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ANG Tanker Wings Gain Active Duty Airmen: The Air Force announced yesterday that three Air National Guard KC-135 wings will become active associate units beginning next summer, and are expected to assume full operations under the new construct by September 2011. Under this Total Force initiative, active duty airmen will be assigned to the 117th Air Refueling Wing in Birmingham, Ala., the 126th ARW at Scott AFB, Ill., and the 157th ARW at Pease ANGB, N.H. These airmen will start reporting in July 2009. The Guard units will act as the host organization. The active duty aircrews and maintenance and support personnel will work side-by-side with their Guard counterparts in operating the ANG tankers at home and on overseas deployments. The Air Force says the associate unit construct provides greater day-to-day mission capability by increasing full-time manning, while reducing duplication of effort. “Partnering with regular Air Force counterparts is a win-win for the Air Force," said ANG Acting Director Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw. He added, "It allows our highly experienced citizen-airmen to share their knowledge and experience with their regular Air Force teammates, and it provides the regular Air Force KC-135 force with additional opportunities for training and deployments.” (NGB report by Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke)