MAGAZINE OF THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD ~ Vol. 36, No. 2
Displaying a Strong Resolve
Twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing began a rotation at Amari Air Base, Estonia, in mid-January as part of a Theater Security Package rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Volume 36, No. 2 March/April 2018
FOCUS ON HISTORY
A closer look into the origins and lineage of the Ohio National Guard’s Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which began in Springfield, Ohio.
In April 1812, more than 25,000 members of the Ohio Militia — the predecessor to today’s Ohio National Guard — were ordered to federal service for the War of 1812 against the British.
Welcoming the Reaper
After a year of change, the 178th Wing recently completed the transition from the MQ-1B Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which provides more advanced technology and tactical ability for the unit to perform its mission.
Women Making History
Col. Jennifer Mitchell of the 16th Engineer Brigade and Col. Allison Miller of the 179th Airlift Wing became their units’ first female commanders, helping to advance the path of women serving ever-increasing roles in nearly all units in the Ohio National Guard.
THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD
Maj. Gen. Harris emphasizes that no matter our differences as individuals, when in uniform and on duty at drill, annual training and elsewhere, everyone should be focused on what enables the team to stay mission ready and combat effective.
The Ohio National Guard is an organization that respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that define every Soldier, Airman and civilian member. Our strength lies in our diversity.
This issue recognizes:
The Army National Guard recently announced a new $15,000 reenlistment bonus for eligible Soldiers who extend for six years; a $4,000 bonus is available for a two-year commitment.
Protecting the Skies Above Those Who Serve
The 2-174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment spent nearly a year defending U.S. installations in Iraq and Afghanistan during its Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) mission, and received an assist from some fellow Buckeyes.
Commander in Chief
Gov. John Kasich
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman
Director, Government and Public Affairs
Maj. Matthew J. France
Public Affairs Officer (Federal)
Capt. 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 email@example.com. 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.
Jawbone Brigade Completes Vital Mission
Soldiers of the 371st Sustainment Brigade headquarters returned in March following their mission supporting security cooperation, joint exercises and training in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility.
Focus on what’s important to the team
By Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for Army
Maj. Gen. Harris expresses his concerns regarding perceived divisiveness among Ohio National Guard members, and how it has no place in the ranks. He encourages Guard members to express themselves and their beliefs with family and friends about heavily debated topics within American society, but to do so in the proper environment. When in uniform, save those debates for another time and focus on what allows us to stay mission ready and combat effective. When we show up to do our duty, the most important thing is the team.
Maj. Gen. Bartman’s updated recommendations for 2018
Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general, has updated his suggested reading list to enhance individuals’ professional development, with 22 additional titles addressing subjects including leadership, history and politics, and diversity and inclusion. These new titles join the adjutant general’s (TAG’s) initial recommended list announced last year.
Capsules of some of the books on the adjutant general’s suggested reading list will be highlighted in future issues of the digital Buckeye Guard magazine, and the entire list is available on the website Equal Opportunity/Diversity & Inclusion webpage.
Points of contact to check out titles at state headquarters are Master Sgt. Michelle White, state equal employment manager, at 614-336-7245 or firstname.lastname@example.org; and Mr. Justin L. Douglas, assistant state equal employment manager and equal employment specialist, at 614-336-7497 or email@example.com.
