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A Busy Summer on Cape Cod

Commander's Comments: Col. Virginia Doonan

Commander's Comments: Col. Virginia Doonan

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF) - This base is going to be crowded and busy this Summer!

Gone are the days where this wing has "downtime" or is having a "normal year". Since April 1, 2008, we've stood up as the 102nd Intelligence Wing our unit has been converting, training and building to our new missions of the Distributed Ground Station Massachusetts (DGS-MA) for the Intelligence Group and the Command and Control mission for the Air Operations Group. We are still in conversion as neither organization has been named Fully Operational Capable (FOC) but we have been doing robust operations in Initial Operational Capable (IOC) status for both. In addition, the Medical Group received their CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) certification last August after multiple exercises and is beginning the process of setting up two distinct squadrons under the Medical Group for both base operations support as well as CERFP response.

The Wing as a whole has been tasked as an Intelligence Wing with multiple inspections and has performed superbly in all of them. Between our "first" UCI, LCAP and Stan/Eval inspection as an Intelligence Wing we have been a busy group of people. Add on, State Active Duty for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the 102nd has hit records for the work that we do.

This Summer will prove to be the busiest yet, in my humble opinion.

Military Construction projects are at an all-time high right now for the 102nd and our Civil Engineering team has never been busier. The final completion of our DGS-MA facility is being completed which will move the entire Intelligence Group to buildings 168/169 in two phases. Once the building is complete it will be roughly a one year process to move intelligence equipment and communication lines into the building so that we may close operations in our "box" on the hangar floor. Meanwhile, the Operations and Training Facility is continuing construction and is estimated completion towards the end of this year. Finally, the AOG will start their construction and major renovation of building 165 for expansion of their operations floor which will last about a year once started. All these construction moves means displaced employees so a lot of moves from one office to another will be happening.

In addition to all the construction, we have aligned the 253rd Combat Communications Group, to include the 267th Combat Communications Squadron and the 212th Engineering Installation Squadron under the 102nd Intelligence Wing umbrella. Starting in September, we will be moving the 212th EIS into building 158 as well as the Air Operations Group during their renovation. Locating all of our personnel within the Wing to be on one base.

If that weren't crazy enough, the sound of freedom is coming back, if only temporarily this Summer. The 104th Fighter Wing has a major runway repair at Barnes Airfield that is due to start in July. The entire Mass Military Reservation (MMR) will host the 104th during this time.

A pretty historic event having both wings co-located performing 24/7 Federal missions for an extended time frame. This hasn't occurred since the 102nd and 104th deployed together in Phalsbourg, France air base to support the Berlin airlift during post WWII operations.

When you're this busy and crowded it can get tense at times. Here would be my tips for keeping things going smoothly:

1. Keep your sense of humor and perspective
2. Don't expect things to be normal, we may all have to share some office, parking space and resources.
3. Keep your resiliency high by taking advantage of the good weather. Keep working out and taking care of one another.
4. Keep perspective: this is all temporary and we need to share
5. Be kind and empathize with others

Yes, it's going to be busy here and crowded this Summer. But, it is Cape Cod and there's no place more beautiful for those 3 months of the year. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the Sound of Freedom of the Eagles while we continue our excellence as a Wing.