A Holiday Message To the Soldiers, Airmen and Civilian Employees of the NHNG
By Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities
/ Published December 22, 2020
CONCORD, N.H. --
As we take a much-earned pause to enjoy the holidays with our family and friends, I want to commend you for persevering through an extraordinary year.
2020 truly has been the Year of the Guard.
Never before has a governor called on his citizen-soldiers and airmen to support such an enduring and complex relief effort in our own backyard. You have exceeded every challenge during what has been the largest, and longest, Guard call-up for a noncombat event in our nation’s history.
Since March, more than 740 New Hampshire guardsmen have been on orders supporting COVID-19 relief operations across the state. At our busiest, we were supporting eight different lines of effort. Collectively, you did more than just your job, whether it was PPE distribution, testing, or lending a hand to the NH Food Bank. You played an invaluable role in protecting the health and safety of the citizens of New Hampshire.
In the midst of mask protocols, school closures and restricted travel, we continued to train, deploy multiple units and field new airframes at Pease. More importantly, we sustained our readiness and core warfighting skills, surpassing the most optimistic expectations.
Under our mission triad of Fighting and Winning America’s Wars, Securing the Homeland, and Building Enduring Partnerships, you rose to the occasion every time. This month alone we’ve again almost doubled the number of activated soldiers and airmen to just under 400. In addition to supporting the state’s vaccination plan, we began new missions at the state veterans home and prison, and for the second time stood up a 211 call center at the Pembroke training center. In the New Year, more of you will be activated to support the state’s vaccination plan for distribution to the general population.
Task Force Sentinels, under the command of Lt. Col. Ken Kruger and Command Sgt. Maj. James Westgate, are well into their deployment in support of the Southwest Border Mission in southern California. Eight NHANG airmen stationed in the United Arab Emirates continue to support multiple operations across the CENTCOM area of responsibility. On Christmas Eve, they will be speaking live with Peter St. James during a special broadcast on WNTK 99.7 FM. The show begins at 9 a.m. and will be streamed live at https://www.wntk.com/.
On behalf of Governor Sununu, our congressional delegation, and the citizens of New Hampshire, thanks for your hard work, dedication and living the Guard motto of being, “Always Ready, Always There.” During this holiday season, take time to reflect and spend time with your families and friends. Remain vigilant and look out for each other. There is more work to be done in 2021.
Major General David Mikolaities
New Hampshire National Guard