Diversity & Inclusion
On the Run:
Fugitive Life in an American City
Alice Goffman, Picador, 2014
Gender Equality by Design
Iris Bohnet, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2016
The American Spirit
David McCullough, Simon & Schuster, NY, 2017
The Road to Character
David Brooks, Random House, NY, 2015
Thomas J. Brennan, USMC (ret) &
Finbar O’Reilly, Viking, NY 2017
(about the struggle with PTSD)
The Practice of
Heifetz, Grashow & Linsky, Harvard Business Press, Boston, MA, 2009
Leadership on the Line
Heifetz & Linsky, Harvard Business Press, Boston, MA, 2002
Winston Groom, National Geographic, Washington, DC, 2015
Winston Groom, National Geographic, Washington, DC, 2013
On War and Politics
Arnold Punaro & David Poyer, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2016
Ron Chernow, Penguin Press, NY, 2017
History, Politics &
America Divided or United
John R. Kasich, St. Martin’s Press, NY, 2017
The Way of the Strangers:
Encounters with the Islamic State
Graeme Wood, Random House, NY 2017
Peter Hahn, Oxford University Press, NY, 2012 (about US and Middle East politics)
Jeffery Kluger, Henery Holt and Co.,
Among the Headhunters
Robert Lyman, Da Capo Press, Boston, MW, 2016 (about World War II–The Hump)
Strangers in their Own Land
Arlie Russell Hochschild, The New Press, NY, 2016 (about the 2016 election)
Ted Koppel, Broadway Books, NY, 2015 (about cybersecurity)
Incendiary: The Psychiatrist,
the Mad Bomber, and the
Invention of Criminal Profiling
Michael Cannell, Minotaur Books, NY, 2017
The End of College
Kevin Carey, Riverhead Books, NY, 2015 (about higher education in the future)
A Brief History of Everyone
Who Ever Lived
Adam Rutherford, The Experiment LLC, 2017 (about the DNA trail)
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Harper Collins, NY, 2017 (about big data; R-rated book)
SEE full LIST
Celebrating Women's History Month
Fulfilling a life-long dream to serve her country:
Q&A with Col. Jennifer Mitchell, 16th Engineer Brigade commander
Interview by Stephanie Beougher, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
Ohio Army National Guard Col. Jennifer Mitchell has experienced major career milestones in the past year. Last June, Mitchell became the first woman to take command of the 16th Engineer Brigade and she was appointed chief of the joint staff for the Ohio Joint Force Headquarters.
Mitchell’s 26 years of service has included positions within the 16th Engineer Brigade, as well as on the Joint Force Headquarters staff. She has also served in assignments at the National Guard Bureau, the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, including in the Office of the Secretary of the Army for the Chief of Legislative Liaison and as an Army Congressional Fellow with the Senate Appropriations Committee. Mitchell has deployed to Nicaragua with Joint Task Force Esteli (New Horizons) in support of the engineer humanitarian relief operation following the devastation from Hurricane Mitch and to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We talked with her about influences and experiences that have shaped her National Guard career.
When and why did you enlist in the Ohio National Guard?
I began my career in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1991 as a private, and then completed Officer Candidate School and commissioned in 1996.
I grew up with a rich family history of military service. My great-grandfathers both served in World War I, my paternal grandfather in World War II and my maternal grandfather in the Korean conflict. From a young age, I was awe-inspired listening to my grandfathers talk about their service, and I had the amazing opportunity to travel with them to their annual reunion events with their comrades. My father served on a submarine during Vietnam before receiving the calling to become an Army Strong Engineer for his entire career, including in the Ohio Army National Guard for several years. I’ve literally been running around our armories since I was in diapers. Growing up, all I ever wanted to be was a Soldier and to serve my country. I am living my childhood dream every day.
Who have been your mentors, and in what way did they play an influential part in your military career?
My parents continue to be involved in every aspect of my life. Regardless of where I’ve ended up around the world, they have always been there. I certainly wouldn’t be standing here today, having achieved so much, without their love, encouragement and support.
I have been surrounded by phenomenal leaders in this organization, at the National Guard Bureau and the Pentagon my entire career. It is the leaders in this organization, both up and down the chain of command, from whom I have learned the most, from my earliest days as a very young Soldier to this day, as a senior officer. I have learned the most from the NCOs who took me under their wings along the way, trained me and mentored me…to lead by example, to always take care of Soldiers and their Families, to listen and to do what is right, not necessarily what is popular.
What is the best piece of military career advice you have received?
Never stop learning. Never self-eliminate. I have been in school, whether military or civilian, literally my entire career. Keep yourself as competitive as possible. Embrace demanding and challenging assignments and seek broadening opportunities.
What has been the most rewarding experience during your Guard career?
I’ve had many amazing assignments across numerous organizations. By far, being selected to command the 16th Engineer Brigade where I began my commissioned service is the highlight of my career. I am honored at the opportunity to command this brigade and to grow our next generation of leaders.
You are the first woman to lead the 16th Engineer Brigade.
What does that achievement mean to you?
Leadership is an honor and privilege that is bestowed upon very few. To me this recognition symbolizes the people that have been there as my supporters along the way. Whether they were family, friends or fellow members of our United States military team, there are many people who have touched my life and mentored me to help me get to where I am today.
