Kirby succeeds Komatsu as 176th Mission Support Group commander

  • Published
  • By David Bedard
  • 176th Wing Public Affairs

Alaska Air National Guard Col. Matthew Kirby succeeded Col. Matthew Komatsu as 176th Mission Support Group commander during a May 18 change-of-command ceremony at JBER.

The 176th Mission Support Group of the 176th Wing, comprises 176th Civil Engineer Squadron, 176th Communications Squadron, 176th Force Support Squadron, 176th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 176th Security Forces Squadron.

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 the wing.

Brig. Gen. Anthony Stratton, 176th Wing commander, said the wing is prepared to operate in a near-peer conflict thanks in large part to the efforts of the 176th MSG.

“We do not do Agile Combat Employment without mission support, period,” Stratton said. “Nothing kinetic can come from the wing, no cargo gets moved, and nobody gets fuel anywhere without this organization.”

Komatsu said 176th MSG Airmen provide critical services behind the scenes, and they don’t always get recognized for their efforts.

“Nobody knows what it is you do,” he said. “Because you just get paid, or you get promoted … but what I wanted to say to all of you is that I see you, and I see the example that you set in a really thankless environment sometimes.”

Komatsu thanked 176th MSG Airmen for always accomplishing the mission according to his vision for the group.

“You made my life [in command] easy through the professional way that our command operates, in the way we live mission command in a daily, hourly and minute-by-minute basis,” Komatsu said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Kirby asked 176th MSG to continue to prepare for any future contingency.

“We are at an incredible inflection point in our nation’s history,” Kirby said. “Tensions are increased around the world. The future is unknown, and it’s always different than what you expect.

“What I do know is that the men and women of the mission support group are going to be ready for any challenge that we can possibly face,” Kirby continued. “I am blown away by the professionalism of this team, the innovative spirit, the work ethic, the perseverance and the relentless drive to solve problems to be able to win.”