By Col Peter Nezamis, 126 ARW
/ Published November 02, 2011
Scott AFB, Ill. -- It seems like only yesterday that I was sharing words of encouragement as we prepared for multiple Headquarters Air Mobility Command Inspector General Operational Readiness Inspections. We spent many months in preparation, working together in austere conditions through Operational Readiness Exercises. Simultaneously we embarked on real-world deployments in support of Operations Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector as a Total Force with members of the 906th deploying side-by side. The results of those inspections, overall ratings of 'EXCELLENT' and 'MISSION READY,' coupled with the real-world deployments were indicative of the dedication displayed every day by every member of this Wing. These inspections and deployments proved that the 126th and 906th are far more than mission ready, we're mission proven! Be proud of yourselves and everything you've accomplished. Remember that there are others who came before you and others who will come after you but this time belongs to you!
The 126th was recently awarded a 2011 National Guard Association of the United States Distinguished Flying unit award. The award recognizes the five highest-rated outstanding flying units in the Air National Guard. The plaque for this award is prominently displayed in the Wing's trophy case in the foyer of the Headquarters Building, #5000. This award is another testament to the dedication I mentioned above.
We did take a slight pause during the October UTA to enjoy the first sergeant's golf outing and a great family day celebration. Many familiar, but not forgotten, faces appeared on the golf course and at the ALS pavilion to share in our time together. Watching you all compete against each other on the softball fields and then sit down to share a meal reminded me once again of what makes this Wing great. Being able to share that time with friends and family was both well-deserved and priceless.
The saying goes that there is no rest for the weary and as quickly as we completed our inspections, we ramped up for our AEF cycle and sent deployers out the door and into the fight. The transition was seamless and the Wing once again came together to accomplish the mission at hand. We will have operations, maintenance, security forces, civil engineers, and other support personnel deployed throughout this holiday season. Please keep our deployed members and their families in your thoughts and prayers throughout the months ahead.
Please join me in welcoming the Wing's two newest commanders. Maj. Evan Cozadd will take command of the 126th Supply Chain Management Squadron, the Wing's Classic Associate Total Force Integration squadron, during the Nov. UTA. Evan and his family were some of the first to join the newly formed SCMS in 2008 and I have no doubt in his abilities to continue the squadron on the path of success. And during the Oct. UTA, Capt. Tim Huchel took command of the 126th Maintenance Operations Flight. Tim has been an integral member of the 126th for more than 12 years and is more than ready for the challenges of command. Congratulations and best of luck to both Evan and Tim and their families.
As another year draws to a close, the annals of the 126th Air Refueling Wing and the 906th Air Refueling Squadron will continue to be filled with storied service and sacrifice to our state and nation. The constrained fiscal realities will likely impose some added sacrifice on us all but I have no doubt that we'll charge as hard into 2012 as we have every other year, leaving our mark in the history books. Be proud of your commitment, dedication and the selfless service you give every day. I look forward to transitioning to a new year and new challenges with you all.