Connecticut Air National Guard

The Connecticut Air National Guard (CT ANG) is the air force militia of the State of Connecticut, United States of America. It is, along with the Connecticut Army National Guard, an element of the Connecticut National Guard.

As state militia units, the units in the Connecticut Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Connecticut through the office of the Connecticut Adjutant General unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States. The Connecticut Air National Guard is headquartered at Bradley Air National Guard Base, and its commander is Brigadier General Daniel L Peabody.

Connecticut Air National Guard
Connecticut Air National Guard - Emblem
Shield of the Connecticut Air National Guard
Active1 November 1923 - present
Country United States of America
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Air Force
Role"To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."
SizeApproximately 1,200 airmen
Part ofUS-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg Air National Guard
Connecticut National Guard
Garrison/HQConnecticut Air National Guard, Bradley Air National Guard Base, 206 Boston Post Road Orange, Connecticut, 06477
Civilian leadershipPresident Donald Trump
Heather Wilson
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Governor Ned Lamont
(Governor of the State of Connecticut)
State military leadershipMajor General Thaddeus J. Martin
Brigadier General Daniel L Peabody
Aircraft flown
TransportLearjet C-21A


Under the "Total Force" concept, Connecticut Air National Guard units are considered to be Air Reserve Components (ARC) of the United States Air Force (USAF). Connecticut ANG units are trained and equipped by the Air Force and are operationally gained by a Major Command of the USAF if federalized. In addition, the Connecticut Air National Guard forces are assigned to Air Expeditionary Forces and are subject to deployment tasking orders along with their active duty and Air Force Reserve counterparts in their assigned cycle deployment window.

Along with their federal reserve obligations, as state militia units the elements of the Connecticut ANG are subject to being activated by order of the Governor to provide protection of life and property, and preserve peace, order and public safety. State missions include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires, search and rescue, protection of vital public services, and support to civil defense.


The Connecticut Air National Guard consists of the following major unit:

Established 1 November 1923 (as: 118th Observation Squadron); operates: C-130H Hercules
Stationed at: Bradley Air National Guard Base, Windsor Locks; Gained by: Air Mobility Command
The "Flying Yankees" of the 103rd Airlift Wing are the third oldest Air National Guard unit in the United States, tracing their lineage back over 90 years of military aviation. They currently fly the C-130H, a four engine turboprop aircraft and its mission is providing cargo and passenger airlift.

Support Unit Functions and Capabilities:

  • 103d Air Control Squadron
Stationed at Orange[1] and is known as "Yankee Watch". The mission of the 103d Air Control Squadron is real-time detection, identification and surveillance of air traffic for combat operations and homeland defense. The 103d ACS is the oldest unit of its kind in the United States military.[1]


639th Aero Squadron Officers and NCOs - 1918
639th Aero Squadron Officers and NCOs - 1918

The 118th Airlift Squadron's origins date to August 1917, when the unit was activated as the 118th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. After little more than basic individual and unit training at Kelly, the squadron departed by train for the East Coast en route to France. After a brief stopover at Garden City, Long Island, New York, they sailed for Europe on 13 January 1918, arriving at St. Maixent, France on the 29th of that month. The squadron, re-designated the 639th Aero Service Squadron in France, was credited with honorable service from January to November, 1918, but as a construction and support unit, it saw no real combat action. The Fleur-de-lis on the post World War II squadron insignia reflects that service in France.[2]

The war ended in November, but the 639th remained in France until May 1919 when it returned to the United States and was demobilized at Mitchell Field, New York, on 6 June 1919.[2]

Connecticut National Guard

The Militia Act of 1903 established the present National Guard system, units raised by the states but paid for by the Federal Government, liable for immediate state service. If federalized by Presidential order, they fall under the regular military chain of command. On 1 June 1920, the Militia Bureau issued Circular No.1 on organization of National Guard air units.[3] The National Defense Act of 1921 provided for a number of National Guard Aviation Squadrons and the 43d Aero Squadron was re-designated as the 43d Division Air Service Squadron.

