The Alabama Air National Guard is the air force militia of the State of Alabama, United States of America. It is, along with the Alabama Army National Guard, an element of the Alabama National Guard, as state militia units, the units in the Alabama Air National Guard are not in the normal United States Air Force chain of command unless federalized. They are under the jurisdiction of the Governor of Alabama though the office of the Alabama Adjutant General unless they are federalized by order of the President of the United States, the Alabama Air National Guard is headquartered in Montgomery, and its commander is Major General Perry Smith. Under the Total Force concept, Alabama Air National Guard units are considered to be Air Reserve Components of the United States Air Force, Alabama ANG units are trained and equipped by the Air Force and are operationally gained by a Major Command of the USAF if federalized. State missions include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires, search and rescue, protection of public services. Its mission is to train and equip combat ready aircrews and support personnel to perform aerial refueling. The Alabama Air National Guard origins date to 27 August 1917 with the establishment of the 106th Aero Squadron as part of the World War I American Expeditionary Force, the 106th served in France on the Western Front, then after the 1918 Armistice with Germany was demobilized in 1919. The Militia Act of 1903 established the present National Guard system, units raised by the states but paid for by the Federal Government, 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, the squadron was reformed on 21 January 1922 as the 125th Squadron, Alabama National Guard, received federal recognition as a Corps Aviation unit. Maj. James A. Meissner, a World War I ace who had flown with Capt, eddie Rickenbacker, led the effort to form the unit and served as its first commander. It is one of the 29 original National Guard Observation Squadrons of the United States Army National Guard formed before World War II. The 106th Observation Squadron was ordered into service on 125 November 1940 as part of the buildup of the Army Air Corps prior to the United States entry into World War II. 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, the modern Alabama ANG received federal recognition on 25 November 1946 as the 106th Bombardment Squadron at Birmingham MAP. It was equipped with B-26B/C Invaders and was assigned to Tactical Air Command, on 1 October 1947 the 117th Fighter Group allotted by the National Guard Bureau, extended federal recognition and activated at Birmingham, with the 106th Bomb Squadron being assigned to the unit. The 160th Fighter Squadron at Montgomery was authorized by the National Guard Bureau, the 160th was equipped with the F-51D Mustang and its mission was the air defense of the state. On 15 October 1962, the 160th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was authorized to expand to a level. The 160th TRS becoming the flying squadron. This was obtained from the Air Force and on 12 September 2009, the designation was transferred to the National Guard Bureau by the Air Force and it was allotted to the Alabama ANG
106th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Stratotanker, Sumpter Smith Air National Guard Base, Birmingham, Alabama. The 106th is the oldest unit in the Alabama Air National Guard, having over 90 years of service to the state and nation
106th Observation Squadron Curtiss JN-6H, about 1922
"Red Tails" F-16 Fighting Falcons of the 100th Fighter Squadron, Montgomery.