CHARLOTTE-DOUGLAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT BASE, N.C. --
Snip and snap! The North Carolina Air National Guard celebrates their 75th Anniversary during a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the newly built aircraft hangar at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, March 4, 2023.
The North Carolina Air National Guard would get its start 75 years ago with Lt. Col. William J. Payne leading the show, while simultaneously running a furniture store in downtown Charlotte, NC; a staple of North Carolina’s capitalism. The oldest unit of the North Carolina Air National Guard, the 156th Fighter Squadron received federal recognition March 15, 1948, less than one year after the creation of the Department of the Air Force. If only Lt. Col. Payne knew what the North Carolina Air National Guard would become.
The construction of the new hangar, within the three-year conversion, has capabilities never before demonstrated on base by the North Carolina Air National Guard including the ability to conduct fuel tank maintenance, washing to prevent corrosion control, and paint the aircraft.
Since converting to C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in 2017, the North Carolina Air National Guard has flown nearly 11,000 hours, transporting almost 1,400 patients, and 15,000 tons of cargo for various missions.
The solid foundation of the newly constructed hangar showcases the continued strength and fortitude of the North Carolina Air Guardsmen as it will enhance the efficiency of the aircraft maintenance processes.
The units from the North Carolina Air National Guard underwent a multitude of transformations and expansions over time and the North Carolina Air National Guard has a long list of accomplishments and accolades over the past 75 years. With the mission changing as frequently as the type of airframes supported, one aspect remains the same: state and global outreach including the support of 15 Secretary of Defense named operations and 19 named natural disasters.
75 years later, the North Carolina Air National Guard’s mission is to provide global airlift, combat and humanitarian support; embracing an evolving world while staying connected to our mission, proving us ready for the future fight.