The official podcast of the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing - Our mission is to provide worldwide precision intelligence and command and control along with trained and experienced Airmen for expeditionary combat support and homeland security
102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for April 2021 - Col. Sean Riley
Col. Sean Riley, commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, delivers the 102 IW Command Message for April 2021. He talked about his goal to establish the 102nd as a unit of choice, reviewed some of the steps that wing leadership has taken and discussed how far the wing has progressed, achieving a 95% retention rate, where over 90% of eligible Airmen are choosing to reenlist with the 102nd.
“So while there is still work to do, we are heading in the right direction, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you do to make the 102nd a world-class organization,” says Col. Riley. “With everyone’s help, we are clearly on our way to establishing ourselves as a unit of choice!”
Members of the 102d, I am excited to bring you this month’s Command Message: Spring and nicer weather are just around the corner. the wing is back on step with in-person drills, and we are fully engaged with both our federal and state mission sets
When I took command of the 102d one of my lines of effort was to – establish the 102d as a unit of choice. supporting Airmen personally & developing them professionally, enhancing quality of life by maintaining a climate that fosters, accountability, inclusivity and trust
So leadership across the wing helped me develop Wing-wide Goals for 2021, to get after this Line of effort. Those goals are: Maintaining a retention rate greater than 90%, Looking for opportunities to recognize deserving Airmen, Providing Timely Feedback – enlisted & officer performance reports, Reenergize the Wing Diversity Council, Promotion Board Process, Implement an Enlisted Force Development Program at the 102nd.
So how are we doing so far? Thanks to all of your efforts, our current retention rate is 95% and over 90% of eligible Airmen are choosing to reenlist and stay at the 102d. Commanders at all levels were challenged to review military decorations for all assigned Airmen and we announce and track all regional and national level award programs – So far this year, Mr. Scott Etler was selected as the Inspector General Civilian of the Year for the Air National Guard and Master Sgt. Meghan Gehl was selected as the ANG, Region 1, First Sergeant of the Year.
We continue to improve with the timeliness of EPRs and OPRs and our IG office just completed an internal review of Airmen Comprehensive Assessments which identified several opportunities to make sure Airmen at all levels are receiving timely and meaningful feedback
Our Human Resource Advisor, SMSgt Hayner has drafted a new vision for our Diversity Council and held the first meeting in a long time during the March Drill.
Chief Dubuc developed a Tiger Team that is Improving our advisory councils, now the Top 3 and Rising 6. Developing a program for deliberate, Enlisted Force Development for all Airmen across the wing
So while there is still work to do, we are heading in the right direction, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you do to make the 102d a world-class organization. With everyone’s help, we are clearly on our way to establishing ourselves as a unit of choice!
102nd Intelligence Wing News Update for March 29, 2021 - Defenders Deployed to D.C.; Strengthened Resiliency
This is Airman Francesca Skridulis with the 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs Office with the latest news from the wing.
OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. - Security Forces Airmen from the 102nd Intelligence Wing deployed to Washington D.C. for over a month and a half, contributing to a mission at the Capitol building during the inauguration, and later, a civil disturbance mission at the White House.
The Airmen’s resilience in the face of adverse conditions allowed them to partner with other forces to teach and learn new tactics that ultimately furthered and strengthened the knowledge and skills of our airmen, and the joint forces that keep our country safe.
“They were very resilient,” said Master Sgt. Michael Anderson, the team leader for the group for both missions. “They were able to bounce back time and time again.”
Eight Airmen from the 102nd Security Forces Squadron arrived in Washington on Jan. 14, just one week after the insurrection on the Capitol. They were a quick reaction force responsible for the south eastern end of the Capitol complex, working under the 1-181st Infantry Regiment, a Massachusetts Army National Guard unit. They worked taxing, 12-hour shifts where they conducted multiple threat assessments and used their knowledge of civil disturbance operations from missions in Boston to ensure that the Capitol and troops were safe and prepared in case a riot ensued.
“They stuck through it,” said Anderson. “They slept in an office that was being redone because of mold, so it stunk. They were just great, and I couldn’t have done it without those guys putting in the hours and just toughening it out and embracing the suck, so to speak.”
