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  • Guard & Reserve

  • The eyes of the nation focused on Montgomery's Air National Guard in December 2017, when it was announced Montgomery's 187th Fighter Wing was selected to receive the new F-35 Lightning II jet — the newest, technologically advanced fighter in the nation's military arsenal — to replace their retiring aircraft. The 187th Fighter Wing of the Alabama Air National Guard currently includes a squadron of F-16 fighter jets, a combat communications group, an RC-26 reconnaissance aircraft squadron, and an eagle vision unit.

    The 187th was one of five Air National Guard sites in the U.S. considered for the Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter mission. The project will include $3 billion in investment and the addition of 1,000 jobs in the coming years, a significant economic win for the River Region and for all of Alabama.

    The 187th also is important as a legacy unit of the famed Tuskegee Airmen – the Red Tail fighters. Defying stereotypes and overcoming racism, the first African-American fighter pilots, also known as the Red Tail Squadron, fought in World War II, providing top cover for American bombers in Europe. In 2007, then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley named the 187th wing's 100th Fighter Squadron after one of the first Airmen squadrons. The 100th was the first black flying unit ever activated in Tuskegee where the airmen trained.

    Additionally, the Alabama Army National Guard and the 81st Regional Support Command, US Army Reserve have a Joint Force Headquarters Armed Forces Readiness Center in Montgomery, opened in2011. Units housed at the facility are the 7233rd Medical Support Unit, the 358th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, the 282nd Quartermaster Company and the 206th Transportation Company of the Army Reserve and for the National Guard, the Joint Force Headquarters, the 131st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment and the 151st Army Band.