Sioux City, Iowa --
The 185th Tactical Fighter Group of the Iowa Air National Guard is humming with activity unparalleled since the Berlin Crisis. At that time the unit was put on an accelerated training program and weekend drills doubled.
Officials of the 185th Tactical Fighter Group report that since they were ordered by the National Guard Bureau on 10 August to reach 100% combat strength, training and enlistments have increased dramatically. The call to full strength has brought three kinds of new activities to the 185th Tactical Fighter Group stationed at the Sioux City Air Base in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa.
First, the Air guard started a campaign using all news media to recruit 237 men to bring the unit to full strength. Since August 1 the unit has enlisted 146 Airmen. Still needed are 57 Airmen and 35 officers to bring the unit to their designated 636 Airmen and 107 officers.
Second, the unit’s equipment is being modernized and brought up to full strength. Mechanics tool boxes, ground power mobiles, Jet aircraft starters and other materials must be available in adequate quantities to cope with any reasonable situation which might occur in the direct future.
Until the present time, the 185th Tactical Fighter Group has been kept below authorized strength both in personnel and equipment for budgetary reasons.
Third, training has become intensified in order that all personnel will be fully trained in their career field.
185th Tactical Fighter Group pilots have already a high operational status. According to Lt. Col. Warren G. Nelson, there will only be a slight increase in flying and ground training in order to complete flying requirements before winter weather arrives and allow pilots to reach peak efficiency.
Any able bodied man between 18 and 26 can go to the 185th Tactical Fighter Group Headquarters at Sioux City Air Base and fill out an application. He is given aptitude and physical tests. If he passes he is interviewed for a position. He faces at least 120 days Active Duty (depending on his technical school, it could be longer) and then is on a Reserve Status for the rest of his reserve obligation for six years.
The commander of the 185th Tactical Fighter Group, Col. Donald W. Forney says “We have been asking for full strength for many years now and when everyone is trained, we will be in a better position to carry out our mission. This is certainly another mile stone in the history of the Air National Guard.”
This article originally appeared in the Iowa National Guard Hawkeye Newsletter in August of 1965.