To the members of the 128th Community Council,

As you may already be aware, Col James Locke was relieved of command by the Adjutant General of Wisconsin last week and I immediately assumed responsibility for the men and women of the 128th Air Refueling Wing. This action adds on to the already unprecedented times that we find ourselves operating in but I’m confident that it will not impact our ability to work together with the 128th Community Council for the good of Wisconsin.

The COVID-19 global pandemic is a situation that none of us would have expected six months ago. Its impact is being felt across the Nation. The 128 ARW is activity supporting Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response and will continue to be a pillar of strength in our community. The challenge to our Wing is that while we navigate this uncharted territory we must also keep up our initiatives for the future of our installation and our economy. That is where we need your support.

Simultaneous to current operations that will save lives and our continued support of national defense missions we must also have big picture discussions in regards to infrastructure projects for future missions, the MKE airport master plan, as well as post-COVID-19 recovery. We have a difficult road ahead. I am telling the folks at the 128 ARW that we can do our part to help heal the economic damage from COVID-19 by getting our industries back to work through military construction projects and a focus on the future.

Just as we have successfully relied on our council partners to advance future capabilities at General Mitchell Air National Guard Base in Milwaukee, we are looking for your partnership in this tumultuous time in world history. In the tradition of the 128th Air Refueling Wing family we will adapt and overcome all the challenges we face. We are in this together!

Interim Col Shawn J. Gaffney