Hawaii Army National Guard
The Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) has two primary missions. Its federal mission is to serve as an integral component of the Total Army by providing fully-manned, operationally ready, and well-equipped units that can respond to any national contingency such as war, peacekeeping missions, or nation building operations. The state mission of the HIARNG is to provide a highly effective, professional, and organized force able to respond to natural or human-caused disasters, human-made crises, or the unique needs of the state and its communities.
The Hawaii Army National Guard maintains 21 armories, and is present in 17 communities. Of note, the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry is the only remaining Infantry unit in the Army Reserve force structure.
In FY99 the Hawaii Army National Guard's 29th Separate Infantry Brigade successfully completed its rotation to the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. 2,000 HIARNG soldiers deployed to JRTC as part of a 5,000-soldier contingent. A total of 23 states and territories and three counties participated in the three-week exercises. Members of the 29th performed well against active duty soldiers acting as the opposing force.
In August 1999, the HIARNG was called out to assist civil authorities in containing a raging brush fire at Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) on the island of Hawaii. The HIARNG aerial fire suppression coordinated with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and PTA firefighters. Over a period of two days, HIARNG UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters flew a total of 171 sorties and dropped 99,000 gallons of water on the brush fire that threatened to burn numerous endangered species of plants found only in Hawaii. The effort saved most of the endangered area to the west of PTA and stopped the fire from progressing.
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