The Rhode Island National Guard (RING) consists of 3000 men and women who serve as military professionals within the state while simultaneously pursuing education, managing civilian careers, and supporting our families. The Rhode Island National Guard traces its history from the first colonial defensive force established in 1638 and has since served the state and nation in every major American conflict.
Today's RING is focused on our three core missions: fighting America's wars, securing our homeland, and building enduring partnerships across the globe. The RING has a unique mandate and our members have sworn a dual oath to serve both our nation and state of Rhode Island. In order to meet the demand of these core missions, our institution prioritizes taking care of our people, building military readiness, and fostering innovation.
More than 450 of Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of our federal mission over the past fiscal year. Our members have represented the state of Rhode Island while operating in every geographic combatant command. From the outset of this past training year, Airman from the 143d Airlift Wing were engaged in humanitarian operations in during the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
We are proud to be Rhode Island's military component. We are grateful for the support of our friends, neighbors, and employers. The RING will remain engaged and accessible as we continue to meet our challenges and provide value and security in an increasingly complex world. The Rhode Island National Guard is "Always Ready, Always There."
There is nothing more important to the readiness of the National Guard than our people. The RING mission requires a competent, capable, diverse, and healthy force of men and women committed to a common purpose. Each of our 3,000 service members and 770 fulltime employees is a valued member of the RING family integral to the accomplishment of our core missions.
To preserve our honorable profession and sustain our combat readiness, we are dependent on ethical and caring leaders who motivate, inspire, and retain the Soldiers and Airmen who are placed in their trust. We support member development through a focus on mentorship and we provide critical feedback to all of our members through formalized programs. At any one time, about one fifth of our organization is enrolled in undergraduate or graduate level civilian education programs.
There are abundant opportunities for personal and professional growth for those who volunteer to serve within our ranks. Today’s Citizen Soldiers and Airmen attain a higher degree of specialized training and education than ever before. All members of our ranks receive the same individual military and technical training as their active duty counterparts. Each member within our formations are trained, educated, and resourced to accomplish both global and local missions.
Fostering meaningful relationships with our families so that they are well cared for when a service member deploys is critical for the RING. Our Military Family Programs office and Family Assistance Center, headquartered in Cranston, RI, are instrumental in leveraging and integrating national Department of Defense programs including the "Yellow Ribbon" post deployment reintegration program and Family Assistance programs and employer outreach.
The RING is a trusted Rhode Island institution charged with the care of our society’s most precious resources, the sons and daughters of our citizens. As such, the RING is committed to providing a workplace that is healthy, safe, and diverse, as well as free from internal and external physical threats and harassment. We demand and maintain a culture free of sexual harassment and sexual assault. We value the lives and wellbeing of all of those who serve within our ranks and seek to uphold all aspects of resiliency; including assisting with service member health and suicide prevention.
The Rhode Island National Guard is a specialized team achieving global success. The RING provides ready forces to the US Army and Air Force with the capabilities to fight and win in an array of complex environments. Rhode Island remains among the top states for deployments per capita as we near 7,000 individual deployments since 2001. This past year was no exception as over 450 men and women of the Rhode Island National Guard deployed in support of our federal mission.
In the past year, members of the RING have represented Rhode Island while serving in every geographic combatant command. Our Soldiers and Airmen have received the same career and military training as there active duty counterparts, they harness the institutional knowledge that accompanies our robust operational experience, and our teams routinely participate in joint and international military training events and external validation exercises. Our professionals are good at what they do and our state and nation depends upon them.
Fighting America’s wars will always be our primary mission and the Soldiers and Airmen of the Rhode Island National Guard have continued their legacy of service and sacrifice to our nation.
The Rhode Island National Guard remains responsive and accessible, able to leverage warfighting training and capacity in response to domestic emergencies under the command and control of the governor. RING members live in every community in Rhode Island. They fulfill the unique dual federal-state mission of the National Guard, simultaneously contributing to the nation’s warfighting capacity and serving as the nation’s primary military domestic crisis response force.
During states emergencies, the RING is the first military responder supporting civil authorities in a state duty status. By training with state emergency managers, FEMA and others, the National Guard and its numerous partners ensure a unified, rapid response.
The Rhode Island National Guard delivers innovation, technology, and planning capability to address emergent domestic problems. Innovation is inherent throughout the National Guard as we harness the intellectual capital available from the men and women in uniform who bring unique solutions to problem sets using their dual-life military and civilian experiences.
Over the past three years, the RING has introduced innovative events featuring collaboration with industry and education to inspire students toward achievement in science and technology. The RING has hosted a fall robotics event for the second year at the Army Aviation Support Facility. The RING has additionally hosted “RIse with STEAM” events the past two summers where over 500 local high school students participated in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematic (STEAM) exhibits and presentations showcasing Rhode Island’s capabilities, opportunities, and points of contact for STEAM involvement within the state. The RING cyber infrastructure maintains active involvement with Cyber Patriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program initially developed by the Air Force Association to inspire K-12 students to pursue cybersecurity.
The Rhode Island National Guard has a standing tradition of local and international engagement, building enduring relationships and improving our partner’s capabilities and resilience.
Through the State Partnership Program the RING continues its relationship with the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Military professionals from the RING conduct multiple subject matter expert exchanged with their Bahamian counterparts, including events focused in cyber defense, engineering, medical, and aviation capabilities. The RING recently supported a SOUTHCOM managed national exercise, Tradewinds 2018, which was a combined arms exercise featuring more than 7 countries in the region.
Through participation in Joint International Exercises the RING builds partnerships and capacity with America's allies abroad. Recently, Charlie Company, 1-143rd Infantry (Airborne) deployed to Romania in 2017 in support of “Operation Saber Guardian” and again deployed to Poland in 2018 in support of the multi-national EUCOM sponsored 'Operation Saber Strike’ where they conducted realistic combat training and airborne operations and a platoon an Italian Infantry was fully integrated into their company. Similarly, a contingent from the RING’s 115th Military Police Company rotated through the ‘Austere Challenge’ NATO exercise in Grafenwöhr, Germany while elements of the RI Air National Guard’s 143d Airlift Wing participated in “Silver Arrow 2018”. The Airlift Squadron and Operation Support Squadron contributed to this Latvian-hosted, NATO partner exercise critical to the Strategic European Defense Initiative.
Locally, the RING participated and helped design “Cyber Yankee”, the flagship New England regional exercise focused on training and exercising Army and Air National Guard cyber defense teams from each of the New England states. The exercise focuses on responding to simulated cyber-attacks at an inter-state, inter-service and interagency level. In addition to the National Guard elements, the exercise includes multiple government agencies including DHS, FBI, FEMA, and US Secret Service. It also leverages institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratories and MITRE Corporation.
Based in Quonset, the 143d Airlift Wing is renowned for their successful C-130J cargo plane international training program. In the past year the 143d maintenance group has hosted international partners at Quonset and sent training teams to France, Saudi Arabia and Oman.