Our organizational culture of excellence has not changed from my young days as a private to today. It is absolutely phenomenal what this brigade continues to accomplish year after year. It takes a team effort to achieve such greatness and to sustain it. Each and every Soldier, NCO and officer plays a key role in the overall success that this organization enjoys. We have an incredible amount of experience in our formations and without the individual efforts of our Soldiers, we would not be where we are today. I am continuously amazed by their initiative, dedication and passion for what they do.
Last year, the 16th Engineer Brigade celebrated its 100th birthday and a century of service to America. We must never forget the service of our fellow comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our freedom. They will always be remembered and we will always be grateful.
This brigade and its units have a distinguished history of service and have answered the call from the battlefields of both World Wars, Southwest Asia, to the current War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. We always have and always will answer the nation’s call.
It is an absolute honor to serve as the commander of the 16th Engineer Brigade and a privilege to continue to serve in the most capable and professional Army in the world.
Ohio Air Guard's 179th Airlift Wing makes history with first female wing commander
Story by Airman 1st Class Megan Shepherd,179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
MANSFIELD, Ohio – The 179th Airlift Wing made history Feb. 3 as Col. Allison Miller became the first female commander of an Ohio Air National Guard wing, taking the reins during an assumption of command ceremony.
Miller said it is an honor to be the first female commander here and she is looking forward to what lies ahead.
“I want to do everything I can to help this wing continue the positive impact that they have in the state of Ohio and the Air National Guard,” Miller said.
Miller joins the 179th AW with a breadth of experience. She joined the Alabama Air National Guard in 1996 and was commissioned through the Academy of Military Science, Knoxville, Tennessee in 1997, earning her commission as a distinguished graduate. Prior to assuming her current position, she served as the director of safety for the Air National Guard. She was responsible for managing all ANG ground, flight, weapons and space safety programs for 90 flying and mission support units nationwide, encompassing more than 105,000 members.
Miller was the principal advisor to the director, ANG and the ANG Readiness Center commander for all safety issues. Prior to her time at NGB, Miller served as chief of wing safety for the 117th Air Refueling Wing and the chief of scheduling for the 106th Air Refueling Squadron, executing more than 1,900 local flying training hours yearly and completing more than 22,000 training events, ensuring unit members maintained their mission ready status. Miller is a KC-135R instructor pilot and also served as the 117th ARW command post officer and the squadron flying safety officer for the 106th Air Refueling Squadron.
Miller has also supported numerous deployments including operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve.
She reflected on her military career leading up to taking command of the 179th Airlift Wing and what it all means to her:
“A few days really stand out to me,” Miller said. “March 17, 2003, taking off with then-Lt. Col. Barry Hill, now Maj. Gen. Barry Hill, flying to the other side of the world for a war that would happen a few days later, leaving behind two babies at that time, who are now 16 and 17. In that moment I realized what it meant to be a part of something bigger than myself.”
She also reflected on Dec. 1, 2006, flying her first fallen Soldier from Germany on his dignified transfer home to the U.S., and how in that moment she realized the value of human life and the value of all human life that has been sacrificed so the United States can remain a free nation.
While flying over Pakistan on Sept. 13, 2012, on a mission she was certain would end in a fatal mishap after an aircraft malfunction, she said she realized the great importance of everyday training, and that one’s words and actions are very important in every situation.
The events of Oct. 25, 2014, when she sat alongside Afghan military in a German dining facility in the mountains of Afghanistan, with known terrorist threats and planned attacks — at her base and dining facility, she said she realized what it means to have grace and humility and compassion for every life on the planet.
“Today, Feb. 3, 2018, to look at each one of you, you already make me want to be better this afternoon than I was this morning, be better tomorrow than I am today,” Miller said. “I promise you that every decision I make for this wing, will be for the betterment of our future.”
In 2011, Col. Miller transitioned from being a traditional Guard member and a commercial airline pilot to Active Guard Reserve in the Alabama Air National Guard. She is a decorated pilot with a diverse background including 2,300 military flying hours and 3,000 civilian flying hours.
“Col. Miller’s selection as commander is extraordinary, as she becomes the first woman to lead the operations here in the state of Ohio,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, who represents Ohio’s 7th congressional district, during the ceremony.
Leah Jones, a representative from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s office, read a statement that said the senator trusts that the unit will be in good hands with Miller, who will serve as a role model for young women across the state.
