Airlift became the primary mission of the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1989 when C-130B Hercules transports were assigned to replace the RF-4C. With the Hercules, a large four engine turbo-prop aircraft, a complete retraining of ground and flight crews was needed. Re-designated the 123rd Tactical Airlift Wing/165th Tactical Airlift Squadron, its composition was now the 135th TAS (Maryland ANG), 156th TAS (North Carolina ANG) and 164th TAS (Ohio ANG). Although not federally mobilized during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the Kentucky ANG using volunteers airlifted more cargo in support of the effort than any other ANG unit.
Constituted Jan. 21, 1839 in the Kentucky Militia as the Louisville Legion and organized at Louisville. The unit mustered into federal service May 17, 1846 as the first Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment and mustered out of federal service May 17, 1847 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Four years after coming out of the federal service, the unit reorganized June 30, 1851 in the Kentucky Volunteer Militia in Louisville as the Louisville Legion. The Kentucky State Guard re-designated as the Kentucky National Guard in 1912, and the unit mustered into federal service once again at Ft. Thomas in February 1917.
After, the unit reorganized and changed to fit the evolving needs of the Kentucky National Guard. On November 1, 1980 the unit converted and re-designated as the Headquarters Company of the 149th Armored Brigade. The unit’s campaign participation includes Mexican War, Monterey, Civil War, Shiloh, Murfreesborough, Chickamauga, Atlanta, Mississippi 1862, Tennessee 1863, War with Spain, Puerto Rico, World War I, Streamer without inscription, World War II, New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon, GWOT, OIF and OEF. The unit headquarters is currently located in Richmond.
Constituted Jan. 21, 1839 in the Kentucky Militia as the Louisville Legion and organized at Louisville. The unit mustered into federal service May 17, 1846 as the first Kentucky Volunteer Infantry and mustered out of federal service May 17, 1847 at New Orleans, Louisiana. May 7, 1860 the unit reorganized in the Kentucky State Guard as the 1st Infantry Regiment (Louisville Legion) to consist of the Louisville Battalion and the Marion Rifle Battalion. 1st Infantry Regiment reorganized in July 1861 at Camp Joe Holt. Indiana, ‘with men of Union sympathy’ as the 3rd Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Louisville Legion). Sept. 9, 1861 the unit mustered into federal service as the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Louisville Legion) and mustered out of federal service Sept. 14, 1864 at Louisville. Between 1864 and 1904 the unit reorganized three separate times to fit the changing needs of the unit.
The Kentucky State Guard re-designated March 19, 1912 as the Kentucky National Guard. Under the name change the unit was called into federal service June 18, 1916 for service on the Mexican border and mustered into federal service June 25, 1916 at Fort Thomas. From 1968 to 1969, Kentucky Thunder served a 12-month tour in the Vietnam War. The unit has participated in every major conflict to date since 1839. The unit’s campaign participation includes Mexican War, Monterey, Buena Vista, Civil War (Union service), Shiloh, Murfreesborough, Chickamauga, Atlanta, West Virginia 1861, Mississippi 1862, Kentucky 1862, Tennessee 1862, Louisiana 1862, Indiana 1863, Tennessee 1863, Kentucky 1864, South Carolina 1865, Civil War (Confederate service), Henry and Donelson, War with Spain, Puerto Rico, World War I, Streamer without inscription, World War II, New Guinea, Leyte (with arrowhead), Luzon, Ryukyus, Algeria-French Morocco (with arrowhead), Tunisia, Sicily (with arrowhead), Naples-Foggia (with arrowhead), Anzio (with arrowhead), Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Southern France (with arrowhead), Rhine Land, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, OEF and OIF. The unit headquarters is currently located in Lexington.
Organized and federally recognized Sept. 15, 1986 in the Kentucky National Guard (Army component) at Frankfort as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Aviation Brigade, 35th Infantry Division. The unit was reorganized and re-designated Sept. 1, 1995 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 63rd Aviation Group, and relieved from assignment to the 35th Infantry Division. The unit headquarters is currently located in Frankfort.
The unit is known for its distinctive unit insignia. A silver colored metal and enamel device blazoned as follows: per chevron enarched Azure and Gris, on an arrowhead throughout counter-changed in chief a demi-Pegasus issuant Sable and in base a mulletty of the second. Attached to the sides and below the device a red scroll inscribed “UNBRIDLED THUNDER” in silver. Overall dimensions are 1 3/16 inches (3.02 cm) in height. Symbolism: Blue is the color traditionally associated with the Aviation units. The shield represents defense. The arrowhead signifies readiness; pointing up, indicates the spirit of the aviation mission. The Pegasus symbolizes the Brigade’s mission of flight, alluding to the unit’s location, Kentucky, the horse capital of the world. The stars suggest constancy; the two rows of stars, six and three, allude to the number “63,” the Brigade’s designation. The distinctive unit insignia was approved August 30, 2007.
The 238th Regiment consists of the 1st Field Artillery Battalion and the 2nd Modular Training Battalion. The regimental headquarters is located at the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center, Greenville. The 1st FA BN trains all the field artillery courses and serves as the battalion higher headquarters for the Regimental Training Institute in Pennsylvania and Arkansas. The Field Artillery trains and qualifies fire support specialists, multiple launch rocket system crew members and rocket system operations/fire direction specialists. The 2nd MOD TNG BN consists of the following separate training functions: Officer Candidate School, Warrant Officer Candidate School, and Infantry training.
During 2015, the 238th Regiment underwent an extensive and all-inclusive accreditation process. This process is based on the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command Enterprise Accreditation Standards in the functional areas of conduct of training, training support and proponent functions. The 238th Regimental Headquarters was assessed by the TRADOC Quality Assurance Office March 23 to 27, 2015. The regiment headquarters received on overall assessment of 100. The officer candidate school program was assessed by the Maneuver Center of Excellence Proponent from Fort Benning, GA April 17 to 19, 2015. The officer candidate school received an overall assessment of 100. The 1/238th FA Battalion was evaluated July 13 to 16, 2015. The FA Battalion received an overall score of 100 through their hard work, attention to detail and dedication to excellence.
The 238th Regiment provides individual training and classes generated by the Army Program for Individual Training requirements in support of the Kentucky National Guard and The Total Army School System. The regiment coordinates state level courses and provides staff augmentation to JFHQ-KY during major civil support operations to enhance mission command of forces responding to the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth.
The 75th Troop Command was organized Oct. 1, 1978 in the Kentucky National Guard (Army Component) at Frankfort as Command and Control Headquarters. The unit was re-designated Oct. 1, 1982 as Detachment 1, Headquarters, State Area Command, Kentucky National Guard. In July of 1994 the unit was once again re-designated to what we know it as today: the 75th Troop Command. The unit has no campaign participation credit or decorations at this time. The unit is located in Louisville.