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Changing Times, Challenging Times

Commander's Comments: Col. Maureen McCarthy

Commander's Comments: Col. Maureen McCarthy

OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- I have always embraced change - change is good! I've always seen it as an opportunity rather than a bother. Medicine is never static, each new development advancing how healthcare is managed and delivered. I suppose that's one reason I was drawn toward military nursing as a young adult - the wonder of the science, the adventure of change.

Taking command of the 102d Medical Group (MDG) in December 2004 was a very happy moment in my career. I expected change, but had no concept of how our federal and state mission would evolve - but evolve they did. We soon began a mission 'transformation' with our Homeland Response Force (HRF) the state security mission - a new focus. Our MDG was tasked with the Expeditionary Medical Support Consequence Management (EMEDS-CM) Element (along with the 104th MDG). We work jointly with the Massachusetts Army National Guard staffing the medical domestic operations (DOMOPS) response for all of New England. Like everyone, the 102d MDG has had to do more with less, and changes are coming faster all the time.

The HRF mission has been my high octane 'fuel' for several years. Change is hard and it takes a tremendous amount of energy. Yes, of course it's easier to always do what's 'worked before' than engineer and learn the new and different, but that's not how this Wing got where it is. We've always adapted and innovated our way to where we are today. I encourage you all to stay proactive driving toward the future, not looking back in the rearview mirror.

Think of the exponential changes in technology these last 10 years, then try to wrap your mind around what it might bring in the next ten (and how busy and productive we might be). As we look forward at the challenge of budget uncertainty and mission changes, we at the 102d Medical Group and Intelligence Wing will need to do what we have always done - wrap our heads around how to get it all done with less.

As I approach retirement, I remain confident that each of you will stay fully engaged supporting our federal and state missions whenever you are needed, wherever it takes you. Humans ARE the most important weapon system in our Air National Guard and Air Force, and YOU ARE AWESOME! I am so proud working with each and every one of you, as that has truly been the apex of my career. Keep up the great work you do every day, THANK YOU ALL!