As a National Guard unit the squadron became a part of the 43d Division, at that time made up of National Guard Troops from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Since there were no airfields in Connecticut capable of handling military type aircraft, the 118th was initially assigned to the Rhode Island National Guard for duty.[4]

118th Observation Squadron - Curtiss XI-12 Falcon
118th Observation Squadron - Curtiss XO-12 Falcon, about 1926

However, after the opening of Brainard Field in Hartford in October 1922, efforts were immediately launched to secure the Air Service unit of the 43d Division for the State of Connecticut. Rhode Island, apparently without a great deal of argument, soon relinquished its claim and the squadron was reassigned to Connecticut as the 118th Observation Squadron, Connecticut National Guard.[4]

When the squadron was officially organized on 1 November 1923, there were some 66 officers and enlisted men officially on board. During the 1920s and 1930s, the 118th "grew and prospered". Originally issued with obsolete Curtiss JN-4 "Jennies" left over from World War I, the unit was later equipped with experimental Curtiss OX-12's with rotary engines and a swept-wing design. The squadron, or elements thereof, called up to perform the following state duties: riot control at the textile workers strike at Putnam, CT, in September 1934; and flood relief at Hartford, CT, 19 March-1 April 1936. Conducted summer training at Mitchell Field, NY, or Trumbull Field, CT. Detachments were sent some years to fly spotter missions during the summer training of the 192d Field Artillery Regiment.[4]

The 118th entered the 1940s with war in Europe already a reality and eventual U.S. involvement becoming more and more likely. The 118th was preparing to meet that eventuality. In 1940 the squadron was detached from the 43rd Division to become a part of I Army Corps, Aviation. Simultaneously, plans were being drawn up "for the entire unit to move to Jacksonville, Florida for intensive training over a period of an entire year".[4]

Connecticut Air National Guard

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.[5]

A-10As 118th TFS CT ANG in flight 1979.JPEG
118th Tactical Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, 1989
A-10A Thunderbolt II 103rd FW 118th FS Flying Yankees, CT 79-084 - 2006
A-10A Thunderbolt II 103rd FW 118th FS Flying Yankees, CT 79-084 - 2006

The modern Connecticut ANG received federal recognition on 7 August 1946 as the 103d Fighter Group at Bradley Army Airfield, Windsor Locks. The mission of the 103d Fighter Group was the air defense of Connecticut. It was assigned the 118th Fighter Squadron, equipped with F-47D Thunderbolts. 18 September 1947, however, is considered the Connecticut 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.[5]

During the Korean War, the Connecticut Air National Guard was federalized on 10 February 1951 with the 103d Fighter Group being re-designated as the 103d Fighter-Interceptor Group, and the 103d Fighter-Interceptor Wing being established by Air Defense Command on 2 March 1951. The 118th also being re-designated as a Fighter-Interceptor squadron.

The 103d was assigned to the Air Defense Command Eastern Air Defense Force and moved to Suffolk County AFB, New York on 1 June 1951, flying air defense missions with their F-47D Thunderbolts. On 1 February 1952 the 103d FIW and assigned groups were inactivated by ADC, the 118th FIS being assigned to the 4709th Air Defense Wing at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. During its period of federalization, the 118th FIS transferred many of its pilots and ground support personnel to Fifth Air Force, where they served in combat in Korea.

Until 2008, the organization was known as the 103rd Fighter Wing (103 FW), operationally-gained by the Air Combat Command (ACC) and equipped with A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. As a result of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions, the wing's A-10 fighter aircraft were reassigned to other units and the 103rd reequipped with C-21 Learjet aircraft as a "placeholder" flying mission under the Air National Guard's VANGUARD[6] program until the 103rd's next flying mission could be determined. Following this change in mission, the unit was redesignated the 103rd Airlift Wing and placed under the operational claimancy of Air Mobility Command (AMC). The 103d Airlift Wing is based in East Granby at the Bradley Air National Guard Base at Bradley International Airport.

