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McEntire Joint National Guard Base

McEntire AFB

McEntire AFB – Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina

McEntire AFB Joint National Guard Base is a military installation in South Carolina. It is located near Eastover, South Carolina. It serves as a joint base for the South Carolina Air National Guard and the South Carolina Army National Guard. McEntire JNGB is primarily known as the home of the 169th Fighter Wing, which operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The base plays a crucial role in supporting both state and federal missions. Plus, it serves as a training and operational facility for the National Guard.

Heroes Home Advantage has compiled an extensive overview of the military base. We have talked about the history of the base and its other details. Keep on reading.

What is the history of McEntire AFB?

The history of McEntire AFB is quite rich. The airfield was first activated on January 31, 1943, under the name Congaree Army Airport. Over the years, it went through several transformations and name changes. This was mostly to adapt to the evolving landscape of military aviation. In 1944, the U.S. Navy took over, converting it into the Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Facility. It served as a fighter pilot training center until November 1945. Then, on December 9, 1946, the South Carolina Air National Guard made it their home and renamed it Congaree Air Base. Finally, on October 16, 1961, it was dedicated as McEntire Air National Guard Base. This was in honor of Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire, the first commander of the South Carolina Air National Guard. Unfortunately, he tragically lost his life in a plane crash while avoiding a densely populated area. The base’s name was later changed to McEntire Air National Guard Station on October 1, 1995.

Throughout its history, the base has undergone various renovations. Moreover, it has played a vital role in supporting military operations and training for both the Air and Army National Guard units. With a history dating back to World War II, this remarkable base has weathered the storms of time. Not only that, but it has evolved into a prestigious hub of military aviation. Throughout its storied history, McEntire JNGB has faced unpredictable threats and challenges. Regardless, it is still standing tall as a bastion of courage and dedication. Its brave military personnel have demonstrated unwavering commitment. From the tarmac to the hangars, every corner of McEntire JNGB echoes with tales of valor. The place is full of the unyielding spirit of those who serve. As the years unfold, this hallowed airfield continues to write new chapters in its captivating history. Moreover, it continues to be a testament to the enduring legacy of McEntire AFB.

Who is the McEntire AFB named after?

The McEntire AFB is named after Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire Jr. He was a prominent figure in the South Carolina Air National Guard. Not only that but he served as its first commander.

Barnie McEntire’s fascination with aviation took root during his teenage years. This was when he would diligently clean Piper Cubs at Owens Field of Columbia. Following his graduation from the University of South Carolina, he pursued his dream, enrolling in pilot training in 1939. By 1940, he proudly earned his pilot’s wings in the Army Air Corps, commencing a distinguished 22-year army career. During World War II, he served as the chief pilot for Air Transport Command’s North Atlantic Division. He was skilfully piloting B-24 bombers. In 1946, he played a pivotal role in organizing South Carolina’s first Air National Guard units. On February 18, 1959, he achieved the esteemed rank of Brigadier General, marking a significant milestone in his career. A trailblazer in his field, he made history as the first Air National Guard pilot proficient in flying a Mach 3 F-104 Starfighter jet in 1960.

Brigadier General Barnie B. McEntire Jr. tragically lost his life in an air accident in May 1961. During take-off from Olmstead Air Force Base, the engine on his F-104 Starfighter failed. In a remarkable display of skill and selflessness, McEntire managed to steer the failing aircraft away. He moved it away from a heavily populated area of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. This was before crashing it on an island in the Susquehanna River.

What do they do at McEntire AFB?

At McEntire AFB, the South Carolina Air National Guard and the Army National Guard come together to fulfill a range of crucial missions. The 169th Fighter Wing operates F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. They utilize them for air defense, air superiority, and close air support. They also use it for reconnaissance missions. The base serves as a training hub for both Air and Army National Guard personnel. They ensure their readiness for various roles and operations. They also address unpredictable threats and consider any potential adversary. On the state level, McEntire JNGB plays an essential role in responding to emergencies and natural disasters. They offer assistance in disaster relief and search and rescue efforts. Additionally, as part of the National Guard, the base can be called upon to support federal missions. This can include overseas deployments and joint military exercises.

Maintenance and logistics units at McEntire JNGB maintain aircraft and equipment. This keeps them mission-ready. Regular maintenance of the aircraft takes place within designated maintenance windows. These maintenance windows allow the base’s maintenance crews to conduct necessary checks. Furthermore, McEntire JNGB pays special attention to grounds maintenance. They ensure the base’s overall appearance is well-kept and professional. This attention to grounds maintenance not only enhances the base’s aesthetics. But, it also ensures that outdoor spaces are safe and efficient for military personnel and federal employees.

The place also engages with the local community. The base participates in outreach programs. This helps them to foster positive relationships between the military and the area it serves.

At Heroes Home Advantage, we like to offer as much information as possible. However, if you wish to know more, you can refer to the official websites of the U.S. Air National Guard or the South Carolina National Guard. These secure websites provide reliable and verified details about the base and its activities.

Where is McEntire AFB located?

McEntire AFB is located near the town of Eastover, in Richland County, South Carolina, United States. It is approximately 10 miles east of Columbia, the state capital of South Carolina. The base is easily accessible by road. Moreover, its proximity to Columbia allows for convenient transportation. It also helps support its operations.

What city is McEntire AFB in?

McEntire AFB is located near the town of Eastover, South Carolina, United States. While it is not located within a major city, it is approximately 10 miles east of Columbia.

What is the nearest airport to McEntire AFB South Carolina?

The nearest airport to McEntire AFB South Carolina is Columbia Metropolitan Airport. It serves as the primary military airport for the Columbia metropolitan area.

How far is McEntire AFB from Charleston?

McEntire AFB is approximately 110 miles from Charleston. The driving time between the two locations can vary depending on traffic conditions and the route taken. But, it generally takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to drive from McEntire AFB to Charleston.

What are the facilities at McEntire AFB?

McEntire AFB houses various facilities to support the operations of the South Carolina Air National Guard. Let us take a look at some of the key facilities at McEntire JNGB:

Aircraft Hangars: McEntire JNGB has several aircraft hangars. These are to house and maintain the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft operated by the 169th Fighter Wing. McEntire JNGB’s 169th Fighter Wing operates these advanced jets under the umbrella of the U.S. Air Force. The base is equipped to handle the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. These are capable of reaching speeds approaching the Speed of Sound during their air defense.

Operations and Control Tower: The base has facilities for air traffic control and mission operations. These are essential for coordinating flight activities.

Maintenance Facilities: McEntire JNGB has maintenance facilities. These are equipped to handle the maintenance and repair of aircraft and other military equipment.

Training Facilities: The base provides the perfect training environment. The facilities are best for both Air National Guard and Army National Guard personnel to enhance their skills and readiness. The base provides comprehensive training facilities. This ensures its personnel are well-prepared to operate as part of the primary unit of the National Guard. They are trained for various kinds of military mission, including tactical air missions and combat missions.

Administrative Buildings: Administrative offices and facilities are present in the region. They are present to manage the day-to-day operations and support personnel.


What are the U.S. Department of Defense Protocols for McEntire AFB?

The U.S. Department of Defense protocols for McEntire AFB are to ensure security and safety. The protocols also guarantee the operational readiness of the facilities. These protocols cover a wide range of areas. They include base access and security measures. They also cover military emergency response procedures and personnel management.

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