The 1‪‪56th Airlift Wing is the primary unit of the island’s National Guard outfit, stationed at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, according to its website.
Photo: National Guard
Photo: National Guard

Savannah military plane crash: What is the Air National Guard 156th?

A Lockheed WC-130 Hercules aircraft from the 1‪‪56th Airlift Wing unit of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard crashed Wednesday outside Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport‬‬.

Details on the deadly aviation incident are scant as officials respond to the Georgia crash.


JUST INMultiple dead in Puerto Rico Air National Guard plane crash near Savannah airport


What is the 156th unit?

The 156th is the primary unit of the island’s National Guard outfit, stationed at Muñiz Air National Guard Base, according to its website.

How large is the unit?

There are 1,200 members of the 156th. They called themselves “Bucaneros,” roughly Spanish for “Buccaneers.”

The head of the 156th is Col. Raymond Figueroa.


READThe horrifying plane crash photos Savannah air passengers are posting


What is the unit’s function?

The post had six WC-130 aircraft as of April 2016, according to Figueroa's military biography online.

The 156th has several squadrons that perform all sorts of functions, including: civil engineering, logistics readiness and force support.

When not mobilized or under federal control, the unit reports to the governor of the state where the based it located.

There are 54 National Guard operations in all.


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Previous coverage...

A military plane crashed Wednesday around 11:30 a.m., officials said. The crash happened near the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Channel 2 Action News reported the plane is a Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Officials are investigating and reporters are learning more.

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