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19 JUN 2018 -- Some of the highlights from HONEYBADGER Day 1 included training for members who will be deploying as well as those just needing to fill annual training requirements; leadership training, expeditionary skills, resiliency training, self aid buddy care (SABC), and training specific to certain organizations. (Video by Staff Sgt. Sarah Pherigo, 183d Wing, Public Affairs)
19 JUN 2018 -- Some of the highlights from HONEYBADGER Day 1 included training for members who will be deploying as well as those just needing to fill annual training requirements; leadership training, expeditionary skills, resiliency training, self aid buddy care (SABC), and training specific to certain organizations. (Photos by Senior Airman Morgan Grigiski, 183d Wing, Public Affairs)
18 JUN 2018 -- Members of the 183d Wing prepare to travel to Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), WI, for HONEYBADGER, a two week exercise focused on training and team building.
Nearly 300 members of the 183d Wing participated in Honey Badger 2018, an exercise conducted at Volk Field CRTC, WI, over the past two weeks. The exercise was conducted in order to fulfill annual and training requirements and to boost unit morale. In the spirit of the motto "Fun, Train, Fun", members trained together and took part in morale building and leadership events, forming stronger bonds across the Wing, leading to a more cohesive, more effective unit. Stay tuned, more to come...
The Rising Six, an organization developed and ran by junior enlisted members of the Wing to promote professional development, welfare, and morale, recently wrapped up a three-month long charity drive benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois in Springfield, Illinois. Representing the Rising Six, Tech. Sgt. Kimberley Thomas, Senior Airman Rachel Clark, Airman 1st Class Claire Nelson, and Airman 1st Class Cody Kunkler, delivered the truck load of donations. The Ronald McDonald House was founded to provide support and a free place to stay for families with children receiving medical care. The House provides a sense of normalcy for the families while providing them a free place to stay so that it is one less worry on their minds. For this reason, the House runs and relies on donations like ours. The charity drive ran from April RSD through June RSD and the donated items were loaded up and dropped off on June 6th. The Rising Six was able to donate a truck-bed full of items thanks to the outpour of donations received from the entire Wing. On behalf of the Rising Six, we would like to thank everyone for their support and generosity. Being able to drop the items off, tour the House, and meet some of the guests was a humbling experience. It was encouraging to see how our donations would make an impact. If you missed out on donating to the Ronald McDonald House and would still like to or are interested in other volunteer opportunities there, you can check out their website at
Team 183, it is with great sadness to pass on that retired Col Robert J. Murphy, 183d Fighter Wing Commander from 1998 to 2004 died yesterday near his home in Michigan. He was a graduate of the Air Force Academy, and served on active duty as well as with the Kansas and Illinois Air National Guard. Visitation and funeral services will be Monday, 19 Feb 2018, at the Whitehall Evangelical Covenant Church, 900 Warner Street, Whitehall, MI 49461 at 1000 EST and 1100 EST respectively. Our condolences go out to his family and friends in their time of sorrow.
183d Air Operations Group welcomed Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes, Adjutant General for the State of Illinois, to its Commander’s Call Sunday. Maj. General Hayes addressed the Group, commending them on the outstanding work they are doing, and relating to them how their work helps accomplish a scope of global missions. Prior to his remarks, Gen. Hayes took time to recognize some recent award winners and participate in a mass promotion ceremony.
183d Security Forces Provide Aid to over 15,000 in Puerto Rico Part of the Air National Guard’s mission statement is, “to provide assistance during national emergencies.” In the months following the devastation Hurricanes Irma and Maria brought on Puerto Rico, the Air National Guard has fulfilled this charter by aiding hurricane affected areas by providing resources and manpower. The Illinois Air National Guard has responded to this disaster, sending several teams to Puerto Rico, serving in numerous capacities. The 183d SFS deployed a 14 member team to augment the 156th Security Forces Squadron (Puerto Rico Air National Guard) in their security and manning deficiencies. Like most of the island, the 156th sustained severe damage to their infrastructure. The 183d SFS aided in providing resource protection to the installation, providing standard SFS functions, such as static patrols, vehicle and foot patrols, aiding in VIP security, and responding to numerous events such as in flight emergencies and medical responses. In addition to resource protection, the 156th conducted missions for FEMA. Many not-for-profit organizations were having difficulties transporting their donations from the United States to Puerto Rico. FEMA had a method, however, the amount of red tape, was too cumbersome and time consuming to work efficiently, and the Department of Defense (DoD) stepped in to help out. The DoD aided in arranging transportation from the continental U.S. to Puerto Rico. Then military bases, such as the 156th, sorted the donations and worked with the organizations and FEMA to distribute the much needed aid. As an augmentation force to the 156th, the 183d SFS were tasked to help in these missions. These mission requirements were typically filled by SFS members who volunteered in their downtime. The missions ranged in distance and in scope; protecting military members in high crime areas, providing support to not-for-profit organizations, and aiding the wing in distributing donations. During the 30 day deployment, 183d SFS made a direct impact. The 20 missions they conducted resulted in directly providing aid to over 15,000 Puerto Rican citizens. They assisted in providing over 9,000 pounds of rice, 34,000 liters of water, and over 11,000 pounds of mixed food. Our SFS team gained new perspective through this experience. "When you have older individuals, grandfathers, grandmothers, coming out in tears just wanting to hug you, you get a sense of pride. No words to describe that", said Tech. Sgt. Luis Pozo, 183d SFS team member. Team Leader, Senior Master Sgt. Edward Ferguson was very proud of team’s motivation and accomplishments. “It has been very gratifying to see so many Airmen to volunteer to make a difference for the citizens of Puerto Rico. I had a list of SFS members wanting to go on their days off to help deliver the much-needed supplies. It was a perfect illustration of service before self.”
