The Ohio National Guard is highlighting significant achievements in the past year that supported federal, state and local missions.
Among the year's accomplishments, through the combined efforts of the full-time and traditional workforce of more than 16,000 Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians:
Supported our communities
Through the Guard Care program, the Ohio National Guard partnered with local and state health departments to provide free health screenings, basic lab work, and immunizations to medically underserved residents in Noble County. In the more than two decades since the program began, Guard Care has provided services for more than 13,000 Ohioans in 18 counties.
Other activities during the year included supporting more than 70 Veterans Day activities, such as the Columbus Veterans Day Parade, and speaking to more than 39,000 students about the dangers of drug abuse as part of the governor's Start Talking! program.
Members of the Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Task Force assisted law enforcement agencies with the seizure of more than $7 million in illicit drugs, weapons, property, and currency during the federal fiscal year 2016.
Strengthened partnerships in Ohio and around the globe
The Ohio National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its pairing with the Republic of Serbia. There were 25 events with SPP partners Serbia and Hungary during the year, including a combined medical engagement in Serbia that included personnel from Ohio and Angola.
Began a collaboration with government, education, and private business partners to enhance cyber security in Ohio and to develop cyber security training programs.
Formed a new partnership with Wright State University to offer graduate school scholarships to Ohio National Guard members. Dec. 27, 2016.
Defended the homeland in support of state and federal missions
More than 600 Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers were deployed throughout the year to locations such as Afghanistan, Kuwait, Turkey and Guam.
In addition to scheduled deployments, Ohio National Guard members provided emergency assistance. An Ohio Air National Guard aircrew was among the first aircraft to provide relief to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew hit, and an Ohio Air Guard base provided a safe haven for U.S. Air Force fighter jets as that same storm moved up the Atlantic coast. The Ohio Army National Guard provided assistance to West Virginia's National Guard during flooding in June by providing two helicopters and crew through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact process.
Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen supported civil law enforcement during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
A fire and movement range opened at the Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center as part of infrastructure improvements to make the facility in Portage County a world-class training center for Army units in the Midwestern U.S.
"My department has been fiscally conservative by taking steps to consolidate facilities and, in the last eight fiscal years, reducing staffing levels by 24 percent," said Maj. Gen. Mark E. Bartman, Ohio adjutant general. "We continue to look for innovative ways to be good stewards of taxpayers' money, including an aggressive energy efficiency policy and leveraging federal matching funding."
The adjutant general is a member of the governor's cabinet and is responsible for the command of the Ohio Army National Guard (the fifth-largest in the U.S. at 11,450 Soldiers), Ohio Air National Guard (the second-largest in the U.S. at 4,850 Airmen), Ohio Military Reserve and Ohio Naval Militia.
The Ohio National Guard has installations in 38 counties, with more than 2.1 million square feet of Army National Guard facilities and 1.5 million square feet of Air National Guard facilities.
In 2016, Ohio Army and Air National Guard programs brought in more than $628 million in federal funding for operations and payroll, which created an estimated $10 million in tax revenue for Ohio. State general revenue funds of $8.3 million were matched with $42 million in federal funds to support facility and infrastructure operating costs.
Ohio National Guard Airmen and Soldiers are deployed on a continuous basis in roles such as peacekeeping and humanitarian support, serving side by side with active component military personnel. Since 9/11, the Ohio National Guard has mobilized more than 25,000 Soldiers and Airmen.
"We would not have been able to accomplish our missions in the past year if it weren't for the dedicated men and women of the Ohio National Guard who've accepted the challenge to be leaders in their communities, their state, and their nation," Bartman said.