SWANTON, Ohio – No longer considered a strategic reserve, today’s National Guard is a fully operational force of nearly 450,000 Citizen-Airmen and Citizen-Soldiers who live, work and serve in communities throughout the country.
Of those 450,000 men and women serving in the National Guard, approximately 10% are deployed in every region around the world, supporting America’s National Defense Strategy.
Their service, and the service of all military members deployed, is highlighted every year on Oct. 26, National Day of the Deployed.
“On any given day, approximately 30,000 Guardsmen carry out federal missions around the world,” Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, the recently retired chief of the National Guard Bureau, noted in the 2021 National Guard Bureau Posture Statement. “And an additional 10,000 Guardsmen conduct state and federal missions within the United States and its territories.”
The posture statement also emphasized that in 2019, the Air National Guard supported more than 14,600 deployments to 52 countries, with more than 5,000 Airmen deployed around the world, at any time, in support of combatant commanders.
In 2019, more than 360 Airmen, assigned to the Ohio National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing, supported deployments to five countries and participated in four training deployments across the U.S.
This year has proven to be another deployment-heavy one, with more than 400 180FW Airmen now deployed to seven countries and another 70 Airmen deployed throughout Ohio in response to COVID-19 and civil disturbance.
While Oct. 26 is "the official observance of National Day of the Deployed, we continue to recognize our deployed Airmen and their families every day,” said Col. Michael DiDio, 180FW commander. “The commitment and sacrifice of our Stinger Airmen and their families ensure that we remain operationally ready and engaged, enabling us to deliver the strategic depth required to remain at the forefront of our nation’s defense.”
National Day of the Deployed began as a small effort in 2006 when a North Dakota resident asked the state’s governor to sign a proclamation recognizing the service and sacrifice of the thousands of troops deployed around the world.
In 2011, Oct. 26 was officially recognized in all 50 states as National Day of the Deployed.