183d Wing Hosts Motivational Speaker Leadership development and team building expert, Stephon Williams, brought his enthusiastic message of diversity and inclusion to the 183d yesterday. Williams is an engaging speaker, who creates an atmosphere of inclusion and open dialogue within his audience. This was noticeable from the start, as he personally greeted and shook hands with each person as they entered the room prior to his presentation. Williams’ presentation began with a brief history lesson on Martin Luther King Jr. and Black History Month, citing the innovations of George Washington Carver, Thomas Mensah, George Alcorn, Garrett Morgan, Lewis Latimer, and Charles Drew, and how their accomplishments helped shape our lives and the world we live in today. Additionally, he touched on the role of the National Guard in the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka, KS, where civil unrest and rioting occurred when the desegregation of schools was being enforced. Through an amusing exercise linking pairs of members together with rope, the members had to share with learn about each other, in order to free themselves; the message being communication, knowledge, and partnership. Opening lines of communication leads to knowledge, which then can lead to inclusion, acceptance, and partnership. All of these things lead to more effective leadership and have a greater effect on mission accomplishment. Unconscious bias and racial stereotypes are perhaps the greatest barriers to open and effective communication. In an exercise aimed at breaking down those barriers, Williams said, “the best way to combat these barriers, is not to act on them”. “Why is this type of training important” Williams asked. “If members feel accepted and included, they will strive to do more, and be the best they can be. If a person feels valuable, they will want to continue to improve and stay where they feel like part of a team, making their work environment a better place." In the military, this can be tied directly to effective recruiting and retention. “We are leading people, not machines”, said Williams.
183d Wing Members Receive Degrees 19 members of the 183d Wing have recently earned Associate in Applied Science degrees in the career fields, through the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF). Col. John Patterson, Commander, 183d Wing, presented the degrees to the members in a ceremony Dec. 3rd. The Community College of the Air Force is accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This is the same body that accredits the Universities of Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. 300,000 active duty, guard, and enlisted personnel are enrolled though the CCAF, making it the world's largest community college system. The college awards over 22,000 Associate in Applied Science degrees, form 68 degree programs, annually. Top Row (left to right): Staff Sgt. Patrick V. Moreth, Senior Master Sgt. Tad A. Mayhall, Staff Sgt. Brandon W. Icenogle, Senior Airman Alek R. Kessinger, Master Sgt. Brittani L. Anderson, Senior Airman Samuel C. Kluge, Master Sgt. Melissa R. Bilbruck, Staff Sgt. Christina N. Nguyen Bottom Row (left to right): Senior Airman Stacy F. Atwell, , Master Sgt. Austin C. Dearing, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony D. Tate, Senior Master Sgt. Roger A. Smith, Col. John E. Patterson, Master Sgt. Ryan D. Cunningham, Senior Master Sgt. Paula J. Schou Not pictured: Master Sgt. Amber N. Bell, Staff Sgt. John P. Thomas, Tech. Sgt. Kimberly R. Thomas, Tech. Sgt. Kyle P. Vincent, Tech. Sgt. Jordan A. Wright
Maj. Gen. Richard Hayes, The Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard and Maj Gen. Ronald Paul, the Assistant Adjutant General – Air, toured the 183d Wing, at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport over the weekend, speaking to members about the importance of what they do, and thanking them for their faithful service to our country and the State of Illinois. While here, the generals visited the 217th Engineering Installation Squadron, 183d Force Support Squadron, 183d Logistics Readiness Flight, 183d Communications Flight, 183d Civil Engineering Squadron, 183d Maintenance Squadron’s jet engine Centralized Repair Facility, and the 183d Air Operations Group. At each location, they met the dedicated members of the Wing, and “coined” those who were recognized as superior performers during the unit’s recent CAPSTONE inspection. Those receiving The Adjutant General’s coin were: Airman 1st Class Thomas Rivera, 183d Communications Flight, Senior Airman Samuel Kluge, 183d Combat Operations Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Joshua Kates, 183d Maintenance Squadron, Tech. Sgt. Jon Kent, 183d Force Support Squadron, and Master Sgt. Rebecca Velazquez, 183d Force Support Squadron. Their tour of the unit included lunch with some of the Wing’s ;rst term Airmen, where they addressed questions the Airmen had on issues affecting the junior enlisted force. It was an opportunity for the Airmen to address their concerns directly with top leadership. Maj. Gen. Hayes impressed upon them, their importance to the accomplishment of the Wing’s various missions, how their experience in the Air Guard is a great way to recruit others, and praised them for their service.
Two members of the 183d Wing, Col. William L. "Wheels" Wheeler, Deputy Commander, 183d Air Operations Group, and Master Sgt. David Schreffler, 217th Engineering Installation Squadron (217EIS), recently participated in and completed Gold Star Mission's annual memorial bike ride. Lt. Col. (ret) James Loux and Chief Master Sgt. (ret) Brett Pier, former Commander, and Chief, 217EIS, respectively, also participated in the effort, acting as members of the support crew for the event. 34 cyclists participated in the 500 mile ride, starting in Cairo, Il, and ending the northwest suburbs of Chicago.
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