“Serving the Mansfield community and its surrounding areas, the state of Ohio and the Air National Guard as the commander of the 179th Airlift Wing is a tremendous honor and something I do not take lightly,” Miller said.
The advice she gave for the Airmen under her charge is to seize every opportunity.
“Sometimes we don’t realize we are in the middle of a situation that we can learn from and grow from until we look back on it,” Miller said. “So just look at every opportunity as an opportunity to grow and be better.”
READ COL. MILLER’S BIO
Photos by Master Sgt. Sheryl L. Lawry, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and a courtesy photo.
ONG, active-duty Soldiers work together to protect fellow service members, civilians using C-RAM
Story by Master Sgt. Sheryl L. Lawry, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Public Affairs
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — As part of Task Force Barrage, Team Vulcan — members of the Ohio National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment — kept Bagram Airfield safe and sound, and saved lives by staying mission focused and highly skilled at manning their Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) weapon systems.
They displayed their skills of speed and precision during their deployment when an insurgent fired an indirect round at the compound and within seconds it was neutralized. And neutralizing a threat is no quiet matter. A C-RAM fires a 20-millimeter high explosive, self-destruct round that, simply put, is chest-rattling loud and startling if unexpected.
“This (was) my third deployment to Afghanistan, second time actually positioned on BAF (Bagram Airfield). You get used to the noise from the flight line, but not the IDF (indirect fire) impact or C-RAM interceptions,” said Master Sgt. Nichole Peters, the USFOR-A and 3rd Infantry Division chaplain’s assistant, about one IDF that was intercepted by the Soldiers of TF Barrage. “My heart was beating fast and the first thing I thought about was my soon-to-be 16-year-old daughter. I immediately started praying that no one was injured and no more IDF would follow.”
No one was injured and no IDF followed, but had there been an additional IDF, the well-trained Soldiers of TF Barrage would have acted to remove that threat, again, within seconds.
“We were at Fort Sill (Oklahoma) for three months, learning and training on the system,” said Ohio Army National Guard Capt. David Muehling, Team Vulcan commander. “We conducted 250 IDF training engagements, building on our skills and muscle memory. Most of the people (deployed to BAF were) new to the system, but you train as you fight. When you put the pieces together so that everyone understands everyone’s role, we (were) able to accomplish the mission.”
Originally a U.S. Navy weapons system for use on ships, the Army began using the C-RAM on land in Iraq back in 2006. The system’s success there led the U.S. government to add the Land-Based Phalanx C-RAM system in Afghanistan in 2013. Since then, the Army National Guard and active components have shared the role of air defense for Bagram Airfield on a rotational basis.
To ensure the skills they learned at Fort Sill remained sharp and the Soldiers stayed focused, they trained and performed maintenance on the weapons system daily. “We (had) to make sure the guns (were) up at all times, said 1st Lt. Nicholas Hunter, Team Vulcan executive officer. “We (had) troops up 24/7 to ensure the weapons (were) always operational.”
Daily maintenance, training and precision muscle memory skills all contributed to the big picture of keeping Bagram Airfield safe. Like a well-oiled machine, Soldiers and civilians working at Bagram could trust TF Barrage’s process of watching the sky, identifying a possible threat, informing the Emergency Operations Center, confirming if the threat was real — and if it was — engaging and neutralizing it … all within 4 to 5 seconds.
“It (TF Barrage, Team Vulcan) is truly a team of teams,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex, USFOR-A and 3rd Infantry Division command sergeant major. “It’s an Army National Guard unit, using a weapons system designed for the Navy to protect the service members and our air assets stationed at Bagram air base. It highlights the total Army Integration concept and our impressive young service members’ ability to accomplish a critically important mission.”
And it’s a mission the Soldiers of TF Barrage said they fully understood, and were proud to serve as part of it.
“This is the most cohesive unit I’ve ever seen. The Soldiers know (they were there) for a purpose,” said Sgt. First Class Joshua Abel, Team Vulcan first sergeant. “They allow(ed) everyone on Bagram to be able to sleep soundly at night. Their support role (made) everyone safe and have a place to comeback to.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ohio National Guard welcomed home Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, located in McConnelsville, Ohio, March 31, 2018, as they returned from a nearly yearlong deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Photos by Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes
U.S. Air Force, courtesy photo
Ohio Air and Army National Guard members team up in Afghanistan
Story by 2nd Lt. Jenna Lenski
455th Air Expeditionary Wing
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Some 6,000 miles from their homeland, deployed Airmen and Soldiers work on the infrastructure to connect the Army’s Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) Intercept weapon system to the engagement control center here. The objective in layman’s terms: connect the gun to the computer.
