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#1
Old 08-16-2011, 03:30 PM
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Tell me about the Air National Guard

I have been doing some research about the Air National Guard. There's something I don't quite understand, however. From what I have read, you serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year (in addition to any deployments - correct?) So when that one weekend comes up, do you have to drive to the nearest Air Force base to participate in the service? Or does someone pick you up or something?

What does this weekend-long service entail exactly? Is it just training exercises or classes and things like that? Or do they actually find something on that weekend for the Air National Guard to be sent off for, like some kind of public service, disaster aid, etc?

What happens during the two weeks a year? Are these weeks concurrent or separate?

Has anyone here served in the ANG? Is there anything else anyone wants to add?
#2
Old 08-16-2011, 05:02 PM
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You'd drive to your unit for whenever you're supposed to go. For the two days a month you'll do whatever it is they tell you. It can be training or doing the actual job. Same things for the two weeks. It'll probably be concurrent.
#3
Old 08-16-2011, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandMcnally View Post
You'd drive to your unit for whenever you're supposed to go. For the two days a month you'll do whatever it is they tell you. It can be training or doing the actual job. Same things for the two weeks. It'll probably be concurrent.
And you may get called up every so often for an extended period of time crossing the azure skies over exotic Central or Southern Asian, Balkanic, or North or East African localities. Or even more fun, on the ground at said localities or neighboring jurisdictions, doing backup work for the guys cruising said skies.

Your go-to guy about this in the Dope, Argent, would have to be Airman Doors, USAF.
#4
Old 08-17-2011, 06:48 PM
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I'm bumping this thread in the hopes that more people respond. I'm curious to hear it. From what I have read, if you join the Air Guard you are required to be in it for eight years. Everything else about it seems pretty appealing but this is a very long time to me. Why is it so long? Does this mean that you cannot move if you want to (and do your service at the nearest AF base to wherever you move to) - that I would have to stay in Indiana for eight more years?
#5
Old 08-17-2011, 07:34 PM
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I don't know that Airman has seen this, but I'll let him know when he gets home later so he can answer your questions.
#6
Old 08-17-2011, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
I'm bumping this thread in the hopes that more people respond. I'm curious to hear it. From what I have read, if you join the Air Guard you are required to be in it for eight years. Everything else about it seems pretty appealing but this is a very long time to me. Why is it so long? Does this mean that you cannot move if you want to (and do your service at the nearest AF base to wherever you move to) - that I would have to stay in Indiana for eight more years?
I will answer this. It's actually six years, which does seem like a long time, but if you're only doing weekends and two-week active duty periods, it's not as big a deal as if you had to do eight years of full-time active duty.

You can, of course, transfer to a different unit if you decide to move. The new unit has to have a spot for you, of course, and you will probably have to retrain for a new job. You'd also have to go through the basic military training course at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio before you can do anything else, but that's a one-time thing. You don't have to do it if you transfer.

I'll let Airman fill you in on the rest.

Last edited by MsRobyn; 08-17-2011 at 07:42 PM.
#7
Old 08-17-2011, 09:34 PM
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A lot of times people who are in the National Guard (or AF Reserve) are in the military on their weekend, and doing the same job during the week as a civilian. It is called being an ART (Air Reserve Technician) or AGR (Active Guard) those members that are traditional guard or reserve spend their weekend doing training. Most of the time it is ancillary training, but sometimes it is the hands-on training for their primary job. Sometimes a newer reserve member will be "activated" for a year or so to become fully trained. Other times members can be activated to assist with short manning of the Active Duty sections. Reservists can also be deployed for longer than their 2 weeks. Sometimes ARTs will do their 2 week rotation at a nearby base instead of staying at their regular base.
I know, most of this was about Reservists, but I'm pretty sure that the National Guard works the same way.
We count on the ARTs quite a bit. They have the knowledge and tend to stay in one place for their career, where the AD people move often.

Edit... MsRobyn is right. You can transfer to other units at other bases as long as there is an available position.

Last edited by Bannedit; 08-17-2011 at 09:36 PM.
#8
Old 08-17-2011, 09:41 PM
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During the two-week active duty period, what are some examples of places you might be sent and things you might do?
#9
Old 08-17-2011, 09:47 PM
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I've told Airman about this, and he'll be along shortly.
#10
Old 08-17-2011, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
During the two-week active duty period, what are some examples of places you might be sent and things you might do?
As for where you would go, it depends on the unit's mission and what they need. Wherever you go you will be performing your primary duties.
#11
Old 08-17-2011, 10:29 PM
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OK, I'm here. I am in the Air National Guard, as mentioned, so I'll do my best to answer your questions as they relate to my service and career field.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
From what I have read, you serve one weekend a month and two weeks a year (in addition to any deployments - correct?) So when that one weekend comes up, do you have to drive to the nearest Air Force base to participate in the service? Or does someone pick you up or something?
When you join the ANG you are joining a specific unit. You are required to report to that specific unit for duty on UTA (Unit Training Assembly) weekends, wherever that unit is based. You don't just go to the nearest base. If it's outside of the commuting distance you will be given a hotel room for the weekend. If not, you simply drive to your assigned duty station on Saturday and Sunday mornings. If something comes up you can get the weekend off, but you have to make that time up and it's generally frowned upon for reasons that will be made clear later.

