HomeNewsArticle Display

Message from 108th Wing Commander July 2020

.

New Jersey Air National Guard Capt. Sara Kucharski, a physician assistant with the 108th Medical Group, briefs civilian volunteers arriving at the Field Medical Station at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, N.J., April 6, 2020. The New Jersey National Guard medical staff is assisting state and local officials in operating the FMS in COVID-19 relief effort. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Michael Schwenk)

New Jersey Air National Guard medics with the 108th Wing process specimens at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020.  The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

New Jersey Air National Guard medics with the 108th Wing process specimens at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020. The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

.

New Jersey Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Emilio E. Gonzalez, a 108th Medical Group public health technician, administers a temperature screening to a Security Forces Airman at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., March 19, 2020. The Medical Group screened members for possible fever, a common symptom of COVID-19, before being put on state active duty orders. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Andrea A. S. Williamson)

.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Veronika Sheldon, a Paralegal with the 177th Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, quantifies personnel data at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park in Edison, N.J., April 19, 2020. More than 60 NJARNG Soldiers from the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as well as seven Airmen from the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing, were assigned to the Home to assist the civilian staff in caring for the residents during the COVID-19 crisis. The Home, which is run by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, has residents who have served in every war since World War II.

.

U.S. Army Spc. Jabari Ashanti, a Combat Medic with the 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG), checks a resident’s blood pressure at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park in Edison, N.J., April 17, 2020. More than 60 NJARNG Soldiers from the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as well as seven Airmen from the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing, were assigned to the Home to assist the civilian staff in caring for the residents during the COVID-19 crisis. The Home, which is run by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, has residents who have served in every war since World War II.

A picture of U.S. Army Spc. Jabari Ashanti, a Combat Medic with the 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard, checking a resident’s blood pressure.

U.S. Army Spc. Jabari Ashanti, a Combat Medic with the 1st Battalion, 114th Infantry Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard (NJARNG), checks a resident’s blood pressure at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park in Edison, N.J., April 17, 2020. More than 60 NJARNG Soldiers from the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, as well as seven Airmen from the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing, were assigned to the Home to assist the civilian staff in caring for the residents during the COVID-19 crisis. The Home, which is run by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, has residents who have served in every war since World War II. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Moseley)

A New Jersey Air Guard Airman from the 108th Wing provides traffic control at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020.  The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

A New Jersey Air Guard Airman from the 108th Wing provides traffic control at a COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020. The testing site, established in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is staffed by the New Jersey Department of Health, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey National Guard. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --
108th Wing,
Jersey summer is here and I hope everyone can find some enjoyment during these difficult times.  Please spend some time recharging your batteries and creating memories with your family and friends.  The safety of you and your families is paramount.  Conduct a risk assessment and take the advice of an old guy who is only here by the grace of God (they made me a ground safety guy as a Lt because of all my mistakes!!):
1)      Plan out your adventure (first aid kit, someone knows where you’re going, weather, rest breaks, etc)
2)      Don’t be lazy…use the right tools and PPE for the job (starting fires, BBQ, motorcycle clothing, lifevests, yardwork)
3)      Protect those around you…watch alcohol consumption, sunburn, riptides, etc.  You have the training to make sure everyone has a safe, great time.
Travel this summer:
Please be smart about your vacation plans.  COVID19 cases are rising in several hot spots and we can’t do our mission if we have an outbreak in our Wing.  Any member who intends to travel to a COVID 19 hot spot is required to inform their supervisor so we can plan accordingly.  Generally speaking, you must self-quarantine for 14 days after returning from certain locations designated by the State.  The list of States is updated regularly.  Here is the link for the latest NJ COVID 19 news:
Racial disparity:
I hope everyone had a chance to read the message Chief Rivera and I put out earlier along with those from other leaders in the Air Force.  I want to reiterate my commitment to addressing bias and discrimination issues within the Wing.  We’ve just learned that the Air Force IG will be conducting small group sessions on JBMDL on 7 Jul.  This includes ANG and AF Reserves.  Our Community Action Team (CAT) is developing a plan for future small group discussions similar to what we did last year during the Resiliency Tactical Pause.  I had hoped to accomplish these sessions during August UTA, but the ongoing health emergency will prevent that.  Instead, Chief Rivera and I will do a Facebook Live session during the Aug drill.
Aug drill:
The August drill footprint will be slightly larger than June’s UTA.  We still have to comply with JBMDL and State restrictions.  Please speak with your supervisor if you want to come in during the week to make up missed UTAs and knock out some training.  I am anticipating degraded operations for the next 6-12 months.  Please be creative and innovative to get your required training done. 
I am very proud of all the Wing’s accomplishments the past year (especially since 16 March!!).  It takes every member to 1) protect the airmen, 2) protect the mission, and 3) protect the community.  Thanks to all who volunteered for the State taskings; I hope you found fulfillment in serving your State.
Happy 4th of July team!
Col. John Cosgrove