The 144th Fighter Wing's mission is to provide air defense protection for California from the Mexican border to Oregon utilizing the F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter aircraft. The 144th also supports the nation's Counter Drug Program and responds to state emergencies when requested by the Governor of California.
Prior to the formation of the United States Air Force as a separate branch of service, the US Army Air Corps first established the Air Corps Ferrying Command on 29 May 1941. Redesignated several times, it became the 1 Troop Carrier Command in July 1942 and trained troop carrier organizations and personnel. Disbanded on 4 Nov 1945. One of its Troop Carrier Wings was the 61st Troop Carrier Wing,active from 1943-1945. Constituted 5 Jun 1943 and activated on 13 Jun. Trained groups, troop carrier replacement personnel, and glider crews. Inactivated on 4 Oct 1945. Redesignated 61st Fighter Wing. The 61st Fighter Wing was allotted to the California Air National Guard on 24 May 1946.