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    California Air National Guard activates 195th Wing

    California Air National Guard activates 195th Wing

    Photo By Sgt. Danielle Rodrigues | The California Air National Guard activated its newest and fifth wing, the 195th Wing,...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jason Sweeney 

    California National Guard

    BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - It’s official. The California Air National Guard’s 195th Wing is now operational and taking on 21st century missions in the cyber, intelligence, combat communications and space realms.

    With activation of the 195th Wing in September, California and New York are the only two states in the nation with five Air National Guard wings.

    A formal ceremony marking the activation of the 195th was held Nov. 7 in the Community Activities Center Ballroom at Beale Air Force Base, California.

    “What a great day for the California Air National Guard,” Maj. Gen. Paul Maas, Air National Guard assistant to the commander, Air Force Space Command, said in speech at the ceremony.

    Hundreds of Airmen and dignitaries were in attendance. Maas called the activation a historic event that had culminated after eight years of effort.

    The 195th Wing has its roots in the California Air National Guard’s 162nd Combat Communications Group, which has been expanded and re-designated as the 195th Wing. During the activation ceremony, the colors of the 162nd were cased and replaced by those of the 195th which were unfurled to cheers from the audience.

    The creation of the 195th reorganizes the state’s non-flying units under one commander, Col. Rick Hern. The wing was formed to increase efficiency and to relieve the California Air National Guard’s four flying wings from responsibilities for California’s non-flying units that are taking on increasingly important 21st century missions.

    The wing is headquartered at Beale, but its units will span the length of the state. Approximately 800 Cal Guard Airmen will fall under Hern’s command. The activation of the wing opens new positions for Airmen in all three statuses of the U.S. Air Force — active duty, Reserve and National Guard.

    The activation of the 195th Wing brings two brand new groups to the organization; the 195th Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance Group at Beale and the Operations Group in Van Nuys. Additionally, the activation of the 195th Wing creates a Force Support Flight to streamline all personnel functions for all Airmen assigned, and a Comptroller Flight, which will handle all military pay and funding matters for the Wing. Units assigned to the 195th are the 147th Combat Communications Squadron in San Diego; the 148th Space Operations Squadron and the 216th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base; the 261st Cyber Operations Squadron in Van Nuys; the 149th Combat Communications Squadron at Mather Field; the 222nd Intelligence Support Squadron and the 234th Intelligence Squadron both at Beale Air Force Base.

    "The protection of our force is directly tied to cyber, intelligence and communication capability," California's Adjutant General Maj. Gen. David Baldwin said in a statement in August. "The formation of the 195th Wing will save lives by employing Airmen who practice these cutting edge skills every day in the private sector. Their training has a direct carry-over impact to the Guard and to employers."

    “We’ve all been waiting for this,” Chief of Space and Cyber Warfare Operations Division Col. Kelly Hughes said of the activation. Hughes was at the activation ceremony representing Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, Director of the Air National Guard. He told the audience that the intellectual capital of the 195th is the gray matter behind the ears of its Airmen.

    “Are we going to get a wing?” California Air National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Jon Kelk asked the crowd. “Yes!” he answered to rousing cheers and applause. He said the activation of the 195th Wing was the result of vision and persistence.

    Kelk told the members of the 195th that now is not the time to exhale. “We’re going to do great,” he said, “because we have the right people. … We have the right mission.”

    Hern addressed the crowd as the new commander of the 195th Wing, stating that his Airmen are at the cutting edge of intelligence, cyber, combat communications and space missions, adding that the unit is as busy now as ever and will continue to be as its missions evolve.

    “Congratulations to the 195th,” Hern said. “We made it.”



    Date Taken: 11.13.2015
    Date Posted: 11.13.2015 14:32
    Story ID: 181918

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