Oklahoma Army National Guard
The Oklahoma Army National Guard maintains 91 armories, and is present in 79 communities.
Initiated by the U.S. Congress in 1890 when it authorized one regiment of organized militia for Oklahoma Territory, the Territorial Legislature passed a law, in 1895, providing for the organization and development of the Volunteer Militia, the "Oklahoma National Guard."
The Oklahoma Military Department was established in 1951 and serves as the administrative agency for all matters concerning the Oklahoma National Guard and other military organizations. The Governor, as CommanderinChief of the National Guard, appoints the Adjutant General, the executive and administrative officer. The Army National Guard operates at a strength of 8,404 men and women in 120 units statewide. Its main components are the 45th Infantry Brigade, 90th Troop Command and the 45th Field Artillery Brigade.
The National Guard has a dual mission: (1) to provide units organized, equipped and trained to function efficiently in the protection of life and property and preservation of peace, order and public safety under competent orders of federal or state authorities; (2) to provide trained units and individuals available for active duty during war or national emergency.
The Governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating, called on the OKARNG twice during FY99 to assist the citizens of Oklahoma. Over 150 guard members were called to state active duty to assist law enforcement agencies in locating and evacuating stranded motorists after a blinding snowstorm. Several motorists were taken to local National Guard armories or other emergency centers set up to feed and house those caught in the storm.
The Governor called upon the OKARNG again after a tornado destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, injured many Oklahomans and left 43 dead. Soldiers responded within hours of the initial call. Over 1,717 members remained on duty for over three weeks assisting law enforcement and emergency agencies in search and rescue, traffic and crowd control, site security and clean up operations. Numerous items of equipment such as generators, tents, lighting equipment, cots, and blankets were loaned to various local and state agencies for the emergency. The OKARNG continued to serve the state and proved its rapid response to the citizens of Oklahoma.
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