On 24 May 1946, the United States Army Air Forces, in response to dramatic postwar military budget cuts imposed by President Harry S. Truman, allocated inactive unit designations to the National Guard Bureau for the formation of an Air Force National Guard. These unit designations were allotted and transferred to various State National Guard bureaus to provide them unit designations to re-establish them as Air National Guard units.
The Utah Air National Guard was founded on 18 November 1946 with the federal recognition of the 191st Fighter Squadron at Salt Lake City Municipal Airport. It was equipped with F-51D Mustangs and its mission was the air defense of the state. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Utah Air National Guard's official birth concurrent with the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the United States military under the National Security Act
Members of the Utah ANG were called to serve 21 months during the Korean War. Flying F-51D Mustang fighter aircraft, 10 pilots flew over 100 missions. Two Utah ANG pilots were killed in this conflict. One Utah Air National Guard pilot, Capt. Cliff Jolley, flying a North American F-86 Sabre, shot down seven soviet-made MiG-15 aircraft and became the first Air Guard "Ace" of the Korean War. During the Vietnam War, Utah Air Guard crews flew 6,600 hours of support missions for US forces. On 1 July 1958, the 191st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 151st Fighter-Interceptor Group was established by the National Guard Bureau.
In 1990-91, Utah Air National Guard crews were some of the first to volunteer to support Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm during the 1991 Gulf War. Utah Air National Guard's support of this operation continued well into 1991.
In 1999, many members were deployed to Europe in support of Operation Allied Force. Members have also supported US drug interdiction activities and have provided air refueling for tactical and transportation aircraft supporting military activities involving Bosnia and Iraq. The Utah Air National Guard has participated in several Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) missions, most recently at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in the summer of 2007.
Since 11 September 2001, over 3,300 Utah Air National Guards members have been activated and deployed for worldwide duty to include Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In Utah, local communities can have benefits from the Utah Air National Guard. Activities included "Sub-for-Santa", blood drives, "Adopt a School Program", highway cleanup and the 2002 Winter Olympics. The Utah Air National Guard also maintains a state of readiness to meet the needs to support the State of Utah during an earthquake, flood, civil disturbance or major disaster. Utah Air Guardsmen, at the request of the Governor, assisted during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita and airlifted evacuees to safety in September 2005.
Read more about this topic: Utah Air National Guard
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