The South Carolina Air National Guard (SCANG hereafter) has concluded its temporary relocation operation out of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE hereafter) in which F-16s from McEntire Joint National Guard Base (McEntire hereafter) were operating since May of 2022.
“This was a complex partnership to pull off, that involved a lot of moving parts, and I’m incredibly proud to say that it was successful because of the skilled teams from both organizations being willing to support the effort and see it through until the end,” said Mike Gula, Executive Director of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
During its time at CAE, the 169th Fighter Wing continued training its regular operations while their F-16 runway at McEntire was being resurfaced. Takeoffs and landings could be seen and heard during the temporary relocation, something many locals enjoyed.
While onsite at CAE no commercial aviation was impacted and daily flights continued as normal throughout the duration of the temporary relocation.
“We are so thankful for the great partnership we’ve experienced this past year with our friends at Columbia Metropolitan Airport,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Quaid Quadri, commander of the 169th Fighter Wing. “The support we’ve received from CAE, as well as all our community partners, is second to none and we couldn’t do what we do without them. The South Carolina Air National Guard is grateful for everyone’s support.”
This partnership is one of many between the Department of Defense and CAE that has occurred over the years including the use of CAE’s airfield by the Navy and the Air Force for touch-and-gos and other flight training needs.
“We honestly hate to see the SCANG go but with our longstanding relationship, look forward to welcoming them back in the future,” said Gula.