An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | June 30, 2011

Guarding the D.C. skies: Ohio Guard prepares for second National Capital Region tour

By Army Sgt. Peter Kresge Ohio National Guard

MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio - Ohio National Guard members of the Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade will be working on a unique mission in the form of the ongoing air defense of the National Capital Region, Ohio Guard officials said last month.

These Soldiers, who train for the opportunity to employ their skills on real-world missions, have been assigned to the Avenger missile system, a lightweight, day or night, limited adverse weather fire unit employed to counter enemy reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition efforts and low-level aerial threats. The Avenger missile system is unique because of its important contribution to national security.

Although the Soldiers drill far from the limelight of Washington, D.C., in a significantly smaller town here, they will soon be propelled onto the national stage when they mobilize in support of Operation Clear Skies later this year.

Soldiers of the 2-174th are familiar with this homeland defense mission – the unit mobilized in 2006 for the same mission.


The troops will drill extensively between now and their mobilization to ensure they are primed for defending the nation’s capital from air threats, a mission that was put into place after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


“Not everyone gets this kind of opportunity to translate their training into a real-world mission with this type of importance,” said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Wise, an operations sergeant with the battalion’s Headquarters Battery, who was a member of the 2006 mission.


The unit’s primary role is protecting the airspace over the District of Columbia by monitoring the Avenger missile system and remaining on alert for potential threats.


Prior to the actual mission, Soldiers carefully rehearse each step of their alert system repeatedly through a variety of classroom scenarios, hands-on training activities and table-top simulators.  


“The talking piece is the most important,” Wise said, referencing the table-top training.


The troops use the simulators to rehearse their roles within the Avenger system as gunners, team leaders and noncommissioned officers-in-charge.

“The communication has to be precise. God forbid, but if the time comes, all the training up to that point comes into play and muscle memory kicks in,” Wise said, adding that the Soldiers are excited to be working with the Avenger missile system again.


“The training is excellent,” said Army Pfc. Andrew Kim, a gunner with the battalion’s Battery B. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to help defend the nation’s capital.”


“It’s a very versatile system,” said Army Sgt. Andrew Woldbold, a team leader with Battery B.  “The Avenger can fire in place or on the move.”


“I’m looking forward to going on the mission this time.”


Woldbold, who narrowly missed joining the first mission when he enlisted in 2007, said he will enjoy the opportunity to see the many national monuments and landmarks – the same ones he will be guarding.



Related Articles
Maj. Gen. Jonathan M. Stubbs, the Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory White, senior enlisted leader of the Arkansas National Guard presented the Vanguard award to Master Sgt. Greggorey Brewer, at the Enlisted Association of Arkansas National Guard and the National Guard Association of Arkansas (AANG/NGAA) Joint State conference Saturday, Feb. 24 to acknowledge his extraordinary acts of heroism.
Heroic Airman Receives Vanguard Award for Life-Saving Actions
By Maj. Jennifer Gerhardt, | Feb. 26, 2024
FORT SMITH, Ark. – In a remarkable display of courage and quick thinking, Master Sgt. Greggorey Brewer, a readiness and emergency manager with the 188th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES), has been honored with the prestigious...

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brendan Wu, 163rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron remotely piloted aircraft crew chief, assigned to the California Air National Guard at March Air Reserve Base (ARB), Calif., marshals  an MQ-9 Reaper assigned to March ARB, after landing for the first time at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 14, 2024. This cross-country mission required units from both active duty and reserve components to work jointly in order to execute new launch and recovery capabilities for the MQ-9 Reaper, showcasing the total force’s always ready posture for Agile Combat Employment missions.
MQ-9 Reaper Lands at Shaw AFB in Historic First
By Master Sgt. Dillon White, | Feb. 26, 2024
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. – Airmen from the 50th Attack Squadron and Air National Guardsmen from the 163rd Attack Wing conducted a historic first Feb. 14, by successfully landing an MQ-9 Reaper at Shaw Air Force Base under...

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christian Fischer, a tactical aircraft maintenance specialist with the Wisconsin Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing, assists an F-35A Lightning II pilot with preflight tasks February 13, 2024, during a Weapon System Evaluation Program exercise at Tyndall Air force Base, Florida. The Combat Archer exercise was a formal evaluation of the unit's ability to conduct air-to-air live fire missions. Airmen were given the opportunity to train on tasks and skills that they don't perform at their home unit such as unrestricted takeoffs and loading live ammunition onto the airframe.
Wisconsin Airmen Complete First F-35 Training Deployment
By Senior Master Sgt. Paul Gorman and Master Sgt. Mary Greenwood, | Feb. 26, 2024
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – More than 150 Airmen assigned to the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing completed the Weapons System Evaluation Program’s Combat Archer exercise Feb. 23. The exercise was the...