Brigadier General Hepner's October 2011 Message

Oklahoma Air National Guard, Tulsa OK -- This month finds our aviation package back in the AOR taking the fight to the enemy. Last week our ADVON packages and main body departed base. This weekend our jets will launch to meet the rest of our war fighters on the ground. This short notice AEF tasking and your response displays to the Combat Air Forces that you are the one that steps up to the plate when they are in need of help. I can't tell you how proud we are at the absolutely herculean effort that was put forth to make this happen. Instead of a six month spins which are accustomed to, you deployed this package in under 45 days!! Your "can do" actions and attitude were very evident and I would like to thank you all for your support.
We will complete most of the wing's fitness testing this UTA. I can attest that I have witnessed great pride and camaraderie in completing the test. Your effort to help and encourage fellow guardsmen shows true character of what this wing is made of. The failure rate is declining and I believe we are a better fighting force for embracing our physical fitness program.
Nine of our warriors returned last week from a 120 day tour to Kuwait. A long tour in the summertime desert and coming home to the fall season will be a great relief. I received some positive feedback on their performance while accomplishing the mission.
As heart breaking as it is, I would like to thank all of you again for the most gracious display of support to our recent Fallen Warriors Dignified Transfers that have taken place over the last few weeks. The families of these Fallen Heroes have expressed appreciation of your efforts to make these events as respectful and dignified as possible. I would like to thank Lt Col Schotter for an outstanding job of coordinating and planning, ensuring the families a smooth transaction during this difficult time.
As always, we have airmen deployed in the AOR. Please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers for a safe return. Strength and Honor.