As you’re aware, the last few months have been strange and challenging to say the least. In the midst of the chaos, I’ve had the honor of assuming command of this great wing along with Col. Chris Snyder as the vice.
Unfortunately, the current environment doesn’t allow for mass gatherings like wing-wide events and commander’s calls, so I thought I’d take a moment to brag about efforts put forth by our fellow Guardsmen that may have been overshadowed by recent events.
The COVID-19 Response
The COVID-19 crisis hit in mid-March and forced us to postpone the April drill and conduct our first-ever virtual drill in May. It also required a portion of our full-time force to work remotely until they were able to return to the office in late-May and early-June.
From my perspective, you all performed flawlessly, which was no surprise to me. The 184th Wing has a long history of rising to challenging situations, and this was another example of our resiliency and adaptability. Thank you for being flexible and patient as we get through this.
As part of the COVID-19 domestic operations, the 184th Medical Group sent 34 Airmen to multiple locations across Kansas to help with the statewide emergency response. They were on the frontline of this crisis, and their efforts have been noticed at all levels of the Kansas National Guard.
For many of our Airmen, the wing’s deployment cycle began in late-2019 and early-2020. There was no way to predict what the world would be like by the time they were scheduled to come home.
A few of our Airmen were delayed in their return, but fortunately, the DoD ended portions of the travel ban before our folks were scheduled to come back. Thankfully, most of our Airmen returned home on time.
Getting people out the door and bringing them home is no small task. It takes precise coordination and a lot of paperwork between many entities to make sure Airmen have what they need to go downrange.
The main players include the Force Support Squadron; the Logistics Readiness Squadron; the Security Forces Squadron; the Comptroller Flight and the unit deployment managers.
I appreciate everyone involved in sending our folks off and bringing them home safely. You did an incredible job!
Even as the environment changes every day, we’re finding our new battle rhythm. This means finding new ways of coordinating, communicating and interacting with each other and with our local community.
Being ready and lethal, caring for each other and our community, treating all with dignity and respect, being good wingmen, and safety is part of our wing’s overall strategic mission; therefore, social distancing and wearing masks will be part of our battle rhythm for the foreseeable future. I ask that you continue to be flexible and patient, and stay informed.
Based on your record of professionalism and selfless service, I have no doubt that the Fighting Jayhawks will emerge from this stronger, smarter and more efficient than ever before.
Thank you for all you do! I truly appreciate it.
Col. Jason L. Knobbe