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News from the Oklahoma National Guard

NEWS | June 14, 2023

1-158th Field Artillery Regiment prepare HIMARS for Western Strike 2023

By Spc. Caleb Stone, 145th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery Regiment, 45th Field Artillery Brigade, Oklahoma Army National Guard, had the opportunity to train alongside members of the U.S. Air Force during a Joint Aircraft Inspection and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems Rapid Infiltration (HI-RAIN) training mission at the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport, June 14, 2023.

The National Guard Soldiers and active-duty Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing out of Altus Air Force Base worked closely together to check that the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems were loaded onto the provided C-17 correctly and weighed accurately to ensure that they could be safely and efficiently transported from Lawton to Fort Chaffee, Arkansas.

“The purpose of this exercise is to allow us to work with the Air Force so both of us are familiar with our capability to do HI-RAIN,” said Oklahoma Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Reanne Wagner, 1-158 FA. “When doing a HIRAIN, that makes us able to move from one area to another to shoot, and then to come back safely.”

Training to load the HIMARS safely into the aircraft is imperative to the safety of the crew and the wellbeing of the equipment being loaded into the aircraft. Mistakes can lead to costly equipment damage, or worse, loss of life.

“We’re the last line of defense between the user and the destination,” said Senior Airman Kevin Lim, 97th Air Mobility Wing. “We’re making sure that we can prevent as much mishaps [as possible] or prevent mishaps at all.”

In addition to the practical and technical experience this kind of exercise gives its participants, it also allows the Oklahoma Army National Guard and the U.S. Air Force the opportunity to familiarize themselves with one another and to forge a stronger alliance with each other.

For Lim, working alongside the Oklahoma National Guard allowed for a smooth operation.

“They’re very cooperative--they know what they’re doing,” Lim said. “They know what to do whenever we tell them to, they know how to follow orders. They’re pretty much on point.”

Likewise, the Soldiers were able to learn from the Airmen and share their own experiences.

“Working with the Air Force gives us a sense of cooperation,” said Oklahoma National Guard Pvt. Jila Thompson, Alpha Battery, 1-158 FA. “Just because we’re in the Army doesn't mean we know everything about each branch. It’s something that the Air Force can learn from us, it's something we can learn from the Air Force.”

Overall, the exercise allowed for the Soldiers and Airmen to practice their skills in loading and transporting heavy equipment safely and rapidly across long distances.
Video by Cpl. Danielle Rayon
Oklahoma National Guard breaks ground on new museum
Oklahoma National Guard
May 16, 2024 | 1:42
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma National Guard broke ground on the new Oklahoma National Guard Museum in Oklahoma City in a ceremony attended by veterans and current National Guard members on May 16.

“Today is a milestone for us as we kick off [construction of the new museum],” said Denise Neil, executive director of the Oklahoma National Guard Museum. “It’s an exciting time, shoveling the dirt forward as a symbolic way to show our kick-off.”

Neil said the new 39,375-square-foot building, located at 3301 NE Grand Blvd in Oklahoma City, will provide the Museum with the space and tools needed to tell the Oklahoma National Guard’s story from its founding through modern times.

Denise Neil; Executive Director of the Oklahoma National Guard Museum