As the Airmen and Soldiers began to dig the holes, lay the fiber cable, test the connectivity and take on the extensive tasks that ensued, conversations of home surfaced. Small talk revealed they had similar Midwestern backgrounds and were interested in the same activities.
Before they knew it, they found out someone’s wife worked with someone else’s father; someone grew up and went to school in the same town as another; and nearly everyone in the group identified as a Buckeyes fan.
Airmen with the Ohio Air National Guard’s 220th Engineering Installation Squadron and Soldiers with the Ohio Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, worked together throughout a significant portion of their deployment during the past few months to complete uplift projects at KAF.
The members of the 220th EIS, located in Zanesville, Ohio, and the 2-174th ADA, located in McConnelsville, Ohio, brought each other a little closer to home.
“It was such an odd occurrence that the unit tasked to help us with this high-priority mission just so happened to be stationed 20-30 miles away from our home station,” said Capt. Eric Sylwestrak, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2-174th ADA. “We all immediately felt comfortable around each other and forged a partnership right away.”
The compatibility between the two units led to expeditious and efficient work on the project that was part of the uplift required for bringing in additional forces to KAF. The Army C-RAMs arrived to KAF in January 2018 to protect the military forces and assets stationed there from indirect fire. Within weeks, the Ohio National Guard units had the weapons systems up and running.
Their swift, significant accomplishments contributed directly to the protection of the airfield and set the standard for rotations to come. As both units prepared to return to Ohio, the unique relationship they developed at KAF would be an experience for all to remember.
“For the National Guard in Ohio, there’s that constant push that we’re all working together,” Sylwestrak said. “You know it’s one team, one fight, and we’re all prepared for any mission that comes up.”
Video by Senior Airman Ryan Green, U.S. Air Force
Video by Sgt. Andrew Kuhn, ONG Public Affairs
It was an emotional moment for many, especially members of the Duly family, as Soldiers from the 371st Sustainment Brigade return home from deployment.
Story by Stephanie Beougher,
Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Members of the 371st Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Springfield, Ohio, returned home on March 10, 2018, after being deployed nearly a year in support of operations in Southwest Asia.
About 280 Soldiers from the brigade headquarters managed sustainment operations in support of security cooperation, joint exercises and training in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Responsibility. Army sustainment brigades manage and supervise the flow of logistics — procurement, maintenance and/or transportation of things such as supplies, services, equipment, ammunition and personnel — throughout a military area of operations.
During their deployment, the Ohio Citizen-Soldiers established two new forward logistics elements in austere locations. The brigade handled numerous responsibilities, including oversight of millions of dollars in contracts to provide basic life support services to U.S. personnel serving overseas, management of Soldiers in subordinate units working in more than 10 different countries, and processing and delivering all incoming mail throughout CENTCOM, which totaled more than 11 million pounds during the brigade’s deployment.
Col. Gregory J. Betts, brigade commander, said the mission was one of the most complex sustainment missions in the Army that, at one point, had many of the Army’s senior sustainment leaders agreeing it should be shared by two brigades. The request for a second sustainment brigade was denied by the Department of Defense.
“Despite being under resourced and stretched thin across the CENTCOM area of responsibility, the dedicated Soldiers of the 371st Sustainment Brigade — the Jawbone Brigade — never faltered. Instead, they drew on their own ingenuity, lessons from their civilian employment, and the vast amount of collective sustainment experience within the brigade headquarters, to develop innovative solutions to extremely complex problems,” Betts said.
Added challenges included a theatre of operations with forces spread across multiple locations in multiple nations and limited communications capabilities for some of the subordinate units.
One of the most unique missions for the subordinate units was a sea mobility mission to move critical resources over the ocean. The Army watercraft detachments regularly conducted bilateral and multilateral training exercises with partner countries and, according to Betts, “significantly enhanced the working relationship between U.S. forces and our partner armed forces.”
For the Citizen-Soldier, deployment means spending months away from family, full-time jobs and, in some cases, school.
“Their willingness to drop what they're doing and place their civilian lives on hold for the good of their nation is a constant source of pride and inspiration for me personally,” Betts commented. “The unending support that they receive from their Families, employers and communities is also a great source of inspiration and awe to both me and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Barga.”
