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Out for the big game

Air Guard marksman shoots with ‘All Guard’ International Combat Team in South Africa

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

It was in Africa that he first pulled a  trigger in a national competition with All Guard International Combat Team, but getting to the continent was a journey much longer than the 18-hour flight that brought him there.

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Air Guard Recruiters press on with award winning team

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

LATHAM — Staff Sgt. Joana Galli understands and embraces the challenges of recruiting people into the Air National Guard.

That’s why she joined the 109th Airlift Wing’s recruiting team in October 2005, transferring from the Connecticut Air National Guard.

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Soldiers, Airmen go on Guard at mass-transit systems

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

MANHATTAN – Several armed Soldiers stand outside a street entrance to Pennsylvania Station August 4 amidst the daily hustle and bustle. Positioned in an out-of-the-way area, they are mostly left alone. But from Penn Station’s seemingly endless flow of travelers, an occasional passerby emerges to say “thank you.”

“You guys are doing a great job,” one woman proclaims as she passes them.

“Thank you, ma’am,” they reply, in unison.

In the weeks following the deadly London transit system bombings and a failed repeat of those bombings there, a “surge force” of New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were on watch at various mass transit stations across the State, including New York City’s vast metropolitan area.

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Hercules gets a Nose Job in Scotia

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

STRATTON ANGB, Scotia, N.Y. — The 109th Airlift Wing’s C-130 Hercules are noted for their good looks. In fact, they win top international honors.

“This is the best-looking aircraft I have ever seen,” remarked a competition judge in 2000, just before the Wing won its third of four “Best Kept Aircraft in Show” titles at the Royal International Air Tattoo in England, beating out more than 150 aircraft, from over 30 countries.

Now, adding style to looks, the Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the Multimedia Flight here started personalizing the Wing’s aircraft with nose-art in November 2004.

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Small Town Comforts Wounded Soldiers

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

ALPLAUS, N.Y. —Take a small-town firehouse, add colored thread and fabric, pour in various amounts of love and caring, mix thoroughly with a strong sense of community and country and you have what might be the warmest recipe to comfort wounded Soldiers.

To recognize New York’s wounded Soldiers, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Alplaus Fire Company, Alplaus, crafted 26 lap-size quilts for the New York Army National Guard.

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Airmen Crate medical equipment for Refugees

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

PLATTSBURGH AIR FORCE BASE, N.Y. — With a hospital full of dusty medical equipment, thousands of refugees needing medical treatment, and the Gulf of Mexico in between, a small mission upstate recently called upon Airmen to aid in a miracle.

“I feel blessed to have met this group,” Sister Deb said. She looks across the broken down remains of what was once an emergency room as sharp clanking and banging sounds echo through an open doorway on her right. Something large and heavy is being lifted.

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New York aircrews haul hurricane relief in Florida

By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

SCOTIA, N.Y. — When the New York National Guard was asked to support Florida after its recent hurricanes, aircrews here were already geared to go.