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Coordinates: 18°26′21″N 66°0′7″W / 18.43917°N 66.00194°W / 18.43917; -66.00194

Muñiz Air National Guard Base

Air National Guard.png

Part of Puerto Rico Air National Guard
Carolina, PR
C-130E 156th AW at Puerto Rico 2004.jpg
A C-130 from the 198th Airlift Squadron at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico.
Coordinates Latitude:
Built 1956
In use 1956-Present
Controlled by  United States Air Force

156th Airlift Wing (USAF) patch.png

156th Airlift Wing

Muñiz Air National Guard Base is the home base for the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. This installation located within the grounds of Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The 156th Airlift Wing mission is to provide airlift missions for the U.S. Southern Command and airlift for joint military exercises while displaying military capabilities and bolster United States ties with our Latin American neighbors during Operation Coronet Oak. The 198th Airlift Squadron a subordinated unit of the 156th Airlift Wing also located at Muñiz Air National Base provides airlift support. The 156th Airlift Wing is under the Air National Guard/Air Mobility Command.[1] Muñiz Air National Guard Base also known as "Base Muñiz" provides support in local emergencies and mobilization of military troops from Puerto Rico for deployments worldwide.

History[edit | edit source]

Lieutenant Colonel José Antonio Muñiz, co-founder of the PRANG.

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard consolidated its operations and moved from the Isla Grande Airport in May 1956 to a new facility at the Isla Verde Airport located in Carolina, Puerto Rico now known as Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport just 14KM (9 milles) east of San Juan, Puerto Rico. On 10 April 1958, the 156th Tactical Fighter reorganized into a Fighter Group. On 1 January 1976, the 156th Tactical Fighter Group converted from F-104 Starfighter to A-7D Corsair. The first A-7s arrived in November and the last in March 1976.

Jose Antonio Muñiz[edit | edit source]

In 1963 the Air National Guard Base was renamed "Muñiz Air National Guard Base" while commemorating the 20th anniversary of its federal recognition in honor after Co-founder of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard, Lieutenant Colonel José Antonio Muñiz a former United States Air Force officer who during World War II served in the United States Army Air Forces. Major General Orlando Llenza, then a fellow aviator in the unit, later described the loss in the following translation:

"We were short one pilot and Joe offered to stand in. I was formation lead. Right after departing the runway, his afterburner nozzles failed open, indicating a loss of power. The ejection seats in use at the time could not safely extract a pilot at low altitude and Joe went in little after takeoff. No one in the flight mentioned the event; we executed the flyover and were notified of the loss upon our return to base. Shortly after that, we received the F-86H which did not use afterburning and could fly non-stop from homestead AFB (in Florida) to San Juan unlike the previous D and E models, which had to stop for fuel at Guantanamo, Cuba."

Terrorist attack[edit | edit source]

January 12, 1981. 10 A7s and a Starfighter F-104 were damage and destroyed. It is believed that this was a terrorist act was made by Boricua Popular Army Machetero commandos that infiltrated into the base. This loss was calculated at $45 million. The base Security detail increased from 11 to 22 Air Force Security Police personnel and 46 civilian contract guards.

Papal visit and presidential visit[edit | edit source]

On October 12, 1984, Pope John Paul II made the first papal visit to Puerto Rico and was welcomed to Puerto Rico by governor Carlos Romero Barcelo and U.S. State Secretary George P. Shultz at Muñiz ANGB. Pope Johh Paul II left Puerto Rico on the evening that same day.[2]

On June 14, 2011, United States president Barack Obama made an official visit to Puerto Rico[3] for four hours. He arrived on the 747 Air Force One with Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi at Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, Puerto Rico and he was greeted by Governor Luis Fortuño. Later, after campaigning, President Obama gave a speech from a hangar at Muñiz Air National Guard Base.

Air mobility role[edit | edit source]

On November 22, 1997. Muñiz ANGB received its first C-130s while celebrating the 50th anniversary of its federal recognition. The Air Force announced conversion of the 156th Fighter Wing from F-16A/B aircraft to C-130 aircraft, changing the task from air combat missions to airlift missions.

Today[edit | edit source]

Muñiz's PRANG P-47 on display at Muñiz Air National Guard Base.

Since 1997 the mission for Muñiz Air National Guard base and the 156th Fighter Wing is to provide air mobility support for the U.S. Southern Command and operation Coronet Oak. This air base also provided mobilization to assist with humanitarian support in natural disasters like the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Muñiz ANGB played a mayor role in the mobilization for the Puerto Rico Air National Guard troops as well Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from Puerto Rico for deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In addition some of the facilities at Muñiz ANGB include a Hangar, Maintenance Shops, Command Offices, an Air National Guard Recruiting Office, Community Center, Family Readiness Center and a NGX Base Exchange.

STARBASE Youth Program[edit | edit source]

The STARBASE Youth Program at Muñiz Air National Guard Base is a nonresidential educational program for students (grades K-12) that provides them with real-world applications of math and science. Hundreds of students from schools all over Puerto Rico come to Muñiz ANGB to participate in the STARBASE Youth Program.[4]

Operation Coronet Oak[edit | edit source]

Coronet Oak is the name for the continuing operation in which Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft, aircrews and related support personnel deploy from the United States to Muñiz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico, to provide theater airlift support for the U.S. Southern Command. The Guard and Reserve support the Coronet Oak mission year round since June 1999 from Muñiz Air National Guard Base when this mission moved from Howard Air Force Base, Panama as result of the U.S. military withdrawal from Panama in 1999. Units rotate in and out of Muñiz ANGB every two weeks. Forces assigned to CORONET OAK provide United States Southern Command with logistic and contingency support throughout Central and South America.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Globalsecurity.org-Military-156th Airlift Wing [156th AW"]. Global Security.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usaf/156aw.htm. Retrieved 2 February 2013.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Global Security.org" defined multiple times with different content
  2. "John Paul II". Five Franciscan Martyrs Region-Secular Franciscan Order. http://www.franciscan-sfo.org/p1/jpiipope.htm. 
  3. "Puerto Rico Gets First Presidential Visit In 50 Years". Vermont Public Radio(VPR), National Public Radio (NPR). http://www.vpr.net/npr/137135045/. 
  4. "What is STARBASE PR?". The Department of Defense Youth Programs. http://starbasepr.zzl.org/Home/Welcome.html. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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