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US air defense troops deploying to DC

Members of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade stand in front of a Land-Based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS). (Ohio National Guard photo/Released)
March 14, 2022

Members of an air defense artillery unit belonging to the Ohio National Guard are deploying to Washington D.C. this week.

The Ohio National Guard announced on Monday that 30 members of the Headquarters Battery of the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade (174th ADA) would deploy to the U.S. capital in support of Operation Noble Eagle. The unit will hold a send-off ceremony at the Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio on Tuesday afternoon.

The Ohio National Guard noted this deployment is part of planned operations and is “not in response to the current events in Ukraine.”

Operation Noble Eagle is a joint U.S. and Canadian military homeland security operation designed to protect military installations and critical infrastructure. The operation has been ongoing since Sept. 12, 2001, and began as part of the initial response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. According to the National Guard Bureau, Operation Noble Eagle initially saw Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy fighters flying combat patrols over major U.S. cities and various pieces of critical infrastructure, including power plants, bridges, airports, and port facilities around the country. Such pieces of critical infrastructure were covered on a continuous basis for several months before the defense presence was gradually scaled down.

“The Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) in the [National Capital Region], consisting of sensors, alert fighters, and ground-based air defense weapons systems, was established shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense,” the Ohio National Gaurd said. “Originally staffed by active-duty forces, the NCR mission has been manned by Air and Army National Guard members since 2003. The mission stands today as a prime example of the National Guard fulfilling its ‘Defense of the Homeland’ mission.”

The Ohio National Guard said the 174th ADA will serve as a task force headquarters unit and “will provide command and supervisory oversight support to the homeland defense mission, which includes the use of radar, ground-based air defense systems, and communications equipment to protect the National Capital Region (NCR).”

The 174th ADA has previously deployed to the NCR, including in support of Task Force Buckeye in 2019 and 2020, in support of Task Force Guthrie Grays in 2017 and 2018, Task Force Luzon in 2012 and 2013 and Task Force Phoenix in 2008 and 2009.