Air National Guard says it is prepared for any mission

The Air National Guard is an experienced and ready force prepared for both state and federal missions, according to a recent statement from the Air Guard's director.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III made the remarks on February 6 while addressing attendees at the Air Force Civic Leader Program annual conference at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. During the conference, Clark addressed Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III and more than 30 community leaders on the state of the Air National Guard.

"I know for a fact that we have very good, experienced Airmen," Clarke said. "That experience translates to being a ready force for any mission."

Clarke said the Air National Guard has lots of people and aircraft out doing a variety of missions. He said that while Air Guard members have responded to highly visible disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, they are called on for numerous other missions.

"It just goes on and on and on every day," Clarke said. "It's not big, newsworthy items like Hurricane Sandy, but the Air Guard is doing something every day across the nation."

Clarke said the Air Guard has a unique state mission in which it works with local first responders to handle disasters.

"We have a dual-use force, constitutionally unique and able to respond to things in the homeland and support the mission overseas," Clarke said. "When a disaster happens you want people who know how to organize, that don't run away from the gunfire."

Clarke said the Air Guard also makes up a large portion of homeland air defense, performing a mission that hasn't changed since September 11, 2001.

Clarke said these constant state and federal missions require Air Guard members who are well trained and ready to mobilize.

"All of these missions require high levels of training and experienced airmen to perform and to train others," Clarke said. "I always tell Air Guard members that if you wear this uniform, be prepared to be mobilized. It will happen. We are invested in almost every mission the Air Force performs."

The National Guard's mission is to protect life and property of the nation as well as its interests abroad. The Guard has been used by the U.S. for peacekeeping efforts, disaster recovery and to support the fight against terrorism.