About the Army National Guard
With approximately 15,000 members, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard (PAARNG), a reserve component of the United States Army, plays an important role in the nation's defense and supporting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in times of need.
The PAARNG is one of the largest of the 54 states and territories Army National Guards. The Army National Guard is overseen by the National Guard Bureau located in Washington D.C. The National Guard is headed by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, one of the seven Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Programs and operations for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard are overseen by the deputy adjutant general Army (DAG-Army) based out of Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, Pa.
PAARNG units have taken part in every conflict America has faced, from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Guard Soldiers have provided humanitarian relief, led peacekeeping missions and deployed thousands of Soldiers at home and abroad to fight the war against terrorism.
The largest element of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is the 28th Infantry Division. Founded in 1879, the 28th ID is recognized as the oldest continuous serving division in the United States Army. In 2001, the 28th Infantry Division's 56th Brigade was selected as the only National Guard force to be transformed to a Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT). The other seven SBCT units are active component Army. The Division consists of three brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade.
Fielding the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team was the largest program undertaken by the Pennsylvania National Guard in modern history. It was a $1.5 billion program that included 85 construction projects across the commonwealth and more than 1,000 wheeled vehicles including 300 Strykers. The Department of Army s decision to field the Stryker Brigade in Pennsylvania recognizes that the 28th ID has achieved the highest levels of strength and readiness.
Pennsylvania s other major unit, the 213th Regional Support Group, handles combat support missions, including transportation, finance and personnel services.
In addition to its major units, the PA Army National Guard also has three Army schools:
- the 166th Regiment teaches leadership, military occupational and other officer/NCO skills
- the Eastern Army Aviation Training Site teaches aviators from all components of the U.S. Army as well as multinational students
- the Medical Battalion Training Site teaches vital medical skills
Additionally the PA Army National Guard has:
- a Civil Support Team
- a Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear Event Unit to support homeland defense missions