For the second year in a row, the Ohio National Guard supported hurricane recovery efforts. After hurricanes in North Carolina and Florida, Ohio Guard members helped with imagery analysis, command support, and damage assessment and repair; provided a safe haven for Air Force aircraft from the affected states; and flew-in supplies and personnel to the affected areas.
Closer to home, Citizen-Soldiers deployed twice to help erect floodgates in Portsmouth when the rising Ohio River threatened homes and businesses.
“Whether it was a planned deployment overseas, a rapid response for natural disasters or a large-scale exercise with multinational partners, we successfully completed every mission in support of our communities, state and nation,” said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general and commander of the Ohio National Guard. “The reason for our success is our people — each Citizen-Soldier, -Airman and civilian who excelled at their given tasks.”
Cybersecurity was also a major initiative in 2018. The Adjutant General’s Department and the Ohio Department of Higher Education oversaw the opening of Ohio’s first statewide cyber range, a virtual training “sandbox” available for use by schools, governments and businesses to gain proficiency and test on critical cybersecurity competencies. The Ohio Cyber Collaboration Committee, coordinated by the National Guard, hosted more than 300 students at seven cyber capture the flag events — virtual competitions to solve cybersecurity challenges.
Additional accomplishments in the past year included:
• The 25th anniversary of the State Partnership Program pairing of the Ohio National Guard and Hungarian Defence Forces was celebrated with a visit to the Buckeye State by Hungary’s ambassador to the United States and the Hungarian deputy chief of defense.
• Multiple training events at national and international locations helped Ohio Guard members improve their readiness. Among the events were Northern Strike 18, Cyber Shield, Combat Archer, Platinum Wolf and Operation Neighbors.
• Col. Allison Miller became the first woman to command an Ohio Air National Guard wing when she took over at the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield.
Rebecca O’Connor became the first woman in the Ohio Air National Guard to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
• Recognition for a job well done included a gold award for the Ohio Army National Guard in the Army Communities of Excellence competition, Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for all of the Ohio Air National Guard wings and their geographically-separated units, and the 251st Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group earned the Gen. Mark A. Welsh III One Air Force Award at the National Guard Bureau level for unprecedented contributions during construction of the U.S. Strategic Command’s new facility at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
• A new state-of-the-art flight simulator was installed at the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus. Camp Ravenna was renamed Camp James A. Garfield and modern upgrades continued in a multimillion dollar transformation of the state’s largest joint military training center.