As Long As It Takes—the Air Guard On Call

The Air National Guard-run 1st Air Force set up the 1st Aerospace Expeditionary Task Force at its headquarters at Tyndall AFB, Fla., to oversee air ops in and around the Gulf Region supporting Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. First Air Force, which has been manned and operated by ANG forces since 1997, normally is charged with ensuring the nation’s air defense, working as a component of NORAD. Per1st AF commander, ANG Maj. Gen. M. Scott Mayes, that basic mission has not changed. “Our air and associated ground assets bring unique capabilities to this tough situation, … while also maintaining our mission of deterring and, if necessary, defending the air sovereignty of North America,” said Mayes. The 1st AETC plans to create air expeditionary groups at the Alexandria, La., Jackson, Miss., Keesler AFB, Miss., Maxwell AFB, Ala., and the New Orleans airport, added Mayes, pledging to continue the relief work “regardless of how long it takes.”