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April Commander's View

  • Published
  • By Col. Dave Bakos
  • 146th AW

This winter has been especially tough on other parts of the country, and the National Guard has been present helping fellow Americans whose homes are flooded and where streets are covered with dangerous amounts of snow and ice. Every week we see nationwide news reports showing guardsmen working side by side with local officials providing relief and aid to people in crisis. The recent catastrophic mudslide in Washington state which has now claimed the lives of at least 30 people prompted our state to prepare a team, and at this moment 13 members of the 146th are preparing to assist with recovering the remains of those still unaccounted for.

I thank all of you who continue to train and prepare for these real-world missions which occur all the time and without notice. We continue to show the world that we are always ready to respond to the call.

Training is the main focus this month with MAFFS training starting Sunday and going through all of next week. Please help us welcome members of the USFS and local Ventura County firefighting agencies that you may see around the base. Train with purpose and be prepared for a busy fire season as the drought in California continues to parch our forests.

The mid-rotation for our latest large deployment from Ops and Maintenance is due to take off for the desert in just a few weeks at the end of the month, and all reports are that the performance of these Airmen has been exceptional. Please bid the deploying Airmen farewell as they prepare for their journey, and welcome the returning troops home.

Next month's drill will highlight a large scale, inter-agency exercise at Camarillo Airport that many of our squadrons are participating in, called Operation Medical Base. I encourage everyone to ask questions and get involved in all training that involves how we as the Air National Guard would respond in a real-world situation. Defense Support of Civil Authorities, known as DSCA, is a cornerstone of what we do. This exercise will provide us practice in how to come together with other civilian medical agencies and set up a medical base under field conditions.

Drill weekends will be shifting around slightly this year in order to accommodate a "super-drill" in September where we will accomplish most all of our ancillary training requirements. What this means is that June drill will be cancelled and rescheduled in September. Please ask your supervisors for more information and details.

Blue Skies,
Colonel Bakos