Notable Personnel


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^ a b "Our Mission". Connecticut Air National Guard. U.S. Air Force. Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
  2. ^ a b The history of the 639th Aero Squadron, United States Army Air Service, 1920
  3. ^ ANG Chronology 1908-2007, see also Brief History of the Minnesota Air National Guard and the 133rd Airlift Wing, 1.
  4. ^ a b c d Flying Yankees, a history of the first fifty years of the Connecticut Air National Guard. Compiled by Colonel Carl D. Jenson [and] CMSGT. Edward W. Burton. c1973.
  5. ^ a b Rosenfeld, Susan and Gross, Charles J (2007), Air National Guard at 60: A History. Air National Guard history program AFD-080527-040 Archived 13 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Strategic Analysis of Air National Guard Combat Support and Reachback Functions. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  7. ^ Astronaut Office of the Johnson Space Center (January 1983). "Biographical Data - John L. Swigert, Jr". Johnson Space Center - Astronaut Biographies. NASA. Retrieved 19 July 2007.

External links

103d Airlift Wing

The 103d Airlift Wing (103 AW) is a unit of the Connecticut Air National Guard, stationed at Bradley Air National Guard Base at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut. If activated to federal service with the United States Air Force, the 103 AW is operationally-gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).The 103 AW was first activated in 1943 as the 324th Fighter Group of the United States Army Air Forces. During World War II, the 324th served in combat with Ninth Air Force and Twelfth Air Force, primarily in the Mediterranean, African, and Middle East Theater. It received two Distinguished Unit Citations for engagements in the Mediterranean and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for supporting French forces during the campaigns for Italy and France from 1944 to 1945.

In 1946 the 324th Fighter Group was redesignated as the 103d Fighter Group and allotted to the National Guard.

The 118th Airlift Squadron, assigned to the wing's 103rd Operations Group, was first established during World War I as the 118th Aero Squadron on 31 August 1917. It was reformed on 1 November 1923, as the 118th Observation Squadron, and is one of the 29 original National Guard Observation Squadrons of the United States Army National Guard formed before World War II.

103rd Air Control Squadron

103rd Air Control Squadron is a National Guard squadron assigned to the Connecticut Air National Guard. It provides theater command with air battle management, radar surveillance, air space control, and long haul communication capabilities to plan and execute combined air operations, air superiority and air strike ground attack operations, and provides state authorities with a dedicated force ready to react to local and national emergencies. The unit is located on Orange Air National Guard Station in Orange, CT.

118th Airlift Squadron

The 118th Airlift Squadron (118 AS) is a unit of the Connecticut Air National Guard 103d Airlift Wing stationed at Bradley Air National Guard Base, Windsor Locks, Connecticut. The 118th is equipped with the C-21A Learjet and C-130H.

The squadron is a descendant organization of the World War I 118th Aero Squadron, established on 31 August 1917. It was reformed on 1 November 1923, as the 118th Observation Squadron, and is one of the 29 original National Guard Observation Squadrons of the United States Army National Guard formed before World War II.

192nd Military Police Battalion

The 192nd Military Police Battalion is a National Guard battalion assigned to the Connecticut Army National Guard. The battalion is assigned to the 85th Troop Command and is the Battalion Command for the 143rd Military Police Company (CS), 643rd Military Police Company (C/D), 928th Kennel Master, 11th and 119th Military Working Dog (MWD) Detachments. It is one of several National Guard units with colonial roots.

Air and Space Operations Center

An Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) is a type of command center used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It is the senior agency of the Air Force component commander to provide command and control of air and space operations.The United States Air Force employs two kinds of AOCs: regional AOCs utilizing the AN/USQ-163 Falconer weapon system that support geographic combatant commanders, and functional AOCs that support functional combatant commanders. When there is more than one U.S. military service working in an AOC, such as when naval aviation from the U.S. Navy (USN) and/or the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) is incorporated, it is called a Joint Air and Space Operations Center (JAOC). In cases of allied or coalition (multinational) operations in tandem with USAF or Joint air and space operations, the AOC is called a Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC).An AOC is the senior element of the Theater Air Control System (TACS). The Joint Force Commander (JFC) assigns a Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) to lead the AOC weapon system. If allied or coalition forces are part of the operation, the JFC and JFACC will be redesignated as the CFC and CFACC, respectively.

Quite often the Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) is assigned the JFACC/CFACC position for planning and executing theater-wide air and space forces. If another service also provides a significant share of air and space forces, the Deputy JFACC/CFACC will typically be a senior flag officer from that service. For example, during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, when USAF combat air forces (CAF) and mobility air forces (MAF) integrated extensive USN and USMC sea-based and land-based aviation and Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy / Fleet Air Arm aviation, the CFACC was an aeronautically rated USAF lieutenant general, assisted by an aeronautically designated USN rear admiral (upper half) as the Deputy CFACC, and an aeronautically rated RAF air commodore as the Senior British Officer (Air).

Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport (IATA: BDL, ICAO: KBDL, FAA LID: BDL) is a civil/military airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Owned and operated by the Connecticut Airport Authority, it is the second-largest airport in New England.The airport is about halfway between Hartford and Springfield. It is Connecticut's busiest commercial airport and the second-busiest airport in New England after Boston's Logan International Airport, with about 6.4 million passengers in 2017. The four largest carriers at Bradley International Airport are Southwest, Delta, JetBlue, and American with market shares of 29%, 19%, 15%, and 14%, respectively. As a dual-use military facility with the U.S. Air Force, the airport is home to the 103d Airlift Wing (103 AW) of the Connecticut Air National Guard.

In 2017 Bradley was the 53rd-busiest airport in the United States, by passengers enplaned. Bradley was originally branded as the "Gateway to New England" and is home to the New England Air Museum. In 2016 Bradley International launched its new brand, "Love The Journey".The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021 categorized it as a medium-hub primary commercial service facility.The former discount department store chain Bradlees was named after the airport as many of the early planning meetings were held there.

Connecticut Military Department

The Connecticut Military Department is a state agency of the government of Connecticut. Its primary components are the

Connecticut Army National Guard, the Connecticut Air National Guard, and four companies of the state militia. The Military Department of the State of Connecticut traces its origins to May 11, 1637, when the "General Courts" (colonial assembly - legislature) established a military arm of the provincial government. In 1939, the State's Military Department. was established to consolidate the offices of Adjutant General, Quartermaster General, Armory Board, and Armory Board Inspector.

Connecticut Route 20

Route 20 is a 31.56-mile (50.79 km) state highway in the U.S. state of Connecticut. It extends from Route 8 in rural Winchester to I-91 in Windsor. Route 20 consists of two distinct sections: a long, winding, scenic rural road, and a section of the freeway linking I-91 to Bradley International Airport.

Eastern Air Defense Force

The Eastern Air Defense Force (EADF) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Air Defense Command being stationed at Stewart Air Force Base, New York. It was inactivated on July 1, 1960.

Greater Hartford

Greater Hartford is a region located in the U.S. state of Connecticut, centered on the state's capital of Hartford. It represents the only combined statistical area in Connecticut defined by a city within the state, being bordered by the Greater Boston region to the northeast and New York metropolitan area to the south and west. Sitting at the southern end of the Metacomet Ridge, its geology is characterized by land of a level grade along the shores of Connecticut River Valley, with finer-grained soil than other regions in the state.

Hartford's role as a focal point for the American insurance industry is known nationally. The vibrant music and arts scene defines the region's culture. The region's economy is closely tied with Springfield, Massachusetts, as Hartford and Springfield are twin cities, only 25 miles apart. The area is served by Bradley International Airport as well as the smaller Hartford-Brainard Airport.

Greater Hartford (metropolitan area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau), had a total population of 1,212,381 (2010 census).


Hawgsmoke is a biennial United States Air Force bombing, missile, and tactical gunnery competition for A-10 Thunderbolt II units. It is hosted by the winners of the previous competition and provides both skills competition and an opportunity to share in the camaraderie and fellowship within the A-10 community.

Jack Swigert

John Leonard Swigert Jr. (August 30, 1931 – December 27, 1982) was an American test pilot, mechanical and aerospace engineer, United States Air Force pilot, and NASA astronaut. He was one of twenty-four astronauts who have flown to the Moon.Before joining NASA in 1966, Swigert was a civilian test pilot and fighter pilot in the Air National Guard. After leaving NASA, he was elected to Congress from Colorado's new 6th district, but died before being sworn in.

M2/M4/M6 (railcar)

The M2, M4 and M6 were three similar series of electric multiple unit rail cars produced by the Budd Company (M2), Tokyu Car Corporation (M4), and Morrison Knudsen (M6) for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Initially branded as the Cosmopolitans, the cars were later more popularly known under their model names, M2 (1970s cars), M4 (1980s cars), M6 (1990s cars). They ran on the New Haven Line (then part of Penn Central, now a part of Metro North) for most of their service life.

