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    181st IW reflects on 2017

    Answering the Call

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Lonnie Wiram | U.S. Airmen assigned to the Indiana Air National Guard, 181st Intelligence Wing, 181st...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Jonathan Padish 

    181st Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

    With the close of another year, people often take a moment to reflect on accomplishments from the past year. For the Airmen assigned to the 181st Intelligence Wing in particular, that moment of reflection should be one filled with pride. 2017 posed new opportunities and challenging missions for 181st IW Airmen, and they were “Racer Ready” to succeed in those tasks.

    To start, the 181st IW welcomed Col. Chris Alderdice as the new wing commander at Hulman Field Air National Guard Base.

    “It is a blessing to lead the Airmen of the 181st Intelligence Wing and command the unique missions associated with providing intelligence support around the globe,” said Alderdice.

    Alderdice, who arrived from the 122nd Fighter Wing in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, has served in the armed forces for 37 years.

    Alderdice took the place of Brig. Gen. L. Kip Clark, who became chief of staff of the Indiana Air National Guard.

    Alderdice was not the only new commander to assume a leadership role with the 181st IW.

    Racer Col. Matthew Brown became the vice commander of the 181st IW. Mission Support Group welcomed Col. Christopher Colbert as the commander of MSG, and Col. Michael Holmes assumed command of the 181st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group.

    Under these leaders, Airmen with the 181st IW deployed miles from home in support of the military’s response to natural disasters.

    Airmen assigned to the 181st Security Forces Squadron deployed to Puerto Rico in support of hurricane relief efforts.

    The 181st SFS Airmen assisted with overall airfield security and protection of personnel and resources in Puerto Rico.

    “I am so impressed with the defenders who deployed for this mission,” said Maj. John Mutnansky, commander of the 181st SFS. “All members volunteered without hesitation to an austere location in an effort to aid fellow citizens in a time of distress. Our defenders’ unique skills and capabilities allowed for a rapid response, which enabled emergency relief assistance and resources to reach the citizens of Puerto Rico.”

    Additionally, six Airmen assigned to the 181st Communications Flight deployed to Florida with the 38th Infantry Division in support of Hurricane Irma rescue, relief and recovery efforts.

    The flight maintains a deployable satellite communications system called the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability. The JISCC maintains communications between joint forces and agencies involved in response to a disaster by providing internet, radio and telephone capabilities that are otherwise unavailable due to a disaster.

    The 181st Intelligence Wing supported Hurricane Irma operations with personnel and equipment, said Col. Christopher Colbert, commander of the 181st Mission Support Group. It is our duty to serve the community, state and nation. In this instance, we were humbled to be a small part of the larger National Guard assisting our fellow citizens in need.

    The 181st IW also employed its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets to respond to disaster relief efforts.

    Airmen with the 181st Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group assigned to the Incident Awareness & Assessment (Indiana IAA) provided aerial imagery support of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma rescue, relief and recovery efforts.

    The Indiana IAA supported hurricane response efforts by providing situational awareness for search and rescue, damage assessments, lines of communication, and route analysis to assist officials with making operational decisions.

    “Airmen of the 181st Intelligence Wing have honed their analytic skills over the past several years to be able to provide assistance in the event of a natural disaster like we have experienced with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” said Lt. Col. Mark Wright, commander of the 137th Intelligence Squadron. “Countless man hours have been spent developing procedures to ensure relevant information can be collected and provided to first responders and on-scene commanders.”

    Individual members of the 181st IW were recognized for their efforts.

    Two Racers earned the rank of chief master sergeant during a Chief’s Induction Ceremony.

    Chief Master Sgt. Jeffery, a multi-intelligence supervisor assigned to the 137th IS, and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas, operation superintendent assigned to the 137th IS were recognized by fellow chief master sergeants during an induction ceremony.

    The ceremony included the presentation of a charge posed to new chief master sergeants about what it means to be a chief, said Chief Master Sgt. Robert G. Beasley, the command chief master sergeant of the 181st IW. The charge reaffirms why we serve.

    The mission of the 181st IW attracted the attention of public officials.

    Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch toured the 181st IW September 5.

    Crouch was joined by Elaine Bedel, the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Rachel Leslie, who is a local community leader, and Danielle Chrysler from the Indiana Office of Defense Development.

    The tour included individual mission briefs by Airman assigned to the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package, the 181st ISRG, the 181st Weather Flight, the 181st SFS and the 113th Air Support Operations Squadron.

    Finally, a furry friend joined the ranks of Racers at the 181st IW.

    A bear became a regular resident of the 181st IW; however, this particular creature bore no resemblance to the 600 pound mountain-dwelling mammal. This black, brown and white furry friend is a rescue dog named Bear from Adopt Me! Bluegrass Pet Rescue, and he joined the Racer team as the 181st IW’s first therapy dog.

    A product of the Pet Assisted Warrior Support program, Bear was trained with the purpose of improving warriors’ coping mechanisms and resiliency, boosting morale, building connections and mitigating psychological health concerns and suicidal ideations. Bear is one of only a few therapy dogs in the Air Force.

    “Service dogs are dedicated to a specific task and therapy dogs are for calming and relaxing those who may be suffering from PTSD or anxiety conditions,” said Maj. John Shepherd, a public health officer with the 181st Medical Group.

    All in all, the men and women of the 181st IW can reflect upon 2017 with pride for a job well done. Airmen with the 181st IW will likely encounter additional opportunities and challenges in 2018, but they will remain “Racer Ready” to rise to the occasion and fly, fight and win.

    (In accordance with current Air Force guidance, the last name of 181st ISRG members have been omitted.)



    Date Taken: 01.07.2018
    Date Posted: 01.09.2018 14:13
    Story ID: 261653
    Location: TERRE HAUTE, IN, US 

    Web Views: 317
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