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Commander's Comments

  • Published
  • By Col. Peter Nezamis
  • 126th Air Refueling Wing
As the Southern Illinois summer temperatures soar to near triple digits and the region begins to heat up, the same is true for us here at the 126th. 

We are in the final stages of preparation for our upcoming inspections and things are heating up quickly. Before you know it, the AMC IG team will be here conducting the Unit Compliance Inspection, the Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation Team will be inspecting our Maintenance Group, and our Medical Group will be undergoing a Health Services Inspection. These inspections will take an intimate look at our Wing and its personnel and I have no doubt that your dedication and efforts will reap big rewards. 

One thing that is not lost on me during this time is that despite our upcoming inspections, your job is still business as usual! Your typical work flow hasn't stopped; there hasn't been a break or a pause in the action to allow you to prepare your personnel and units. And, while that's the unfortunate nature of our business, I know there have been many additional hours worked and extra sacrifices made to ready our Wing. 

Highlighting that sentiment is the fact that we have more than 30 Security Forces personnel mobilized, yet again, and moving out in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While many around the Wing have been affected by and supported the various ongoing operations, not many of you have been affected as repeatedly as our Security Forces personnel. These young men and women are some of the most courteous and unassuming members of the 126 ARW. They know they have a job to do and they simply set their sights on the target and charge forward. Their continued support and volunteerism is indicative of their commitment to their profession and the Guard. 

While we are in our final weeks of preparation, we are also in the 101 Critical Days of Summer. I hope that many of you are taking time to spend with family and friends and enjoy the summer activities that allow you to blow off some steam. 

However, we need to be extra careful during this time. Each of us is focused or using a form of tunnel-vision right now to keep our goal in sight. But this type of dedication can lead to serious mistakes or mishaps. We need to keep safety at the forefront of our minds and use our Wing-Man concept to look out for one another. 

While our mission and the upcoming inspections are important, you - the personnel of the Wing - are the thing that is irreplaceable! Don't lose sight of that thought. Take extra time to be safe and keep yourself healthy and the mission will fall into place. Every one of you plays a vital role for this Wing to succeed. 

I look around our Wing during a typical duty day or UTA weekend and while some of the faces seem to get younger and younger, one thing doesn't change--we all chose a profession of great demand and great sacrifice in order to be a part of something greater than ourselves. 

Each and every one of us is committed to more than just a job or career. We're committed to morals, values and principles. While we may not be able to make a difference standing alone, we can have a huge impact standing together. I'm proud to stand beside each and every one of you and play my role to make a difference!