The Washington National Guard is headquartered at Camp Murray, Washington and is defined by its state and federal mission. At the call of the Governor, the Washington National Guard will mobilize and deploy during times of state emergency to augment local jurisdictions and responders in their efforts to protect lives and property. The Washington National Guard is also subject to the call of the President of the United States to serve as part of the total U.S. Military force.
The Washington National Guard is made up of the Washington Army National Guard (WAARNG) and the Washington Air National Guard (WA ANG). The WAARNG is a reserve component of the U.S. Army and the WA ANG is a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force. There are approximately 8,400 citizen-soldiers and airmen serving in the Washington National Guard (6,300 in the WAARNG and 2,100 in the WA ANG).
The WAARNG is made up of four Major Subordinate Commands: 81st Brigade Combat Team (headquartered in Seattle), 96th Troop Command (headquartered in Tacoma), 66th Theater Aviation Command (headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord), 205th Leadership Regiment (headquartered at Camp Murray).
Washington Air National Guard
The Washington Air National Guard is made up of two Wings and an Air Defense Sector: 141st Air Refueling Wing (headquartered at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane) 194th Regional Support Wing (headquartered at Camp Murray) Western Air Defense Sector (headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord)
In 1853 President Fillmore signed the Organic Act creating the Washington Territory and appointing Major Isaac Stevens the first governor and commander-in-chief of the Territorial Militia. The Territorial Militia organized in 1855 and supported the Territorial Government, provided defense against Indian uprisings and sent a unit to fight for the Union in the Civil War. The Washington National Guard trained as completely uniformed and equipped force for the first time in 1890 on the shores of American Lake near Tacoma.
Units of the Washington National Guard served in the Philippine Insurrection, both World Wars, the Berlin Airlift and the first Gulf War. Since September 11, 2001, the Washington National Guard units have served in support of Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Approximately 700 members of the Washington National Guard served in support of the Hurricane Katrina Relief Mission in the gulf coast, and more than 300 served in support of Operation Jump Start (the southwest border mission from September 2006 – June 2008).
The citizen soldiers and airmen of The Washington National Guard are dedicated to the mission of safeguarding lives and property in Washington State, and serving as sentinels for freedom overseas. We come from every community, profession and background from around the State of Washington – we are Neighbors Helping Neighbors Through a Tradition of Service.
Washington National Guard historical timeline
1853, President Fillmore signed the Organic Act creating the Washington Territory and Maj. Issac Stevens was appointed first governor and commander-in-chief of the Territorial Militia (the beginnings of the Washington National Guard).
1855–1858 Washington Territorial Militia members informally mustered in support of the Territorial government involving local Indian uprisings.
1862–1865 Washington Territorial Militia members formed into the “1st Washington Territory Infantry” and brought into service for the Civil War.
1885 Washington Territory Militia “officially” formed and recognized as the Washington National Guard in the Legislative Assembly of Washington Territory.
1889 – On November 11, 1889 Washington became a state.
1890 – State Legislature met and appropriated $20,319.33 for a “Brigade Encampment” to be held that summer. Completely uniformed and equipped for the first time, the Washington State National Guard trained on the shores of American Lake near Tacoma.
1890–1898 Washington National Guard members involved in additional Indian conflicts, civil unrest, riots and fire fighting.
1898–1899 Washington National Guard members called into Federal Service during the Philippine Insurrection.
1916 Washington National Guard members involved in Mexican Border dispute.
1917–1918 Washington National Guard members Federalized for in WWI.
1919–1940 Washington National Guard members involved in civil disturbance, labor conflicts, flooding assistance and fire fighting.
1941–1945 Nearly 12,000 Washington National Guard members were inducted into Federal Service at the beginning of WWII.
1946–1960 Washington National Guard members involved in Civil disturbance, Labor conflicts, Flooding assistance, Fire fighting.
1961 Washington National Guard members activated for the Berlin Crisis and the Berlin Airlift.
1962–1979 Washington National Guard members involved in Flooding assistance, Fire fighting.
1980 More than 2,000 members of the Washington National Guard are called to state active duty when Mt St Helens Erupted.
1981–1990 Washington National Guard members involved in assistance to Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Emergency recovery, flood assistance, etc.
1990–1991 Washington National Guard members activated in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Gulf War 1).
1991–1996 Washington National Guard members serve in support of state missions involving Winter Storms, flooding assistance, fire fighting, etc.
1997 Washington National Guard members deployed to Bosnia in Federal Active service as part of Operation Joint Guardian.
1998 Civil unrest at WSU campus and at the Makah Indian Reservation in the first dispute regarding “Whaling” in over a hundred years.
1999 Assistance to Law Enforcement – World Trade Organization Conference Civil unrest on the streets of Seattle. Washington National Guard members deployed to Kosovo in Federal Active service as part of Operation Joint Guardian.
2000 Washington National Guard members deployed to Macedonia in Federal Active service as part of Operation Joint Guardian.
2001 Washington National Guard members involved in Wild land fire fighting.
2001–2002 In response to the September 11, 2001 Terrorist attacks, Washington National Guard members began to be deployed in the U.S. and around world in support Operations Noble Eagle (United States) and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) including Washington's regional airports, the northern border with Canada, the Olympic Games and the search for terrorists in the Afghan mountains.
2003–2012 Since Sept 11, 2001 more than 12,000 citizen soldiers and airmen have served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia), and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan, Philippines, Cuba, Djibouti (Horn of Africa), Korea, Uzbekistan). Nearly 900 Washington Guardsmen have served in support domestic operations of Noble Eagle within the United States to include Airport Security, Border Patrol, security at military bases, and miscellaneous missions in Bosnia, Germany, Egypt and Kuwait.
2005 As a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, over 750 Washington Guard pilots, mechanics, supply and admin specialists, truck drivers and many others supported Humanitarian Relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
2007 Nearly 500 citizen soldiers and airmen served on state active duty in the aftermath of the December 2 storm and subsequent flooding in Southwest Washington. Missions focused on evacuating stranded residents, door-to-door health and welfare checks, transportation of vital supplies and provision of generators.
2009 Nearly 550 citizen soldiers and airmen responded statewide to battle snow and flooding. The eastern Washington mission focused on snow removal from roads and public school buildings, while western Washington missions focused on evacuating stranded residents, door-to-door health and welfare checks, transportation of vital supplies.
The Washington National Guard Museum, "The Arsenal", is located in its own building at the WANG headquarters at Camp Murray.
- Washington Army Guard Homepage
- Washington Air Guard Homepage
- Bibliography of Washington Army National Guard History compiled by the United States Army Center of Military History
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