By Brig. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, Mass. National Guard
/ Published December 31, 2014
Joint Base Cape Cod -- As both my tour as Joint Base Cape Cod Executive Director and Commander of the Massachusetts Air National Guard come to an end, I wanted to thank the men and women of the 102nd Intelligence Wing for their hospitality, and for "setting the bar high" for the rest of the Massachusetts National Guard. Clearly the 102nd IW is an organization that understands what is required to remain relevant in today's Air Force.
From the first day as Executive Director and from my days as "acting" Commander, and eventually appointed Commander of the Massachusetts Air National Guard the 102nd Intelligence Wing made me feel like one of their own. The pride, professionalism, creativity, and tenacity continually displayed by the officers, NCOs, airmen, and civilians of the 102nd IW are nothing short of inspirational. Your wing continues to elevate the expectations for every unit within the Massachusetts National Guard. You have successfully and uniquely reinvented yourself as a wing and in doing so have secured a place of leadership within the Air National Guard for many years to come.
The 102nd Intelligence Wing and its units have continuously been praised by the USAF, MAJCOMs, National Guard Bureau, and multiple state legislatures and agencies. You achieved the highest grade recorded for a Unit Compliance Inspection, were praised this past year as the #1 unit in the ANG by the Director of the ANG, Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke, and have been projected, based on performance, to receive new missions to further cement your place as the best Intelligence Wing in the United States Air Force.
When it came time for the Massachusetts Air National Guard to find a proper "home" for the 212th Engineering Installation Squadron, there was only one choice...the 102nd. The multiple missions and multiple MAJCOMs that the wing is responsible to made the 102nd Intelligence Wing the natural fit for the 212th Engineering Squadron. With the addition of the 253rd Combat Communications Group as a numbered group under the command of the 102nd IW, the 253CEIG, 267th CBCS, and 212th EIS quickly became the newest members of the 102IW.
When the 104th Fighter Wing needed a temporary home for the ACA mission for the F-15C aircraft during runway construction, it was the 102nd IW again who opened its doors, ramp, buildings, and infrastructure to the 104th Fighter Wing. This initiative saved the ANG in excess of $400,000 dollars.
I had more fun at the 102nd Intelligence Wing Dinning In than I had ever had at any "mandatory fun" function in my entire military career. The work hard, play hard personality of the 102nd IW was very evident that night. I was glad I was there that night, and not one of the many who were saying; "I wish I had gone" the next day.
As the Executive Director of Joint Base Cape Cod, the 102nd IW became the foundation for all projects, initiatives, and events that benefitted the military personnel, families, and communities on JBCC and throughout the surrounding communities. Every problem or idea that needed to be handled, I knew I could rely on the talents and dedication of the people who made up the 102nd Mission Support Group.
Once again the 102IW will be faced with new missions, and new challenges. The restructuring of the full time Security Forces Squadron, and change to the 102nd Air Operations Group and 267th Combat Communications Squadron's missions will certainly test the resolve of the entire wing. I am confident that the strategic vision and leadership of your wing's commanders, chiefs, and airmen will insure that the 102nd IW once again meets these challenges head on, and once again proves why it is the best unit in the ANG. It is a unit that flourishes when faced with adversity and one that embodies the phrase; "Don't count us out".
In closing I just wanted to say thanks, and how proud I was to hear that the 102nd IW had received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. It's nice to see that the leaders in Washington are now aware of what I have learned over the past few years. The 102nd IW is the unit that is setting the pace, and forging the path for all others to follow. Thanks for making me feel welcome, and letting me be part of your team.