OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
Greetings and welcome to September 2020. I’m Colonel Tim Gordon, 102nd Mission Support Group Commander, and it’s a privilege to be able to address you this drill weekend.
Although it is September, it seems a bit different for all of us. The traditional excitement of the new school year has unfortunately been replaced with COVID concerns and the ongoing struggle of how to live and work safely during the pandemic. It has certainly been a challenge for all of us. My heart goes out to any of you who have lost loved ones, have been sick, or have been caring for those who have been sick.
Here at the 102nd we have been focused over the past six months on how best to mitigate the risks of COVID to all our members, while at the same time working to ensure our readiness posture. It’s been a challenging balance. But we are confident that the protocols we have put in place are all critical measures in combating this horrible virus. These measures include splitting the drills to reduce the number of members here at a time, initiating single entry control checks, and enforcing mask wearing and social distancing. We all need to be vigilant in following these protocols; for the wellbeing of our fellow airmen, our families, and our missions.
I also want to sincerely thank all of you who have gone above and beyond over the past six months volunteering to serve on various DOMOPS missions, whether it be our medical folks, security forces, chaplains or other wing members. Thank you for answering the call. You all exemplify “service before self”, taking on high risk taskings across the Commonwealth for the good of our fellow citizens. It doesn’t get any more selfless than that. So hats off to all of you.
In addition, I want to thank all those who have “answered the call” to deploy and serve overseas as part of our regular deployment cycle. These volunteers will be shipping out soon and will be away from home for months. I wish you folks the best of luck and safe journeys.
As many of these DOMOPs and deployment volunteers are MSG members, I want you to know that I am extremely proud and humbled to serve as your group commander.
In addition to all of these challenges that I mention, this month we have our Midpoint UEI inspection. We will have MAJCOM inspectors on base from September 11 – 14, inspecting our readiness and compliance with the four major graded areas. Many of you will have direct interaction with team members; all of us will have indirect interaction with them. They will observe our military bearing, dress and appearance, professionalism and even our compliance with COVID risk mitigation measures that are in place at the wing. I ask that you all be aware of their presence and show them just how squared away we are as a wing.
Finally, to all our DSGs - welcome back. We haven’t seen many of you since March and it is great to have some “return to normalcy”.
So let’s go out there and get our jobs done, be safe, show the inspection team our very best, and have a great drill weekend.