The Airmen worked closely with the Capitol police, giving classes and sharing tactics and new technology. As a result of this partnership, the Airmen were able to coordinate the ability to survey the area from the roof of the Cannon House Office Building during the inauguration, providing troops on the ground better intelligence and support.
Soon after the inauguration, their mission ended and they headed home. They made it as far as Springfield, Mass. before they were called back and told they had a new mission, to protect the White House. Seven Airmen from the 102nd returned to D.C, where they were working under the 164th Transportation Battalion, another Massachusetts Army National Guard unit.
Several members from the 102nd SFS had an experienced background working for local law enforcement outside of their Security Forces position within the Air National Guard, making them subject matter experts on civil disturbances. Their unique perspective and knowledge allowed them to jump head first into a joint-force environment where they trained over 300 Army soldiers on riot-control procedures.
“We were able to formulate not only a PowerPoint presentation, but we ended up training almost all the Army guys there,” said Anderson.
Airmen from the 102nd also got the opportunity to train and learn from the Secret Service Uniformed Division. Training with the Secret Service was a great experience and it changed some of the 102nd’s tactics and the way they’ll train going forward, Anderson said.
“We definitely learned how to become organized and remain self-sufficient in a mass of people with a bunch of units from all over the country,” said Anderson. “It was good to have guys there from Massachusetts. I was really very proud of our unit when we left.”
This has been a 102nd Intelligence Wing news update.
For more news from the wing, visit our website at www.102iw.ang.af.mil or search for 102iw on any major social media platform.
102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 22, 2021 - April is Month of the Military Child
On this episode, Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to recurring guest, Ms. Christi Garner about the needs of children in different age groups and some tips and resources that parents can use to ease some of their children's anxieties and help them work towards good mental health. Ms. Christi Garner is a licensed therapist and one of the 102nd ISR Group key spouses, and has worked extensively with active duty service members and families. www.traumaeducator.com
Garvin: hello everyone this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd Air National Guard Intelligence Wing today we are going to talk about month of the military child which is in April and we're going to do a quick podcast with miss Christi Garner she's one of our 102nd ISR key spouses she's also a licensed therapist who has worked extensively with active duty service members and families she's been on with us before and has a wealth of knowledge and we're going to talk a little bit about some parenting tips and we're going to share some resources with you that can be super super helpful and hopefully a lot of parents i know have really struggled during covid you've had to navigate a lot of change and and so have your children so welcome Christi
Garner: so glad to be here Jill thank you thank you
Garvin: so yeah what are some tips and some resources that you might have for us
Garner: you know i've been talking a lot with people that have all ages of children and i think that there's different issues right for different levels of kids so the people that have little bitties at home there's some different issues happening right and i think it depends if those little bitties get to have pods of people they're interacting with or if they have some brothers and sisters or if it's just you and your little bitty so we'll talk a little bit about that and then of course elementary school and a little bit older kids we're seeing a lot of isolation for those kids especially the older ones not a lot of interaction not a lot of peer positives social support all of the things that those older kids used to be able to do to get that need met for connection like their developmental brain tells them they need they're not getting it so a lot of negative self-talk a lot of i would also say some suicidal ideations going up pretty high in those teens and so we're really looking at ways that you can help the older kids with some of those issues that you might not have thought of before and i think with those middle years just finding ways to engage more i know that our middle year kid at home is just constantly needing extra attention extra board games extra card games and extra things to do so figuring out where we can find some of those might be helpful what do you think about some of those tools too
Garvin: yeah i love that and i like that you mentioned well just different age groups and it depends where someone is develop mentally in terms of what they can understand and what they can can grasp the other thing i was wondering about too is is yes people some children have really missed that connection and socialization piece and i know that some children have also enjoyed being able to you know do school from home and are having anxiety about returning back into the classroom and i know some have already have con have been in the classroom already but just wondering how parents can kind of help help ease some of their anxiety around returning back into the classroom too
Garner: yeah i love that and i think we can start talking about that issue returning to the classroom and you're probably seeing two different ways the kids are reacting to that right i know some kids are anxious and ready to get back to school and really see it as a positive part of their life and some kids probably have the opposite reactio
102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 15, 2021 - Move your grief
On this episode Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks with Ms. Sue Andersen about suicide loss and resources for grief management. Ms. Sue Andersen is the board president of the Samaritans and a certified yoga teacher. She hosts classes and workshops helping those who’ve experienced loss to 'Move Your Grief'.
Jill: hello everybody this is Jill Garvin I am the director of psychological health for the 102nd intelligence swing today for our wellness podcast I have a guest and her name is Sue Anderson I know Sue from the samaritan she's the board president of the samaritans she's it's a local support organization they have a crisis line we've talked about it on this podcast before they have several support services groups around suicide loss. Sue is also a yoga teacher and coach working with people who have experienced loss and that are grieving she offers a lot of yoga classes and workshops and we'll talk a little bit about how she got into that and at the end of the podcast we will give some information around some of the workshops and classes she has to offer and for the 102nd as well. Sue is also a suicide loss survivor who lost her son Ian and so i've asked her to share a little bit of her story and things that might have helped her along her grieving journey and again it's always important for us to have this conversation here at the 102nd as we try to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help as quickly as possible. so welcome Sue thank you for being here today with me.
Sue: thank you so much Jill
Jill: yeah if you don't mind love to hear a little bit about about your son Ian how old was he when he died
Sue: he was 25 and this was nine years ago this april and it was a shock you know he did have some some issues mental health issues very stressed but you know we never expected that he would die by suicide and at the time uh he was living in Rhode Island and we were here on the cape so you know there was a lot of it was it was an interesting time I would say because people down here on the cape where we were living didn't know him and so but everybody that we knew in Rhode Island you know where where we had lived previously of course knew him but I found probably a month after he died a resource that was an online forum called the alliance of hope for suicide loss survivors and one of the first recommendations that I got from somebody there was a breathing exercise and it was about you know inhale to a count of four exhale to account an inhale to a count of three exhale to a count of four and the idea was to you know just first of all that keeps your mind busy when you're saying when you're counting right but also just keep that regular breath because you get breathless you know in grief and stress and anxiety and I found that just so so helpful and then after that I began taking a yoga class locally and I had done yoga previously actually encouraged by my son but mostly that was from an exercise standpoint and now I was um going to the classes really for more about the breathing and the meditation so it was that's that was how I kind of got into it and that as I mentioned the the breathing was one of the first things that I found incredibly helpful at the beginning of the of my grief journey
Jill: I think almost every the last few podcasts we've had we've actually talked about breathing techniques and the benefits to our nervous system and stress and anxiety so yeah another great example of how it could help you through such a traumatic time
Sue: right right and it's I guess you don't really think about because we don't think about breathing because that's what we do but you notice when you're when you start these other breathing techniques how you know you're you really open up your chest opens up for example you know your lungs open up
102nd Intelligence Wing Wellness Podcast for March 10, 2021 - Heroes In Transition- Communication, Connection, and Community
On this episode Ms. Jill Garvin, Wing Director of Psychological Health, speaks to Ms. Kristen Alexander about the importance of communication, connection and community when it comes to relationships. Ms. Kristen Alexander is a Heroes In Transition spouses group coordinator. Heroes In Transition provides many family, couples and veterans programs to our community. heroesintransition.org
Jill: hello everybody this is Jill Garvin the director of psychological health for the 102nd Intelligence Wing welcome back to our wellness podcast today I have Kristen Alexander here with us she is from heroes and transition a lot of you have probably heard about them one of my favorite organizations and favorite people they assist veterans and military families and do a lot for our community and for a lot of our members here at the 102nd actually Kristen and her husband John they are both couples group facilitators and Kristin is the spouse's group facilitator and John is the veterans facilitator co-facilitator am I saying that the right facilitators right
Kristen: yeah coordinators facilities that's what I have to say it's all good
Jill: yeah so coordinators I apologize so one of the reasons I wanted to talk to Kristen about some of the programs and offerings that that heroes in transition has is because a lot of people i'm finding especially since Covid have really been struggling in relationships marriages that have broken apart or relationships that are really really struggling and a lot of people are struggling right now and I have definitely had an uptick in in my office and my arena around people struggling with that and heroes in transition certainly has stepped up during Covid and and is offering a lot of different things to meet the needs of our veterans and their families and since Kristen is involved in the the program for for couples and and in relationships I wanted her to tell us about what they're doing and introduce yourself and tell us how did you get involved with heroes in transition you and your husband you know give us a little a little background