The 371st has been deployed three other times since 2003 in support of the War on Terrorism.
Col. Greg Betts (left), commander of the 371st Sustainment Brigade, and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Barga, the brigade’s senior enlisted advisor, case the 371st’s colors during a transfer of authority ceremony Feb. 26, 2018, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Chad Highland, U.S. Army
Video by Sgt. 1st CLass Charles Highland
371st Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs
Vehicles are brought aboard the U.S. Army’s SP/4 James A Loux, or LSV-6, Jan. 12, 2017, at Port of Shuaiba, Kuwait to kick off Exercise Iron Union.
Video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody Hendrix
Regional Media Center Europe and American Forces Network Europe
Story by Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
OPERATION ATLANTIC RESOLVE:
F-16 pilots from the Ohio Air National Guard’s
180th Fighter Wing walk toward the terminal at
Amari Air Base, Estonia, in January 2018.
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody Hendrix, DoD
OHIO AIR NATIONAL GUARD'S 180TH FIGHTER WING
DEPLOYS THEATER SECURITY PACKAGE TO
AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia — Twelve F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Ohio Air National Guard began a rotation at Amari Air Base, Estonia, in mid-January as part of a Theater Security Package rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
In addition to 12 Fighting Falcons, the U.S. Air Force deployed nearly 300 Airmen from the 180th Fighter Wing, and about 75 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, as the 112th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron.
“We’ve been able to plan and execute exercises with our European counterparts, including Estonia, Italy, Sweden, and Finland to better prepare us, along with our regional partners, to respond to a range of security issues we may face in the future,” said Lt. Col. Greg Barasch, 112th EFS commander. “The US and its NATO allies and partners stand together to promote a peaceful, free and prosperous Europe and these exercises allow us to test our interoperability and prepare for future collaborative missions.”
While in theater, the aircraft have been forward deployed to multiple locations, participating in exercises and training to highlight the U.S. military’s ability to deploy fighter aircraft to support its allies and partners in the European theater, as well as around the world.
Before the F-16s could fly out of Estonia, there was a lot of planning and preparation that had to take place.
“We (were) planning with the Estonian air force for several months to ensure seamless flying operations,” said Lt. Col. Brian Hoose, 112th EFS project officer. “They’ve been extremely helpful and there’s been close coordination throughout the entire process.”
The months of hard work and planning resulted in a fully functional forward operating location, allowing F-16s to perform flying operations. The F-16 squadron normally flies about 60 missions per week, Barasch said. The severe winter weather in Estonia provided significant challenges for the 112th EFS personnel, but those same challenges confirmed they can operate successfully in the most demanding environments.
“The work environment is by far the most challenging aspect of the operation at Amari AB. We are operating on an open ramp with only very limited indoor facilities to conduct aircraft maintenance. It snows every day and the jets are taking a beating, but our maintenance team is still able to make it happen without fail,” Barasch said. “The entire 112th EFS has mastered the ability to operate in extreme weather conditions and show our allies that we’re committed to the collective security of NATO. I think this TSP really highlights the fact that the U.S. is here, in Estonia, forward deployed and ready to quickly respond with a credible force to assure, deter and defend our NATO allies and regional partners.”
Col. Riivo Valge, chief of staff of the Estonian air force and acting commander, echoed these sentiments.
“This kind of cooperation shows that we visibly and securely operate together. When the tensions rise even higher, we are able to switch to the operational mode without any hesitation,” Valge said. “A Theater Security Package is one of the most visible ways of showing that the U.S. means business, and we are ready to cooperate together with the U.S. forces.”
The Air Force has deployed total force Airmen to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve for more than two years. TSP deployments to Europe vary in length and are supported with total force aircraft and Airmen from stateside units. The TSP is funded by the European Deterrence Initiative, which aims to increase the capability and readiness of U.S. forces, allowing for a faster response in the event of any aggression by a regional adversary against NATO sovereign territory.
And the mission is not just about improving military operability with NATO allies, but also for fostering good relations with the host nation and its citizens. During their off-duty time, Airmen extended another of the National Guard’s primary missions — supporting the communities in which Guard members live and work — to their temporary home by volunteering with some foster children living with two families on farms in southwestern Estonia. It was about 2.5 hours from the air base and about 40 of the 112th EFS members volunteered a weekend day to work on these two farms to help provide manpower for whatever assistance was needed. This gave the foster families more time to spend with the foster children.
