By Master Sgt. Denice Rankin, Joint Force Headquarters, Michigan
/ Published May 15, 2014
Members of the 110th Airlift Wing, Michigan Air National Guard take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Air National Guard Career Center and Recruiting Office located in The Shoppes on Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich., February 22, 2014. The recruiting station educates applicants who are considering the option of military service in the Air National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Sonia Pawloski/Released)
After 18 months of planning, the 110th Airlift Wing, Michigan Air National Guard based in Battle Creek, Mich., has expanded their "footprint" to the Kalamazoo, Mich., area with the opening of an Air National Guard Career Center.
The new ANG Career Center is located at "The Shoppes on Stadium," 3266 Stadium Drive in a high-traffic area conveniently located by Western Michigan University.
The leadership at the 110th anticipates significant opportunities to reach out to individuals interested in serving their state and nation, who are willing to live the Air Force core-values of "Integrity first; Service Before Self; and Excellence In All We Do."
"We are excited for this ANG career center," said 110th Airlift Wing commander Col. Ronald Wilson. "The 110th leads cutting-edge air power innovation in planning, cyber, and operations. This is a great location to meet and educate applicants who are considering the option of military service in the Air National Guard."
The new office is totally funded by the National Guard Bureau. The only "expense" to the 110th Airlift Wing or the Michigan National Guard is the manpower required to run the office.
The Air National Guard Career Center is collocated with the active duty Air Force recruiters. The initial plan is to have the office manned Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a toll-free number 800-432-4296 to put individuals in contact with any of the recruiters.
Michigan Air National Guardsmen and women based in Battle Creek have served their local community and their country since the base opened in 1946.
Over the years, the 110th Air Guard members and the planes and other assets have supported numerous U.S. and international missions such as security missions after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, rescue missions here is Michigan after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and Bosnia, and combat missions to support Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Allied Force.
As America's involvement in Afghanistan draws down, it is certain that the relevance of the Guard to their local communities will become more noteworthy.
One of the 110th Airlift Wings' newest missions is expected to spark interest in the young generation of up-and-comers. The Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA) mission is scheduled to be mission capable at the base in 2016 and will have the capability to accomplish both federal and domestic missions.
The RPA will include but not are not limited to intelligence collection, provide communications, and can be used as a weapons delivery platform.
At the ANG Career Center, potential applicants can receive information about the 110th cyber mission which supports the U.S. Air Force European Command with full spectrum non-kinetic solutions to solve global issues. The cyber mission could also be leveraged in United States domestic operations to support and protect state and national capabilities.
Those interested can also learn about the 217th Air Operations Group at the Battle Creek ANGB, which capitalizes on latest innovations in communication technology and powerful analytics. The AOG members produce strategic solutions to challenges ranging from security and famine in Africa to homeland emergencies.