Military News

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tampa mayor recognizes Guardsmen with unusual honor

by Tech. Sgt. William Buchanan
125th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/17/2015 - Jacksonville, Fla. -- Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn honored local Air National Guardsmen by officially proclaiming Oct. 17, 2015, as 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron Day.

This is the first time that a Florida Air National Guard unit has been recognized with a mayoral proclamation of this kind.

The proclamation recognized the 290th JCSS located at MacDill Air Force Base for providing tactical communications systems during times of crisis, war, and natural disaster recovery. Specifically, deployment teams from the 290th JCSS have participated in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and provided emergency assistance during Hurricanes Andrew, Opal, Charlie, Francis, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis, Rita, Ike, Wilma and Katrina.

"The 290th ... can truly claim that we are Floridians and we belong to the city of Tampa," said Lt. Col. Matthew Giles, commander of the 290th Joint Communication Support Squadron (JCSS). "This is a reminder that Tampa has said 'Thank you.'"

Giles said it's extremely important to recognize the service and sacrifices of his Airmen, their families and veterans who work in the community. So he created a draft proclamation identifying both state and federal missions supported by 290th JCSS Airmen, and requested that the 290th day of the year be named after them.

"I'm excited to be part of such a great unit's that's being recognized this way," Airman 1st Class Brad Reinert said. "Knowing the impact we have for our brothers and sisters in uniform down range, keeping them in communication with who they need, it's very exciting and I'm very proud of that."

Giles said he appreciates everything his Airmen do for the state of Florida and the country, and he will continue to do everything in his power to promote their exceptional performance to the public.

"Over 600 Airmen have been mobilized since 9/11, and this past year, we've deployed Airmen to every continent except Antarctica," Giles said. "This is something to be proud of for everything the squadron has accomplished over the last 32 years."

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