A Moment in Air Force History

When was the first time a National Guard unit was called up for federal service?

A. 1846 – The Mexican American War
B. 1916 – The Border Crisis with Mexico
C. 1940 – In preparation for World War II

B. On July 13, 1916, the 1st Aero Company, New York National Guard, was mobilized during the border crisis with Mexico. It trained at Mineola, N.Y., but did not deploy to the border. Capt. Raynal Bolling commanded and founded the 1st Aero Company, which was the first National Guard air unit. It is now the 106th Rescue Wing, one of only three rescue wings in the Air National Guard. The 106th RQW is the parent wing to the ANG’s oldest flying squadron, the 102nd Rescue Squadron. Today the wing flies the HC-130 and HH-60G “Pavehawk.” The 106th RQW performs long range over-water missions, and is located at Francis Gabreski ANG base, Westhampton Beach, N.Y.

Did You Know? This week’s question is a trick question. In 1903, National Defense Legislation changed the name from Militia to National Guard. During the Mexican-American War (1846 to 1848) state militias were called up to federal service as they had been back to the French and Indian War of 1755. On October 15, 1940, several Michigan National Guard units were called up for service in preparation for U.S. entry into World War II. Some of these units did not demobilize until 1946.

(Courtesy of 435th Air Base Wing and 86th Airlift Wing History offices)