Barasch recalled the day: "We got to experience a true Estonian day — working on an Estonian farm and learning more about their culture and language. At the end of the day, the family cooked all of us an Estonian meal as well. Farm work included moving (literally) tons of lamb waste out of a barn, chopping a forest’s worth of wood and some were able to take the children sledding, too,” he said. “It was an incredible experience and one that I think we all will remember.”
Editor’s note: Maj. Davina Petermann, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, contributed to this report.
Acquiring new technology:
178th Wing completes transition to
Story by 178th Wing Public Affairs
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — After a year of change, the 178th Wing recently completed the transition from the MQ-1B Predator to the MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.
The 178th Wing has seen its share of transitions over the years and stood the test of time. The wing’s Airmen have continued serving their country throughout the many changes they have faced, whether it was evolving from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the MQ-1B Predator after a base realignment and closure readjusted their mission in January 2012, or now, when the wing converted to the MQ-9 Reaper.
“The MQ-9 will open up a whole new skill set and is a huge step for the 178th to get into the new technology,” said Col. Chad McGarry, 178th Operations Group commander. “The new airframe provides us viability now and in the future, which is extremely important.”
With the transition to the MQ-9, the Airmen of the 178th Wing will have advanced tactics and technology to accomplish their mission and continue defending America. The MQ-9 is a long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft that provides unique support to American forces around the globe.
The 178th Wing is home to nearly 900 Airmen who live and work in the local community. About 40 percent are full-time members, bringing not only jobs but increased economy to the local area. The completed transition ensures that the 178th Wing will stay on the cutting edge of technology, enabling the wing to continue its mission, well into the future.
Since December 2017, when the transition at the wing was complete, the overall assessment has been positive, following several months of formal retraining. The MQ-9 allows the Airmen at the 178th Wing to be more involved in protecting their country at home and abroad.
“The Ohio Air National Guard is now on par with all other Air National Guard units with regards to possessing the most up-to-date remotely piloted aircraft technology and capabilities,” McGarry said.
Although Airmen of 178th Operations Group are the ones who operate aircraft, the unit could not have successfully completed the transition without the help and support from all the units at the 178th Wing that contribute to the mission.
“I want to make sure to thank everyone that drives through the gates of Springfield Air National Guard Base,” McGarry said. We would not have been able to accomplish this transition without the support of every agency in the 178th Wing.”
The aircraft transition isn’t the only thing
the 178th Wing has been focused on. In response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,
in the fall of 2017, Airmen provided remote imagery analysis that saved lives and mitigated suffering. And most recently,
they supported the Ohio State Highway Patrol with imagery analysis during historic flooding in Southern Ohio. Every day, whether at home or around the globe, Airmen from the 178th Wing are ready
to do what National Guard members to best—serve their communities, state and nation.
OPERATION COMBAT HAMMER
The first operational air-to-ground weapons evaluation for the Air National Guard to be a part of as the sole MQ-9 Reaper mission set.
Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Robert Shepherd
U.S. Air National Guard
Portsmouth engineer unit comes
to aid of its hometown
Photos by Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood, 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Ohio National Guard welcomed home about 285 Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, as they returned from a nearly yearlong deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, during a March 31, 2018, ceremony at Morgan High School in McConnelsville, Ohio. While deployed, the unit’s primary duty was to conduct a Counter-Rocket, Artillery, Mortar (C-RAM) mission in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Always Ready, Always There
All OHANG units earn prestigious
Air Force recognition
Soldiers of 2-174th ADA return
Photos by Staff Sgt. Michael Carden, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
Airmen with the 178th Wing teamed up with the aviation department of the Ohio State Highway Patrol to help provide flood relief to affected areas in the southern regions of Ohio, Feb. 27, 2018. About 10 Airmen provided bird’s-eye view imagery to analysts on the ground who coordinated with emergency relief agencies and civil authorities. The 178th Airmen were able to leverage their technological skills with the state patrol’s knowledge of the layout of the land to get help to Ohioans where it is needed most.
For the first time in Ohio Air National Guard history, all four wings and six geographically separated units, or GSUs, in the state have been awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the same time period, for their significant achievements between 2014 and 2016. Units must demonstrate exceptional meritorious service, accomplish specific acts of outstanding achievement and/or excel in combat operations in order to be considered for the award.
