Mission Support, Services Squadrons Make Way for New Force Support Squadron
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. - Lt. Col. Mark Bell, outgoing 66th Mission Support Squadron Commander, relinquishes command of the 66 MSS to Col. Deborah Van De Ven, 66th Mission Support Group commander, as Master Sgt. Donald Gonsalves, Hanscom Family Readiness Coordinator awaits the guidon to furl and case. During the July 7 ceremony, Hanscom officially stood up it's new 66th Force Support Squadron. (Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
by Capt. Geoff Buteau
66th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
7/9/2009 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom leadership within the 66th Mission Support Group formally activated the new force support squadron Tuesday at the Minuteman Club, inactivating the 66th Mission Support Squadron and re-designating the 66th Services Squadron, effectively merging the two and forming the 66th Force Support Squadron, an initiative happening at bases Air-Force wide with a scheduled completion date of early 2010.
In attendance for the ceremony to welcome the Air Force's newest organization were members from the 66 SVS, 66 MSS and leadership from throughout Hanscom, including Col. David L. Orr, 66th Air Base Wing commander; Col. Jeff Mayo, 66th Air Base Wing vice commander; and Chief Master Sgt. Michael McCoy, 66th Mission Support Group superintendent. Col. Deborah Van De Ven, 66 MSG commander; Lt. Col. Mark Bell, former 66 MSS commander; and Ms. Nanci Wildman, former 66 SVS director and now 66 FSS director, all gave remarks during the ceremony.
Colonel Van de Ven highlighted the size and scope of the organizations coming together, noting that Services alone comprised more than 300 people and reached the Hanscom and surrounding community through their efforts renovating the fitness center and child development center, executing more than 2,000 funerals, and offering recreational activities like bowling, golf and entertainment packages. Add to that the 66 MSS's "100 extremely talented military, civilian and contract personnel," she said, who have regularly distinguished themselves in the command and the Air Force with many awards this decade.
"With this new transformation, they join forces to bring you the same world class customer service delivered by talented folks across this entire installation," said Colonel Van de Ven.
Colonel Bell spoke next, as part of a day when he was heading to the Pentagon for his next assignment, concluding his two-year-and-15-day assignment as the Mission Support Squadron commander. "I never thought I'd be back to a squadron I was part of six years ago," he said, referring to previous assignments here as the chief of Military Equal Opportunity and the commander of Headquarters Squadron Section. He said he enjoyed his second trip to Hanscom even more, citing the dedication of those under his command, and the respect he has for his fellow leaders. He thanked Colonel Van De Ven for her mentorship, and praised Ms. Wildman for her leadership and wished her luck as director of the new squadron.
Colonel Bell received the Meritorious Service Medal for his leadership of the 66 MSS.
After the new 66 FSS guidon was uncased and unfurled, Ms. Wildman spoke to the nearly 200 people in attendance. "Your involvement has been key," she said about the members of the 66 FSS navigating through all the tasks preparing for the moment of squadron activation, including choosing a new emblem for the squadron, which draws on the squadrons' histories in Europe, the Southwest United States, and the East Coast.
In a previous Hansconian article, Ms. Wildman mentioned the changes to the organizational structure are in the name of efficiency, placing similar functions under the command of one leader. This is true not only of Ms. Wildman's new position as the director of the 66 FSS, but also of the flight commanders, who are now charged with leading the Community Services, Force Development, Airman & Family Services, Manpower & Personnel, and Sustainment Services Flights. See the 66 FSS flights information below.
Recognizing that it's been the dedicated people in the newly formed 66 FSS that have earned nine Outstanding Unit awards and two Organizational Excellence awards between the two previous squadrons, she said, "I hope each of you will join me in this journey."
New 66th Force Support Squadron Flights and their Organizations:
Community Services Flight: Aeroclub, Bowling Center, Golf Course, Tickets & Tours, Outdoor Recreation, Pool, Fourth Cliff, Community Programs, Auto Hobby, Vet Clinic.
Force Development Flight: Airman Leadership School, Education & Training, Library, Professional Development.
Airman & Family Services Flight: Child Development Center, Family Child Care, Airman & Family Readiness Center, Youth Programs.
Manpower & Personnel Flight: Manpower & Organization, Civilian Personnel, Non-Appropriated Funds Human Resources, Military Personnel.
Sustainment Services Flight: Food Operations, Minuteman Club, Lodging, Fitness & Sports.