152nd Airlift Wing [152nd AW]
The Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Airlift Wing has a primary wartime mission of providing rapid airlift and airdrop of cargo and troops. They can also fly reconnaissance missions in support of military command and control operations, counter drug operations, disaster relief and photo mapping for federal and state agencies. The unit is tasked to deploy anywhere on the globe within an assigned response time to perform both day and night missions.
In addition to the wartime mission, the 152nd Airlift Wing also has a peacetime mission to train combat ready aircrew and assigned personnel. The unit has a State mission and has been called on numerous occasions to support local state emergencies such as fires, floods, riots and search and rescue operations.
The mission is accomplished with eight assigned C-130E "Hercules" transport aircraft. Force structure developments in the Air National Guard during Fiscal Year 2000 focused on equipment upgrades providing enhanced capability for Air National Guard units. The 152nd Airlift Wing began conversion from the C-130E to the C-130H. This conversion also included a modification, which will provide an additional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) asset to the Air National Guard called Scathe View. It features forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), daylight TV, spotter scope, and laser range- finder.
As a result of the National Security Act of 1947, the Nevada Air National Guard was established at Reno Air Force Base (Stead) on April 12, 1948, flying P-51 Mustang fighters. The unit was activated for 21 months during the Korean conflict in 1951 and 1952 and again in 1968 and 1969 for the Pueblo Crisis with the RF-101's.
The unit served in Bahrain during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991, flying 350 combat missions in the RF-4C. The RF-4C aircraft assigned to the Nevada Air National Guard were the last dedicated tactical reconnaissance aircraft in the Air Force inventory when they were retired on September 27, 1995.
The Nevada Air National Guard began the conversion to a new aircraft and mission in October 1995, with training and construction to support the Airlift mission and the Pacer Coin Reconnaissance mission. The unit received its first C-130E aircraft on April 9, 1996, and became an operational Airlift Wing in April 1997. On April 1, 1998, they began the conversion to the airdrop mission, with the C-130 Pacer Coin aircraft retiring in May 1998.
The 152ns AW began 1997 by continuing counter drug missions out of Panama, by responding to the flood, followed by the deployment to Aviano Air Base, Italy, in support of Bosnia Operations. After spending 104 days there our men and women returned home to begin the conversion out of the Pacer Coin mission into the Airdrop mission. During this period the Air National Guard continued working with the Airport Authority of Washoe County to complete all actions necessary to accomplish our base relocation to another site on the airfield.
The Nevada Air National Guard's 152nd Reconnaissance Group deployed its' men and women to the Persian Gulf, Country of Bahrain during December 1990. The Nevada Air Guard's Desert High Rollers immediately began flying aerial reconnaissance missions to photograph Iraqi and Kuwaiti border targets for war preparation during Operation Desert Shield. The Nevada Air National Guard flew bomb damage assessment missions the first day of Operation Desert Storm in their RF-4C Phantom II aircraft and eventually flew over 1,000 combat hours and 350 combat flying missions. The unarmed Nevada aircraft took over 19,000 photographic prints using 300,000 feet of film without a single target lost from processing.
The unit served during the Pueblo Crisis. On January 26, 1968 the Nevada Air National Guard was called to active duty as part of a national effort to meet the threat posed by North Korean seizure of the U.S. Navy ship the "USS Pueblo." During the next 16 months, Nevada Air Guardsmen served in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, North Africa and some 18 bases within the United States. During this tour, the 192nd Reconnaissance Squadron was awarded the 5th Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, only the second unit selected for this honor. All Nevada Air National Guard units were released from active duty on June 9, 1969.
The 152nd Airlift Wing flies the C-130E "Hercules." The mission is to train, equip and maintain units and individuals to meet worldwide requirements for federal day-to-day and mobilization missions and state emergencies. They recruit and develop quality personnel for command, control and support of Nevada Air Guard training and operations.
As of mid-1998, the 152nd Aw has taken part in rotations since October 1995 to Panama in support of drug interdiction operations for Southern Command. The unit assumed this mission when it converted to the C-130E in October 1995. The Nevada Air Guard had the only Pacer Coin aircraft in the inventory. The special sensors and optics on-board provide photo reconnaissance capability. Their deployments complete, the Pacer Coin aircraft was retired on May 15, 1998.
The 152nd AW also took part in "Operation Joint Guard" (August 1997-December 1997) in support of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia. The unit deployed one aircraft and 130 personnel to provide reconnaissance support to the region with its Pacer Coin capability. Flying out of the Aviano Air Base, Italy, the unit was scheduled to remain in-theater for approximately 60 days, but was not returned home until after 104 days.
In May 1998, the USMILGP Commander Ecuador, Colonel Merz, requested the Nevada Air National Guard to send experienced individuals that could interface with the Ecuadorian Air Force, Army, and civilian Mapping agency personnel. The purpose was to train them in the planning and execution of photo reconnaissance to assist them in their efforts to overcome the drug trafficking problems in their country. A week prior to the actual exercise to test the new methods and information, personnel from the 152nd AW deployed to Quito to conduct training and classes aimed at improving the skills of Aircrew and Photo Interpreters. Classes were conducted for a week with classroom training as well as practical exercises.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Reno-Tahoe IAP AGS, NV. It would distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 152d Airlift Wing (ANG) to the 189th Airlift Wing (ANG), Little Rock AFB, AR. The Wing's flying related Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) would moves to Channel Islands Air Guard Station, CA (aerial port), and Fresno Air Guard Station, CA (fire fighters). The remaining ECS elements and the Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) remain in place. This recommendation would distribute C-130 force structure to a higher military value base. Because of limitations to land and ramp space, Reno would be unable to expand beyond 10 C- 130s.
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