Video by 1st Lt. Aaron Smith, Ohio National Guard Public Affairs
179th AW Communications
Flight tabbed as ANG’s best
Biathlon team tackles ‘The Wall’
Photos by Senior Airman Rachel Simones, 178th Wing Public Affairs
Photos by Utah National Guard Public Affairs
The Utah National Guard hosted the 2018 Chief, National Guard Bureau Biathlon Championships Feb. 24-March 1 at Utah’s own Soldier Hollow. The Ohio National Guard Biathlon Team was among 24 states’ teams that made up the field
of nearly 200 participants in the weeklong event. The high elevation and rugged conditions at Soldier Hollow — including the steepest point
in the course, aptly named “The Wall” — challenged the biathletes throughout the competition, the first time the event was held
in the Beehive State.
2018 Biathlon Championships Results
The Ohio National Guard
The 179th Airlift Wing Communications Flight was recently awarded the U.S Air Force Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant award for best communication flight in the entire Air National Guard. This award honors small information dominance/cyberspace units for sustained superior performance and professional excellence, while managing core information dominance and/or cyberspace functions, and for contributions that most improved Air Force and/or DoD operations and missions.
178th Wing partners with state patrol for flood relief mission
Soldiers from the 1191st Engineering Company were activated to support the city of Portsmouth by raising floodgates in response to rising waters on the Ohio River in late February. About 40 Soldiers with the 1191st, based in Portsmouth, were called to state active duty to respond to rising waters that threatened the local community, where several Soldiers live and work. Working alongside the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency and the Portsmouth Flood Defense Division, the Citizen-Soldiers erected four floodgates in the city, along the river.
THE OHIO NATIONAL GUARD LINEAGE LINK UP
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
Special Troops Battalion,
37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Company K, 147th Infantry,
Camp Breckenridge, Ky., 1956.
2nd Lt. Tyler W. Beaty, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, tries on his newly issued boots during rapid fielding initiative at Camp Shelby, Miss., in 2011.
1st Separate Machine Gun Company
DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH
23 April 1920, Springfield, Ohio
Provides command and control (C2), administrative and sustainment support to organic and attached combat support units. Provides the infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) and assigned and/or attached units with military intelligence support, communications, engineer, military police and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance capabilities.
World War II
Air Offensive, Japan; Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons; Luzon
War on Terrorism
Global War on Terrorism; Afghanistan – Transition I
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army), Streamer embroidered:
Army Superior Unit Award,
Streamer embroidered: 2004-2005
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Streamer embroidered:
17 OCTOBER 1944 TO 4 JULY 1945
Company C, 137th Signal Battalion,
Camp Grayling, Mich., 1964.
Company H, 147th Infantry,
Camp Perry, Ohio, 1934.
View a more detailed lineage of the
Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion,
37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Headquarters and Headquarters Company,
3rd Battalion, 147th Infantry,
Camp Perry, Ohio, 1954.
SFC David Sollberger
SFC Jason Hillebrand
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PLUS, OHARNG-branded Hoodie (2 or 6 year contract)
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WAR of 1812
Back issues of the Buckeye Guard
(1976 to present)
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If the regulars were recognizable by their colorfully adorned uniforms, members of the
Ohio Militia in 1812 were known for being plainly dressed in whatever clothing the majority of the local company agreed upon. Militiamen were regular citizens and appeared as such.
The 1.) hunting frock was a lightweight jacket, capped with fringe, and was common among many militia units of the time. The coat is
secured with a broad leather belt in which
a knife and tomahawk is carried. Over his shoulder, he carries a 2.) black cartridge box
for ammunition as well as a 3.) cloth haversack
for rations and a 4.) canteen. The equipment is
completed with a 5.) common knapsack, which held the Soldier’s extra clothes, blanket and personnel items necessary to survive while on campaign.
APRIL 29, 1812: Ohio Gov. Return J. Meigs issues orders to the major generals of the middle and western divisions of the Ohio Militia to bring respective proportions of their men to rendezvous at Dayton in preparation for garrisoning the fort at Detroit. About 1,700 officers and 24,000 Buckeye Soldiers will eventually answer the call during the War of 1812.
Volume 36, No. 2 - March/April 2018