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NEWS | April 19, 2017

Nothing taken for granted

By Col. Richard S, Mathews, commander 628th Mission Support Group

My comments here are directed towards the 2,200 members of the 628th Mission Support Group. 

It is no small feat to consistently and effectively keep a military installation running smoothly, especially a joint installation. Yet the women and men of the 628th MSG do it every day, usually behind the scenes, without fanfare. Unfortunately, in our business, if we are in the spotlight, it is usually because something usually taken for granted has been degraded or completely lost, and MSG is needed to get it returned. 

First and foremost are the defenders. Your mission is continuous with posts and patrols always required to ensure Joint Base Charleston is safe and secure. If you are in the spotlight with blue lights flashing, our families are at an increased level of risk and we need you. The actions you take, often unnoticed, return our safety and security environment to normalcy. Many times your actions put yourselves at risk for the greater good of everyone. My hat goes off to all our defenders.

The Logistic Readiness Squadron also has several 24 hour operations such as fuel and vehicle operations. Making sure aircraft have the fuel needed, transportation provided and parts procured are essential to sustain an effective flying wing. Additionally, you are essential to Joint Base Charleston’s sea port operations with the logistic support you provide at our wharfs. Also, you operate and maintain our locomotives enabling our mission partners to execute their missions.

As always, Communications Focal Point, the base communications customer service desk, is busy along with the rest of our Communications Squadron members carrying out daily communications missions. In today’s virtual world, the loss of phone, radio or computer service is recognized immediately and your support is required to restore service quickly. Your timely response recently to reset the aircraft radio system due to a malfunction after a power outage was critical to avoid mission impacts. For those who work Knowledge Management, you have a thankless but critical job and I salute you.

I also tip my hat to those belonging to the Force Support Squadron team. You are part of the largest squadron on Joint Base Charleston and have the broadest and most diverse mission portfolio.  For those involved in our operations of the Child Development Centers, education, lodging, fitness, Family Services, clubs, bowling, golf, outdoor programs and personnel support, you positively touch the majority of families across Joint Base Charleston in many ways and I appreciate all you do.

For the Civil Engineers, your presence is usually not needed until something goes wrong, such as a water line break or power outage, both of which have occurred in recent weeks. Of course our fire fighters, explosive ordnance disposal and emergency managers are all usually needed in time of crisis and danger. We are reminded how much we need you when the usually beautiful Lowcountry weather changes and a hurricane crosses our path. During Hurricane Matthew, we lost many things often taken for granted including our homes. Our Civil Engineers employed all of their mission sets to restore what had been taken from us.

Last but certainly not least are our contracting officers. Your skills and services are constantly needed by the five squadrons in the MSG as well as all of JB Charleston’s mission partners. Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of accompanying you to meet with the Naval Consolidated Brig leadership to develop specific plan to acquire the contracts needed for the brig to function effectively. Last fall, in support of JB Charleston, you awarded the most number of contracts since Joint Base Charleston was established in 2010. Your tireless efforts to buy out and exhaust the entire Unfunded Requirements List are a primary reason all mission sets across JB Charleston are performing as effectively as they are.

To all the members of the MSG, I want you to know, I do not take you for granted. Thank you for your service to JB Charleston and our nation. It is truly an honor and privilege to serve beside you and witness the many great accomplishments you achieve and challenges you overcome every day.