Lieutenant Governor tours base, heads community roundtable meeting

  • Published
  • By Capt. Evan C. Lagasse
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray continued his tour of Bay State military installations, visiting here with members of the state's Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, April 9, 2012.

The visit began with mission briefings from the commanders of the Massachusetts Air National Guard's 102nd Intelligence Wing, Massachusetts Army National Guard's Camp Edwards, U.S. Air Force's 6th Space Warning Squadron and the U.S. Coast Guard's Air Station Cape Cod.

After the mission briefings, Murray toured the 102nd Intelligence Wing's Distributed Ground Station where he learned about military intelligence processing, exploiting and disseminating operations conducted by members of the Massachusetts Air National Guard at Otis Air National Guard Base.

The next stop was a tour of the 102nd Air Operations Group. The AOG provides critical command and control services to the 608th Air Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., via distributed operations, whereby AOG members located on Cape Cod assume a portion of the 608th AOC's workload.

From there, Murray boarded a Massachusetts Army National Guard UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for an aerial tour of the 22,000-acre military reservation, with stops at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and Tactical Training Base Kelley.

At the conclusion of the tour, Murray convened the state's Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force for a public meeting attended by federal, state and military leaders.

The task force, created after the U.S. Department of Defense announced in January it would cut $500 billion over the next decade, is in the process of collecting data on each of the military bases in the commonwealth to proactively protect the missions, jobs and economic investments associated with each base.

The 102nd Intelligence Wing stands to be the hardest hit military organization in the commonwealth after a March 6 announcement by the Air Force revealed plans to cut approximately 170 jobs as of fiscal year 2013.

At the beginning of the meeting the lieutenant governor mentioned the size and scope of the military reservation.

"A picture's worth a thousand words. When the outline of the MMR was shown on the screen [during the morning's briefings] you can literally fit all of the other military installations in the state inside the 22,000 acres of the MMR," Murray said.

In recent years the military commands here and the communities that surround the base have worked together tirelessly to accomplish military objectives while safeguarding the environment. Continued military-civilian accord is important to Murray and the task force as they work to position the MMR so it can grow and meet the needs of both the community and the military commands.

"With the support of the local community and by exposing Lt. Gov. Murray's Military Asset and Security Strategy task force to the MMR's yet untapped potential for growth, we can ensure the security of this vital installation for our national defense, support to the commonwealth and the economic security of the local community," Col. Anthony Schiavi, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander, said.