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    The first large-scale fighter centric exercise of 2016 was recently completed here Aug. 17-26.

    Sentry Aloha is an ongoing series of combat exercises hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard and involves a variety of fighter and support aircraft from varying Air Force, Air National Guard, and  DoD participants.

    "Part of the purpose of Sentry Aloha is to integrate with the other guard platforms as well as some active duty units that are here to better understand how each participant operates." said Lt. Col. Kristian Thiele, 149th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot.

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    Medical personnel from the Ohio Army and Air National Guard participated with members of the Serbian armed forces in a Combined Medical Engagement from Sept. 4-17, in various locations throughout southeast Serbia.

    The purpose of the engagement was to provide humanitarian assistance in the regions with combined medical teams, while building relationship among the Serbian armed forces and lay the groundwork for a future relationship with the Angolan armed forces.

    The medical team consisting of 31 Serbian members, 25 guardsmen and three observers from the Angolan to set up clinics in local schools in eight villages in southeast Serbia. This clinics bring much needed healthcare and healthcare education to the residents in each area.

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    The Air National Guard marathon team finished strong at the Air Force Marathon and half-marathon here Sep. 17, with the possibility of capturing the coveted Major Command (MAJCOM) Challenge trophy.

    Four marathon team members finished in the top 20, and five out of six half-marathon runners finished in the top 25.

    Chief Master Sgt. Edward Walden, team manager, has been working toward this goal for four years.

    "The individuals on this team come from all across the country," said Walden. "They are dedicated to show their support for the ANG and to proudly show the spirit of guardsmen across the land."

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    Airmen from the 164th Airlift Wing, 118th Wing and 134th Air Refueling Wing, Tennessee Air National Guard, and Soldiers from the 194th Engineer Brigade, Tennessee Army National Guard, participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the village of Kabile, Bulgaria, August 24.

    The ceremony was held to celebrate the "grand re-opening" of the Izvorche Kindergarten School. Airmen, Soldiers and Bulgarian Soldiers helped to remodel the school and playground while on deployment to nearby Novo Selo Training Area for annual training.

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    The Air National Guard dedicated a static display of a Vietnam-era F-100 Super Sabre aircraft at the Air National Guard Readiness Center here September 13.

    Air National Guard director, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, dedicated the aircraft to former ANG director, retired Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd and the Air Guard pilots who flew the F-100 on "Misty" fast forward air control missions during the Vietnam War.

    "This memorial represents more than just selfless service to our country," said Rice. "It empowers us to remember and reflect on those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to our country, to our Air Guard, our Air Force. It represents boldly stepping forward in the face of great pressure and being proactive to drive our force to a better place. I proudly join with General Don Shepperd to dedicate this memorial as part of our history, our present today, and our future."

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    The director of the Air National Guard spoke about Air Force reserve component issues during a panel discussion at the National Guard Association of the United States' 138th General Conference and Exhibition held here September 10-12.

    During his address, Director, Air National Guard, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, laid out his key priorities for leading the Guard and its 105,700 Airmen.

    "To ensure our Airmen are successful, I have decided to focus on three key areas during my tenure as director: the 21st century Guard Airman, recapitalization and modernization of our forces, and readiness across the 54," said Rice. "I have selected these priorities as I believe they are critical to ensuring the work from within our 90 wings leads to the outcome we need to sustain the Air National Guard as a professional, relevant, and highly-capable dual-purpose force now and into the future. Attaining success in these priority areas will require a focused and united effort by ev

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    Active duty and Guard service members and aircraft from across the nation participated in the 2016 Northern Lighting Exercise at Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, Aug. 22-Sept. 2.

    The exercise allowed more than 1,000 service members an opportunity to train together utilizing the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-18 Growler, F-18 Super Hornet and F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

    "They came to Volk Field because of the premier training environment here," said Col. Chad Milne, Wisconsin director of operations. "The Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center offers exceptional air space and ranges. This allows us to provide high-end, scenario-based, full-spectrum training across multiple mission sets that all of the participants here train to."