Hawaii Air National Guard Expands its Air Defense Mission

Posted on Aug 3, 2019 in In The News, slider

State of Hawaii, Department of Defense, Public Affairs Office
Story by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson
Saturday, August 3, 2019
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Lt. Col. Daniel C. Wrazien accepts command 169th Air Defense Squadron from Col. Phillip Mallory, Commander, 298th Air Defense Group as the 169th ADS was transferred to the 298th ADS. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The Hawaii Air National Guard mark the expansion of its air defense mission with the creation of two new units.

The Hawaii Air National Guard activated two new units today, the 298th Air Defense Group, and the 298th Support Squadron. It also reassigned the 169th Air Defense Squadron to the 298th Air Defense Group. The move is an effort to better align the Hawaii Air Guards organizational structure with other Air Force organizations. The mission of the 289th Air Defense Group is to provide a means to detect, monitor, identify and intercept airborne objects that may pose a threat to the Hawaii and Guam Air Defense Region. This is a full-time mission that is actively engaged in daily operations, monitoring the air space in the Hawaii and Guam region.

“Today we continue to redefine the Hawaii Air National Guard and our air defense mission,” said Brig. Gen. Ryan Okahara, Commander, Hawaii Air National Guard. “The mission of the 298th ADG is a ‘24 hours a day,’ ‘365 days a year,’ no fail mission. Keeping the skies of Hawaii safe is job number one for these Airmen.”

During the ceremony Brig. Gen. Ryan Okahara, Commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard assigned Col. Phillip Mallory as the Group Commander for the 298th ADG. Col Mallory then assigned Maj. Mariko Boone as the 298th Support Squadron Commander and designated Lt. Col. Daniel C. Wrazien as the 169th Air Defense Squadron Commander.

In his remarks Brig. Gen. Okahara stated that the 298th ADG is the second group in a plan to have two wings in the Hawaii Air National Guard, a kinetic wing with the flying mission, and a terminal wing that is more cyber and space oriented. The plan is moving faster than most would think. The third group could be established in a year’s time frame according to Okahara.

The Hawaii Air National Guard role in air defense goes back to 1956 when the 169th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated and operated out of Koko Head. In 1961, the 150th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron was activated. It operated out of Mt. Kokee on Kauai. This unit later joined the 169th. In 1965, the coverage area was expanded to Mt. Kaala. The 169th has since been re-designated as the 169th Air Defense Squadron and has expanded its air defense coverage. Today the 169th effectively became its own group with two squadrons.