Quote:
What does this weekend-long service entail exactly? Is it just training exercises or classes and things like that? Or do they actually find something on that weekend for the Air National Guard to be sent off for, like some kind of public service, disaster aid, etc?
Most UTA weekends consist of training. The Air Force has an incredible amount of what is known as ancillary training, a lot of which you cannot get any other time but during UTA weekends because there is nobody available to provide it. At least half of my time on UTA weekends is spent performing annual, semi-annual, or bi-annual ancillary training. On rare occasions you will be slated to participate in exercises or be subject to unit inspections, but those are known ahead of time. Other things you are expected to do is attend Commander's Call, where the commanders pass on what has been going on, what needs to be done, and take care of awards and promotions, and classes specific to your career. I get a lot of flying safety briefs and equipment training.

Quote:
What happens during the two weeks a year? Are these weeks concurrent or separate?
They can be either concurrent or separate. That depends entirely upon the nature of the duty and how flexible your commander is with your schedule and availability. Some will work with you and some will not.

Since 9/11 I have never had to serve my 2-week commitment, for a few reasons. First and foremost is my deployment schedule. In my 10-year career I have served over 3.5 years on Title 10 Active Duty, which means deployments or activations. I am a constant volunteer, which is why I have so much time away. There are others who do not volunteer as much and as such have much less. Another reason is that any sort of active duty serves in lieu of your 2-week commitment, and days and dollars are always short due to budgetary issues.

Quote:
From what I have read, if you join the Air Guard you are required to be in it for eight years. Everything else about it seems pretty appealing but this is a very long time to me. Why is it so long? Does this mean that you cannot move if you want to (and do your service at the nearest AF base to wherever you move to) - that I would have to stay in Indiana for eight more years?
The term of service is six years with two in the Individual Ready Reserve, which means that you are subject to recall at any time during those two years. It's not nearly as long as you think it is. It absolutely flew by for me.

You can move, but you will be required to honor your commitment at your original unit until and unless you can find a unit with an open slot for you closer to home that will accept you. We have guys that come in from as far away as Florida, some because they like that arrangement and some because they moved and couldn't find a spot down south.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannedit
A lot of times people who are in the National Guard (or AF Reserve) are in the military on their weekend, and doing the same job during the week as a civilian. It is called being an ART (Air Reserve Technician) or AGR (Active Guard) those members that are traditional guard or reserve spend their weekend doing training. Most of the time it is ancillary training, but sometimes it is the hands-on training for their primary job. Sometimes a newer reserve member will be "activated" for a year or so to become fully trained. Other times members can be activated to assist with short manning of the Active Duty sections. Reservists can also be deployed for longer than their 2 weeks. Sometimes ARTs will do their 2 week rotation at a nearby base instead of staying at their regular base.
I know, most of this was about Reservists, but I'm pretty sure that the National Guard works the same way.
It is, only we do all our stuff at home. We do have Air Techs and AGRs, and they set everything up for the traditionals so they need only show up and go where they're told at the scheduled times.

We only travel for things that we cannot do at home station like shooting and water and combat survival refresher training. I did a full two years of active duty straight out to go to BMT, Tech School, ground school, initial qualification training, the altitude chamber, and my checkride. Flyers generally have a longer initial period of active duty and are expected to do a lot more time than other career fields because of the necessity of staying current. I get an additional 48 training periods per year for flying, and I am expected to use them, so I'm typically in 3-4 times a month on top of what is expected of everybody else. I also deploy a lot more.

I'll answer more as you ask, if I can.
#12
Old 08-17-2011, 11:59 PM
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What kinds of things do you have to learn how to master during the basic training? I'm not worried about the physical part of it but I have no idea how I would handle having to assimilate all the new information and rules, while being yelled and screamed at all the time. What are the intellectual skills needed for making the transition? Or is it just a matter of accepting the training and letting conditioning by instinct take over?

I watched some videos on YouTube of the basic training. I'm 25 years old. Most of the new recruits in the videos looked and sounded about 18. It would be very weird for me to go through the training being older than everyone else. Or are the "flights" separated by age?
#13
Old 08-18-2011, 12:14 AM
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The number one thing you need to learn in basic is "attention to detail". You will spend most of your time studying your Basic Military Training Manuals 1 and 2, working on your uniforms and lockers, making your beds and cleaning the dorms, and attending classes. You will do PT up to twice a day, and if you are not in great shape you will be by the time you're done. Toward the end you will do a field training exercise and receive one full day of instruction and qualification on the M-16A2 rifle. Attention to detail is everything, though, from folding your t-shirts to memorizing obscure factoids about the Air Force that you will never forget. The yelling is almost exclusively motivational, intimidating in order to see how you perform under stress.

One simple rule: do what you're told when you're told to do it and with precision. It's that simple.

I went when I was 25, so that's no big deal. You will almost certainly not be the oldest one in your flight, but you will almost certainly be an Element Leader and, depending upon performance, the Dorm Chief.

If you haven't done so since high school, try to take the ASVAB, which should identify your aptitude for certain jobs.

Incidentally, have you chosen a unit or a job yet that you want to investigate?
#14
Old 08-18-2011, 12:26 AM
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No, I don't even know what kind of jobs are available. This is just an idea, not a definite plan. But I have been interested lately.

I will have to speak with some local ANG people.
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