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​Air National Guardsmen are "always on mission" despite being part-time airmen, said Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, Air Guard director, at AFA's Air & Space Conference outside Washington, D.C., Sept. 15, 2014. Staff photo by Kristina L. Parrill

The 105,400 men and women of the Air National Guard are "always on mission" despite being part-time airmen, said Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, Air Guard director, at AFA's Air & Space Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Monday. Regardless of where they are deployed around the world, when they return home, "the very next day, they might have a tornado, fire, flood, earthquake, or something at home and they'll be right back out" due to their domestic responsibilities, he said. "It's amazing that we have individuals like this," said Clarke. Others, too, have similar praise for Air Guard members, said Clarke, noting that a four-star admiral said he "gets more out of a special tactics squadron from the Air National Guard than anybody else" within US Special Operations Command. "That is a heck of a compliment," said Clarke.