Kristen: awesome thanks Jill so my name is Kristen Alexander as Jill said and we are going into our fifth year with heroes it is my husband had started with them in a conversation of facilitating a veterans group and carrying that on and I was kind of like yeah well there’s spouses two so because my husband's a veteran so we've been through the deployments and you know all the things and so that really sparked an awesome conversation about starting with couples first and building the trust there and then breaking off and doing kind of separate groups so we started from the grassroots up and we started with the couples group we created a couples group and it just has continued to grow and grow and grow now that we have now we have to do lotteries for our events
Kristen: yeah so it's been amazing and it's been amazing to see the growth not only just within the organization in the group but the growth and the friendships that have come together because of that space
Jill: i've heard some amazing feedback from our members that have gone on some of the couples events and retreats and it sounds like it is really well planned and just very therapeutic and amazing
Kristen: yeah it's really great coming from because i'm not a therapist you know I don't i'm a spouse you know I am half of the married couple so that's the role that we take with it is you know creating the relatedness of another angle you know and what that does is that opens up the door for more conversation for maybe more needs that whether it be the veteran or the couple or the spouse might need they tend to be a little bit more open to maybe furthering on with other areas but you know reading just some of the things that you know we get feedback on and with covet it's
102nd Intelligence Wing Command Message for March 2021 - Col. Robert Driscoll
Col. Robert Driscoll, commander of the 102nd Medical Group, delivers the 102IW Command Message for March 2021. He spoke about some of the missions that the Massachusetts Air National Guard has contributed to this past year, and reviewed the latest safety protocols, including mask guidance from the Department of the Air Force.
“I have been inspired by your selfless dedication to the mission whether it was at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, the Covid testing mission, caring for our most vulnerable citizens in the state’s long term care facilities or currently with the vaccine mission – I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart,” says Col. Driscoll.
Hello – My name is Colonel Bob Driscoll – Commander of the 102 Medical Group and I have the honor and privilege to work with some of most inspiring Airman in the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
Medical professionals who truly emulate the Air Force Core Values specifically Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do.
This includes the 102 Intelligence Wing members who (although they do not have a medical AFSC but possessed a medical certification) stepped forward over the past year to assist in the state response to the Covid pandemic.
I have been inspired by your selfless dedication to the mission whether it was at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, the Covid testing mission, caring for our most vulnerable citizens in the state’s long term care facilities or currently with the vaccine mission – I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
As we slowly and carefully return to the Wing for the March RSD I would like to take this opportunity to review the safety protocols with you to include the Department of the Air Force Guidance on the use of Masks:
All individuals on the property of the 102nd Intelligence Wing will wear a mask, including those who have been vaccinated.
The only exceptions for mask wear are to accommodate a religious belief; if you have underlying health conditions WITH medical documentation; if you are outdoors and proper physical distancing can be maintained; if you are actively participating in physical fitness activities indoors or outdoors and physical distancing is maintained; if you are alone in a vehicle or in a vehicle with a member of your household; when it interferes with proper wear of PPE for mission duties; when personnel are in aircrew positions during critical phases or flight emergencies; or when clear or unrestricted visualization of verbal communication are essential for effective operations.
All masks should be functional, clean, and cover the month and nose at all times.
Other safety protocols include social distancing (6 feet apart), hand washing, as well as temperature checks when coming into a building.
Also if you have a fever or the chills; have a cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; feeling fatigued; have muscle or body aches, a headache; have loss of taste or smell; have a sore throat, congestion or runny nose or are experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea - Please stay home, call your medical provider and notify your supervisor.
The Medical Group is advocating and working very hard on your behalf to obtain and provide the Covid vaccine for you.
I ask that each member of the Wing do their homework on the vaccine and review the literature so when the vaccine is available to you - you can make an educated decision and not one based on misinformation or rumors.
I am happy to say I have been vaccinated to help protect myself, my family and my coworkers at the Medical Group. If you have any questions regarding the vaccine contact your medical provider for guidance.
I hear Covid coming up everywhere as the reason for inactivity. We cannot let Covid paralyze us. In closing I want to remind everyone that We are the United States Air Force - We are Guardsman