benefit if they serve at least two years, even if they don’t qualify for a full retirement.
Current service members opting into the new Blended Retirement System between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018, will receive DoD automatic 1 percent contribution and up to 4 percent additional DoD matching beginning the first pay period after opting in — there is no 60 day/2-year waiting period as there is for new accessions starting Jan. 1, 2018.
Long-term success in the Blended Retirement System is dependent on maximum Thrift Savings Plan contributions and individual participation of retirement savings.
Eligibility for DoD matching contributions ends at the end of the 26th year of service.
New military Blended Retirement
System takes effect Jan. 1
An overhaul of the current military retirement system is slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2018. The new system has three elements: a 401(k)-style component with Defense Department matching funds for entry-level and other service members, a mid-career continuity bonus, and a retirement annuity similar to the one now in place for service members that complete 20 or more years of eligible service.
Department of Defense News spoke with Army Sgt. Maj. Mike Schultz while he was the senior enlisted advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs about the details of the new modernized retirement system.
One key point, Schultz said, is that many of those now serving will have the choice to opt into the new blended retirement plan.
First, he said, all troops now serving are grandfathered and will be allowed to remain in the current system.
Those who have served in uniform for fewer than 12 years as of Dec. 31, 2017, will have a choice to stay in the current system or to opt into the new retirement plan, Schultz said, and those who enter service after the blended retirement rolls out will automatically be covered by the new modernized retirement system.
What is the Blended Retirement System?
The Blended Retirement System (BRS) blends the traditional, 20-year cliff-vested defined benefit annuity, similar to the existing Uniformed Services’ legacy retirement systems, with a defined contribution plan that allows service members to contribute to a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account with government automatic and matching contributions. This change of military retirements was a result of the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission.
When Congress passed blended retirement in the 2016 NDAA, they also passed into law the requirement for DoD to teach financial literacy to service members and their spouses upon request. The service secretaries will ensure financial literacy training at key phases of a service member’s career.
Am I eligible to “Opt-In” to the Blended Retirement system?
You are eligible if you are a service member in drilling or active service, who is in a paid status on Dec. 31, 2017, and you have less than 4,320 retirement points. If you are eligible to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System, you must take the mandatory Blended Retirement opt-in training.
For Army National Guard members:
To obtain your point summary, you must see your state-level RPAM (Retirement Points Accounting Management) noncommissioned officer or unit readiness NCO for your “ARNG Annual Statement, Form 23A”. The correct column to use to verify your opt-in eligibility is the “Total points for retired pay.”
For Air National Guard members:
You can find your points by visiting the vMPF (virtual Military Personnel Flight) on the Air Force Portal. Once in vMPF, go to “Self Service Actions” then go to “Personal Data,” “ANG/USAFR Point Credit Summary Inquiry (PCARS),” and “Service History.” You should use the Total Points Summary however, please verify your points with your FSS.
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If you would like to request public affairs support or guidance for your upcoming training event or unit activity, contact Stephanie Beougher, state public information officer, at 614-336-7369 or Stephanie.K.Beougher.email@example.com
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Guard members, Family and other interested persons are encouraged to submit any articles and photos meant to inform, educate or entertain Buckeye Guard readers. Submitted content, if approved for usage, may be used additionally or exclusively on the Ohio National Guard website, official Ohio National Guard social media sites, or in other Public Affairs Office products.
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In September 2005, following the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Ohio National Guard sent thousands of Soldiers and Airmen to the states of Louisiana and Mississippi. While the Ohio National Guard had been called upon in large numbers to aid the citizens of Ohio during natural disasters, never before had it rapidly mobilized and deployed so many to another state in support of their fellow citizens. This Sept. 6, 2005, photograph of a 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment water trailer with “New Orleans or Bust” written on the back demonstrates the Buckeyes’ willingness to answer the call.
For more on the Guard’s historic response, read: In Katrina's wake: The National Guard on the Gulf Coast
Volume 35, No. 6 - November/December 2017