The 144th ATS (Light) is given an upgrade to Medium.
In the dead of winter, the 144th uses its ski-equipped C-123s to best advantage, rescuing a group of 11 scientists from the Naval Arctic Research Institute stranded on a floating ice island in the Arctic Ocean.
The AKANG responds to the Good Friday Earthquake. In addition to providing disaster relief, the Guard also asked local merchants to donate baskets, eggs and candy, which Guard members then distributed to children on Easter.
The 144th provides the only airlift support for Polar Strike, a multi-force exercise involving more than 4,000 troops.
The AKANG celebrates its 15th birthday with a visit from its founder, Col. Lars Johnson. "Senator Gruening and I helped with the Guard's organization, but we can't take credit for the success that followed," he tells the men. "Only you can."
The AKANG is reorganized and designated the 176th Tactical Airlift Group, with the 144th Tactical Airlift Squadron as its flying unit. More than 700 personnel positions are authorized within the Group.