JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --
Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Komatsu succeeded Col. Keolani Bailey as 176th Mission Support Group commander during a June 11 ceremony here.
The group provides wartime and peacetime mission support of deployment operations, construction, facility maintenance, security, contracting, communications and information services, supply, transportation, personnel support and services for 176th Wing.
Bailey, a career engineer, will attend the resident Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Presented with the Legion of Merit during the ceremony, the award citation highlighted the 176th MSG’s efforts under Bailey’s command including support of response efforts for hurricanes Florence and Maria, catastrophic 2019 Alaska wildfires and the Nov. 30, 2018, Alaska earthquake.
Bailey credited the group’s Airmen for successes attributed to his command.
“Thank you for serving valiantly every day,” he said. “Thank you for being wingmen, warriors and leaders. You are mission-ready, Airman-focused, innovative warriors.”
Komatsu most recently served in the Alaska National Guard Joint Force Headquarters J-5 Joint Planning office. Previously, he was the 212th Rescue Squadron commander and is a career combat rescue officer experienced in combat search and rescue operations.
Komatsu lauded Airmen of 176th MSG for their recent work in ably supporting deployment operations and the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“The MSG is the best I’ve seen it in nearly a decade,” he said. “And, like Robert Frost said in a poem based on his experience as a postal worker in the rural Northwest, we’re carrying the mail.”