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    102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for December 2020 - Colonel Mike Cornell

    102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for December 2020 - Colonel Mike Cornell

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    Audio by Timothy Sandland 

    102nd Intelligence Wing   

    Seasons’ Greetings. I’m Colonel Mike Cornell and I am privileged to deliver this month’s Wing Command Team Message to you, the men and women of the 102nd Intelligence Wing.

    For many of us, December is traditionally a time to reflect on our accomplishments over the past year, and an opportunity to look ahead, and set goals for ourselves in the year to come.

    But after what has been a tumultuous and unprecedented 12 months, that might seem like an exhausting endeavor.

    To be sure, no one among us has been unaffected by this pandemic. For some of you, that might include losing someone you love, caring for a sick friend or relative, or recovering from COVID-19 yourself. If you have experienced any of those things then my heart goes out to you, and those in your life infected by this virus.

    And for all of us, this pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on our resiliency and productivity. As a commander, I know firsthand that many of you juggled your professional and family obligations as your usual support structures collapsed.

    Maybe you came to work every day worried about your children after their daycare facility or school closed.

    Maybe you are a young Airmen who saw your college plans derailed as universities suspended classes.

    Maybe you know someone who lost their job or had to close down a family business as the result of the pandemic’s economic impact.

    Maybe you are among the thousands of Americans who had to postpone or cancel vacations, weddings, or other important celebrations. Or maybe, like me, you are unable to see an elderly parent or grandparent as often as you’d like because they are at higher risk of infection.

    And, as if that was not enough of a burden to carry, we all watched with sorrow as our great Nation endured a summer of social unrest and an election year marked by sharp political division.

    Undoubtedly, each of us has suffered from the stress of these events over the past 12 months, along with the isolation that comes with not being able to socialize with family and friends as much as we’re accustomed to doing.

    And so it is tempting to avoid looking back over the past year. And looking ahead, most of us can think of nothing more than returning to life as we knew it in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that each of us works, socializes, and cares for ourselves.

    But I urge you to resist those temptations. Because as I look back at 2020, I cannot help but marvel at your unwavering commitment to our Air Force Core Values – Integrity, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. Your dedication, and your accomplishments under great adversity, assure me that this Wing will continue to surmount any and all challenges that might lie ahead in 2021 and beyond.

    Whatever impact this pandemic has had on your personal lives, each of you rose to the occasion in the finest traditions of the National Guard. You met every obstacle head-on, looked out for your fellow Wingmen, accomplished the mission at hand, and showed yourselves to be shining examples of why this Nation always perseveres -- because the things that bind us as Americans are stronger than those things that divide us and, when the country needs us most, its citizens come together.

    You did just that. You not only took care of yourselves and your families through these stressful times, but you also came together as National Guardsmen to assist your communities, and defend your country.

    Many of you stood watch in our streets to protect your fellow citizens in the exercise of their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, while also ensuring that criminal elements did not seize upon those protests to destroy property or inflict harm.

    A significant number of you kept the pressure on our adversaries through the uninterrupted performance of the Wing’s Title 10 intelligence missions, often providing continuity to our active duty and intelligence community partners, as they adjusted to operations during a global pandemic. Your analyses were briefed to Combatant Commanders, US Ambassadors, the National Security Council, and the White House.
Meanwhile, our Cyber Engineering & Installation units ensured critical communications continued to enable global, full-spectrum operations.

    Dozens of you from across the Wing deployed overseas in support active duty operations worldwide. Separately, other Wing members deployed out of state to provide hurricane relief or to assist the federal government with election security.

    Closer to home, scores of you stepped up to fight the COVID-19 virus across the Commonwealth, as members of JTF-Minuteman – the largest domestic activation in the history of the Massachusetts National Guard.

    Citizen-Airmen of the 102nd provided everything from medical care, to the construction of field hospitals, to testing and logistics, and hospital security.
Back home here at Otis, all five Groups continued to maintain our responsibilities to organize, train, and equip Airmen for a variety of federal and state missions -- often doing so remotely or with minimum manning.

    Simultaneously, you prepared for – and excelled at -- an Air Combat Command Inspector General midpoint Unit Effectiveness Inspection AND a 16th Air Force Service Cryptologic Component inspection. You maintained the standards that are expected of you as Airmen, remained clear-headed and focused, and presented yourselves to the Governor and the President as ready and capable military forces.

    And since March, your careful adherence to DoD, State, and Wing rules of engagement regarding mask wear, social distancing, and self-care have allowed the Wing to maintain our mission readiness, and remain safe from widespread infection.

    So as you reflect on 2020, remember that you have done what few generations before you have been asked to do. You defended freedom at home and abroad, you cared for those in our society who needed it most, and you ensured that this Wing remains ready to meet any challenge. And you did it voluntarily, selflessly, and flawlessly. I am proud to call you my colleagues.

    And so -- as you look forward to 2021 – I urge you to not waste time dreaming about what your life MIGHT BE when this pandemic finally ends --- and it will end. Focus instead on all you have learned about yourself over the past year and use it to build the life that you want for yourself RIGHT NOW. Because this experience has made you stronger and more resilient than you were less than a year ago.

    And make no mistake – the federal government and the Commonwealth will undoubtedly continue to call upon the Massachusetts National Guard to respond to crises in the coming year -- whether they be from this virus, our climate, external threats, or the civil unrest that sometimes accompanies social change and the growth of democracy.

    So, if you can do so safely and within the guidelines set by our Governor and DoD leadership, then take a well-deserved break to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. Develop a self-care plan to recharge your batteries so that you can return in 2021 mentally and physically fit to fight and ready to answer the call, if asked to do so.

    And remember that, no matter what the coming year holds, the hard part is over. You have demonstrated that you are not only capable of surviving – but also thriving -- under great adversity. Whatever 2021 brings, you’ve got this.

    Colonel Riley, Chief Dubuc, the other Group commanders, and I are in constant awe of the level of professional excellence that each of you brings to the mission. On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you for all that you do to make this Wing the best in the Air National Guard. Have a great December drill, and -- in the spirit of whatever beliefs or traditions you may choose to celebrate -- I hope that you have a happy and restful holiday season.


    Date Taken: 12.02.2020
    Date Posted: 12.02.2020 10:33
    Category: Newscasts
    Audio ID: 64714
    Filename: 2012/DOD_108082818.mp3
    Length: 00:07:05

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