140th Wing Holiday Message 2014


140th Wing Warriors,

It's hard to believe we are already nearing the end of 2014. Time truly flies when you're having fun...especially when you're as busy as we've been! I never cease to be amazed when I look back at all you have accomplished over the past 12 months. You have met and exceeded my expectations and succeeded in all of your endeavors thanks to your hard work and dedication.

You kicked off 2014 in a big way as the only Guard unit to participate in Red Flag 14-1. Not only did you perform like true professionals, you were one of the only units to never lose a sortie. This was a tribute to our Operations and Maintenance Groups.  I am hugely proud of the way you represented the COANG and the Guard during the exercise.

Then, not long after returning from Red Flag, you orchestrated the relocation of our entire flying mission to DIA. While it wasn't far to move, this temporary relocation required hundreds of hours of careful planning and your tireless effort to execute. Thank you for doing what you had to in order to keep our mission going uninterrupted 24/7 while our runway was being overhauled.

Speaking of the runway, that was another huge accomplishment that was several years in the making but came to completion this year. Our CE team spearheaded the $40+ million project that levelled the runway and put over 62,000 yards of new concrete in place. Our finished product is top-notch and should only require minimal maintenance for the next fifty years. Thank you to everyone who contributed time and effort to make that massive endeavor such a huge success.

While we've been busy here, at Buckley, the 233d Space Group has also been hard-charging. They have conducted several OREs, hosted countless DV visits, and fine-tuned their skills on a 2-week training deployment, Global Lightning, and conducted advanced airlift training. Though they're a few miles up the road, I never worry about the 233d excelling in their around-the-clock mission.  The same goes for the 200 AS which was awarded the JOSAC Small Unit of the Year award its FOURTH time.

Meanwhile, the 240th Civil Engineer Flight assisted around the globe, providing engineering and design support to Patrick AFB, Clear AS, SOCOM and Cheyenne Mountain, in addition to providing command post exercise support to NORTHCOM J-42 and PACAF and project management for the Klamath Falls runway repair. The 140th Medical Group took 36 members to Eglin AFB to conduct annual training; the 140th Civil Engineering Squadron went to Scotland for two weeks to train with our partners abroad; and our CERFP, JISCC, and FSRT teams travelled to Utah to participate in their Vigilant Guard exercise. Your constant drive to improve yourselves and help others has kept everyone extremely busy this year AND promoted our new recruiting slogan..."Join the Colorado Guard, see the world!"

While we have conducted countless hours of invaluable training, we have also provided support in times of real-world crisis. Our Fatality Search and Recovery Team was hand-picked to respond to the devastating mudslides in Oso, Washington. Along with the Religious Support team, these men and women went and did what nobody ever wants to do...they recovered bodies of those who were killed in the mudslide and they did it with true honor. In addition to that, 42 of our Airmen voluntarily deployed in support of Overseas Contingency Operations. I am SO proud of these individuals' selflessness and commitment to our nation.

In addition to accomplishing our primary missions, throughout the year we have also supported various State Partnership Program exchanges here and abroad focusing on aircraft maintenance and safety, public affairs, CERFP, NCO development and range construction and operations. This was also the year that we celebrated the 10 year point in our mission critical partnership with Jordan, and began more extensive involvement with our partners in Slovenia. I hope that all of you will take advantage of every opportunity to work with both of these nations in the coming years.

On top of all that, you have adopted our new Air Force Inspection System Program, which brings with it many culture changes and several new systems to learn and implement. Thanks to each of you for jumping on board and helping us become one of the frontrunners in embracing this new way of doing business. I promise it will only become easier as we become more familiar with the program.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I could not be more proud and am continually amazed by all you do to serve our Nation and State. Keep up the great work. I continue to be honored to serve with each of you and look forward to the year to come. You have already been diligently preparing for our TSP deployment, which will be an exciting way to kick off 2015!

So until we drill again in the New Year, Cheryl and I wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.  Please continue to be safe and use your best judgment. And remember, if you ever need a ride home, or help of any kind, please don't hesitate to call the Command Post (720-847-9955) and a Wingman will be there for you, day or night.

Happy Holidays!

Colorado Air National Guard
140th Wing Commander