New Mexico Air National Guard

New Mexico Air National Guard
New Mexico National guard emblem.jpg
Active 1946 – present
Country United States
Branch Air National Guard
Role "To meet state and federal mission responsibilities."
Garrison/HQ Kirtland Air Force Base
Nickname "Enchilada Air Force"
Civilian leadership President Barack Obama
Michael B. Donley
(Secretary of the Air Force)
Governor Susana Martinez
(Governor of the State of New Mexico)
State military leadership Major General Kenny C. Montoya
USAF Roundel Roundel of the USAF.svg

The New Mexico Air National Guard is the air force militia of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is, along with the New Mexico Army National Guard, an element of the New Mexico National Guard. It is considered a part of the United States Air Force, as well as of the state.



The New Mexico Air National Guard trains United States Air Force special operations and combat search and rescue aircrews. In addition, the 150 FW also maintains a Defense Systems Evaluation (DSE) tasking, which provides aircraft support to the US Army Air Defense Center and White Sands Missile Range. Major program support has included testing of various US and foreign surface-to-air missile systems and air defense artillery.


The New Mexico Air National Guard was federally recognized on 7 July 1947 as the 188th Fighter Bomber Squadron. The unit was composed of a utility flight equipped with Douglas B-26 light bombers, a fighter squadron composed of 100 officers and airmen flying 25 F-51D Mustangs and three T-6 Texan trainers, plus a small weather detachment. Pilots were drawn from returning World War II veterans, including David Tallichet, and new local recruits. The 188th's mission was changed from fighter bomber to interceptor in 1948.

Korean War

In December 1950, the unit was called to active duty for the Korean War. A total of 54 officers and 400 airmen were assigned to Long Beach Airport, California. Most unit members were then absorbed by other USAF units and dispatched to Japan and Korea. First Lieutenants Robert Lucas and Joseph Murray were killed while flying close air support missions in Korea. Captain Francis Williams and First Lieutenant Robert Sands were each credited with shooting down three Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 fighters. The unit was released from federal active duty in November 1952.

Cold War

In August 1953, the 188th FIS received their first jet aircraft, the F-80C Shooting Star. Between 1953 and 1957, the 188th was one of three squadrons of the 140th Wing, with headquarters in Denver, Colorado. In 1957, the 188th was presented the Spaatz Trophy and the Air Force Association Trophy for being the outstanding tactical unit of the Air National Guard for the period 1 January 1956 through 31 December 1956. In 1957, the unit was re-designated and federally recognized as the 150th Tactical Fighter Group. On 1 July 1961, the 188th Fighter Interceptor Squadron assumed 24-hour Air Defense alert status at Kirtland Air Force Base. In 1958, the 188th became the first squadron in the Air National Guard to receive the F-100 Super Sabre, 12 F-100As and two F-100Fs. This conversion raised unit strength to 956 officers and airmen.[1]

In April 1961, an aircraft malfunction caused a AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile to launch and shoot down a B-52B Stratofortress bomber near Grants, New Mexico. The B-52B (AF Ser. No. 53-0380, aircraft nickname "Ciudad Juarez") from the 95th Bomb Wing took off from Biggs Air Force Base, at El Paso, Texas on a practice mission. During an intercept by two New Mexico ANG F-100As, an AIM-9B shook loose and impacted one of the engine pods on the left wing, taking the B-52's left wing off in the subsequent explosion. Three B-52 crewmembers died; the F-100 pilot was absolved of any blame.[2]

In the fall of 1962, the Cuban missile crisis put the 150th on an alert status that lasted for 90 days. Later, the 150th was reassigned from Aerospace Defense Command to Tactical Air Command and equipped with the F-100C fighter-bomber.

Vietnam War

A 188th TFS F-100C over Tuy Hoa Air Base, 1968-69.

In January 1968, the group was activated as a result of the Pueblo Crisis, and in June of that year the 188th Tactical Fighter Squadron and approximately 250 maintenance and support personnel were deployed to Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam. Remaining group members were assigned to various bases in South Korea. The unit flew over 6000 combat sorties in the F-100C Super Sabre and amassed over 630 medals and decorations before release from federal active duty in June 1969. Captain Michael Adams was killed in action and Ma or Bobby Neeld and First Lieutenant Mitchell Lane are listed as missing in action. The unit received the USAF Outstanding Unit Award with a bronze "V" for valor.


In New Mexico, units of both the Army and Air Guard were ordered to State duty in 1970 to assist local and State police during campus riots at the University of New Mexico.

188th TFS A-7Ds in Germany, in 1983.

In 1973 the 150th Tactical Fighter Group converted from the F-100C to the A-7D Corsair II. In 1977, the unit participated in the "Coronet Ante" exercise, which was part of the NATO "Coldfire" exercise in Europe. The 150th TFG deployed nine A-7Ds to Gilze Rijen Air Base, The Netherlands, from 2 September through 27 September 1977. Close air support missions were flown over The Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea.

During exercise "Bright Star '81", the 150th TFG set an A-7 and first endurance record of 11 1/2 hours flying non-stop from Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire to Cairo West Air Base, Egypt.[3]

Gulf War 1991

The 150th Fighter Group was partially activated in support of Operation Desert Storm. On 11 December 1990, 44 members of the 150th Security Police Flight and other unit members were deployed to Saudi Arabia. All members returned home by May 1991. In the following year, the 150th was redesignated as the 150th Fighter Wing (150 FW) as part of a redesignation of nearly all Air National Guard flying units previously designated as groups. The 150 FW also trasitioned from the A-7 to the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon.

War on Terror

New Mexico Air National Guard F-16Cs in Chile, 2004.

Since the September 11 attacks 2001, the 150th FW supported several deployments connected with Operation Noble Eagle. Within hours of the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., 150th FW aircrews flew combat air patrol sorties over key resources within the western part of the United States, and continued to do so for many months. To protect the local homeland of New Mexico, 150th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) personnel provided several months of security protection to the Albuquerque International Airport.[4]

2010 Combat Air Force Restructure

In 2009, it was decided to assign the 21 F-16C/D aircraft of the New Mexico ANG to other Air National Guard units in the District of Columbia Air National Guard and the Vermont Air National Guard as part of the "Fiscal Year 2010 Combat Air Force Restructure". The last two F-16s left Kirtland AFB in September 2010.[5] The 150th FW was to take over the mission of Kirtland's 58th Special Operations Wing. An Air Education and Training Command (AETC) unit, the 58 SOW trains about 2,200 military personnel a year in special operations and combat search and rescue utilizing the HC-130P/N King, MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130P Combat Shadow, HH-60G Pavehawk, UH-1N Iroquois, and CV-22 Osprey, employing more than 1,800 military personnel. It was planned that the 150 FW be redesignated as the 150th Wing (150 WG) and retain about 1,092 jobs, one-third of them held by fulltime Air National Guardsmen in an Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) or Air Reserve Technician (ART) status.[6]


F-16C aircraft of the 150th Fighter Wing

The New Mexico Air National Guard has the following units:

  • New Mexico Air National Guard State Headquarters
  • 150th Fighter Wing, based at Kirtland Air Force Base, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
    • 150th Operations Group, Mission Support Group,
    • 150th Medical Group and 12 subordinate squadrons and flights with an authorized strength of 120 officers and 919 enlisted members.

Aircraft flown

See also


External links

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