Naval Submarine Base New London

Naval Submarine Base New London is the United States Navy's primary East Coast submarine base, also known as the "Home of the Submarine Force". It is located in Groton, Connecticut directly across the Thames River from its namesake city of New London.

Orange, Connecticut

Orange is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 13,956 at the 2010 census. The town is governed by a Board of Selectmen.

Outline of Connecticut

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Connecticut:

Connecticut – state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Called the "Constitution State" or the "Nutmeg state", Connecticut has a long history dating from early colonial times and was influential in the development of the federal government. Connecticut enjoys a temperate climate due to its long coastline on Long Island Sound. Connecticut has the highest per capita income, Human Development Index, and median household income in the country.

Thaddeus J. Martin

Major General Thaddeus J. Martin was an American military officer and was the Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard until June 30, 2018. He began his military service in 1977. He was commissioned, through Officer Training School in 1980 and completed formal training as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Through his twelve years of active service, General Martin held several squadron and wing level assignments and completed a MAJCOM headquarters tour. Joining the Connecticut Air National Guard in 1990, he held command positions at the squadron, group and wing level and completed a statutory tour with the National Guard Bureau. Prior to his assignment as The Adjutant General, General Martin served as the assistant adjutant general for the Connecticut Air National Guard.As adjutant general for the Connecticut National Guard, he was responsible to the Governor and the Chief, National Guard Bureau, for providing operationally trained, equipped and mission-ready forces to support both U.S. mobilization requirements and state emergency operations to include developing and coordinating counter terrorism and domestic preparedness contingencies for the State of Connecticut. He implements policies, programs, and plans as the direct link to all state assigned National Guard resources, providing information and evaluation, issue resolution and action recommendations.

With the retirement of Major General Francis D. Vavala of the Delaware National Guard on January 31, 2017, Major General Martin was the most senior Adjutant General in the nation. He was also the third longest serving Adjutant General in Connecticut history behind George M. Cole and Frederick G. Reincke. He retired effective June 30, 2018 after 13 years of service as The Adjutant General of the State of Connecticut.

United States Coast Guard Academy

The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) is the service academy of the United States Coast Guard in New London, Connecticut. Founded in 1876, it is the second smallest of the five federal service academies and provides education to future Coast Guard officers in one of nine major fields of study. Unlike the other service academies, the Coast Guard Academy does not require a congressional nomination for admission.

Students are officers-in-training and are referred to as cadets, and upon graduation receive a Bachelor of Science degree and are commissioned as Coast Guard ensigns with a five-year active-duty service obligation, with additional years if the graduate attends flight school or subsequent government-funded graduate school. Out of approximately 250 cadets entering the academy each summer, around 200 graduate. Cadets can choose from among nine majors, with a curriculum that is graded according their performance in a holistic program of academics, physical fitness, character, and leadership.

Cadets are required to adhere to the academy's "Honor Concept," "Who lives here reveres honor, honors duty," which is emblazoned in the halls of the academy's entrance. The academy's motto is Scientiæ cedit mare, which is Latin for "the sea yields to knowledge".

The academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, ABET, and AACSB for its various programs.·


The term "Yankee" and its contracted form "Yank" have several interrelated meanings, all referring to people from the United States; its various senses depend on the context. Outside the United States, "Yank" is used informally to refer to any American, including Southerners. Within the Southern United States, "Yankee" is a derisive term which refers to all Northerners, or specifically to those from the region of New England. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it is "a nickname for a native or inhabitant of New England, or, more widely, of the northern States generally"; during the American Civil War, it was "applied by the Confederates to the soldiers of the Federal army".

Elsewhere in the United States, it largely refers to people from the Northeastern states, but especially those with New England cultural ties, such as descendants of colonial New England settlers, wherever they live. Its sense is sometimes more cultural than geographical, emphasizing the Calvinist Puritan Christian beliefs and traditions of the Congregationalists who brought their culture when they settled outside New England. The speech dialect of Eastern New England English is called "Yankee" or "Yankee dialect". Outside the US, the informal "Yank" refers to Americans in general. It is especially popular among Britons, Irish, and Australians and sometimes carries pejorative overtones.

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