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Conversation with the Wing

Des Moines, IA -- The 132d Fighter Wing was born in February 1941 with the creation of the 124th Observation Squadron and since then has performed missions all around the globe. We've accomplished our tasking - submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico during WWII, maintaining a strong, capable Cold War force, and flying combat air patrols over Iraq - in an extraordinary way and we're known for getting the job done with Excellence. That legacy of greatness that began sixty years ago will take us over the horizon to new challenges and opportunities ahead. It's the truth; the unit is on track and doing great as a team.

We're no longer a strategic reserve; the state and nation needs us to be an operational reserve and we'll be called to action more often. Balancing increased training requirements, accomplishing AEF deployments and inspections, and joint and domestic operations tasking will require an even greater commitment by all Airmen in the Wing. Technological advances - like upgrades in our computer network and new logistics programs - are changing the way war fighters train and employ. I know these statements aren't revelations. Everyone knows change is the constant in our organization and new Airmen joining our unit are comfortable with it; members who have been around a little longer may struggle a bit with the transforming nature of our mission. There is no need for concern or distraction regarding our ability to get the mission done in the future with the same outstanding results we've had over the years. The leadership in the 132d Fighter Wing are engaged, talented Airmen on our 'flight lines' all around base are doing awesome work, and the 132d Fighter Wing has a depth of experience in performing our state and federal mission that is way good. It's the truth; the unit is on track and doing great as a team.

Transition and change in the type and manner of mission in the days ahead will require a new assessment of the efficiencies we use in day-to-day operations. The reason our sixty-year-old organization - part of the three-hundred-sixty-year-old National Guard and this country's oldest fighting force - is so exceptional is because we have members who have been performing their trade for many years. We understand how to maintain jets, secure our Wing with limited manpower, and process and prepare Airmen for deployment because of our depth of experience - something the Active Duty can't draw from and that will result in the Air Force eventually coming to the Air National Guard for Associations. The future of the 132d Fighter Wing is bright because we will continue to be innovative in the way we accomplish the mission and that ability is recognized at the state and national level. The Distributed Training Operations Center is an example of inventive and forward-leaning use of simulation devices and cyber networks to train joint war fighters and is becoming the standard for low-cost, persistent, and agile training in the Combat Air Force and other joint agencies. It's the truth; the unit is on track and doing great as a team.

Look to the past for heritage and into the future for opportunity; gaze at the con trails of our 'formations' arcing across our successes through the years and be confident. New leadership, energy and ideas will rejuvenate and continue to sustain the unit - as has happened from February 1941 to May 2010. To be part of a tradition of service to family, community, and country and Called to work with a team dedicated to one another and mission is something very, very special. It's the truth; the unit is on track and doing great as a team.

Colonel Mark "Eddie" Hammond
132nd Fighter Wing Commander