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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2010

12th MDG, MSG inactivate, re-activate, re-designate next week

By Sean Bowlin 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

As the Air Force enacts 2005 Federal Base Realignment and Closure legislation, Team Randolph will see historical change occur early next week as the 12th Medical Group joins the 59th Medical Wing and the 12th Mission Support Group joins the 502nd Air Base Wing.

"While it is natural to be nervous about change," said Col. Jacqueline Van Ovost, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, "I am confident that moving the medical group under the 59th Medical Wing and the mission support group under the 502nd Air Base Wing are changes that will benefit more people in many ways in the months and years ahead."

As part of those changes, the 12th MDG will become inactivated and then activated as the 359th MDG in a 9 a.m. ceremony Monday at the Kendrick Enlisted Club and the 12th MSG will become inactivated and then activated as the 902nd MSG in a 10 a.m. ceremony Tuesday in Hangar 4.

Colonel Van Ovost said while the medical group will no longer belong to the 12th FTW after Monday, it will still provide the "world-class" health care it always has to the greater Randolph community.

"Only now, it will be able to do more under the umbrella of a large medical system that reaches across all of San Antonio," she added.

The colonel said further that there is no organization on base more concerned with the fundamental well-being of people than the 12th MDG.

"Its focus is not only on the health of our active duty members and their families, but also on the retirees of the surrounding community and the health and well-being of members deploying in harm's way," Colonel Van Ovost remarked.

The 12th MDG predates the 12th FTW's arrival at Team Randolph. It was activated on Oct. 15, 1970 as a hospital. After several changes it was designated as the 12th MDG in August 1993 and has earned 10 Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards.

In 2009, 12th MDG members saw 42 of the group's Airmen deploy; supported five humanitarian missions; and spearheaded ground zero with the first H1N1 cases, mitigating the spread of the virus to 3,800 people. The 12th MDG also earned the Air Education Training Command's designation as "2009 Public Health Flight of the Year."

But, that's not all, said 12th MDG deputy commander Lt. Col. Gregory York. For 2009, the 12th MDG's clinic won a combination of 11 Individual and Team AETC level Air Force Medical Service Awards and was listed as number one in the AETC's diabetic care service, physiology training utilization and for bringing patients back into it's network.

"We are also happy to say that we are within a couple weeks of finishing our $10 million renovation project," he added. "And I am very proud of how each and every individual in the Medical Group contributes not only to the clinic team, but to Team Randolph.The special thing I hear from those who are stationed at the clinic now or in the past or those just passing through is that this is a 'great' place to work because of the teamwork - that is our biggest asset through thick and thin."

Colonel York added his unit mission, even with the re-designation, will remain the same.

"We are here to provide support to Team Randolph. The most positive impact has come from the 59th MDW leadership in their strong push for a seamless transition with nothing but support for our primary mission. They are a wealth of information, experience and resources from which we can draw," he said.

Like the 12th MDG, the 12th MSG has a long history of serving the 12th FTW and all of team Randolph, Colonel Van Ovost said.

"The word support doesn't do justice to the group's true function," she said. "The support group is as critical to the functioning of this wing as oil is to a running engine."

The group was activated in November of 1950 as the 12th Air Base Group under the 12th Fighter- Escort Wing at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. After an initial activation of just a year, it was called back into service almost 15 years later as the 12th Combat Support Group and sent to South Vietnam in 1965, earning 15 campaign streamers from then until 1971.

Inactivated in 1971, it was re-designated as the 12th Air Base Group and activated under the 12th FTW at Randolph AFB. Renamed in 2004 as the 12th MSG, it helped the 12th FTW take on its new mission of training instructor pilots in 1972; it supported the wing during re-qualification of pilots who'd been POWs in Vietnam and during 9-11 on Sept. 11, 2001 and assisted hurricane victims in 2005 and 2008.

Col. Alan Lake, 12th MSG commander, said his unit's most significant accomplishment was it's constant focus on customer service for all of Team Randolph.

"We made huge investments in our airfields, infrastructure, facilities, communication network, and quality of life services, such as enhancing our youth/child development programs, deployed families services and club improvements," Colonel Lake said.

He added the 12th MSG's people were the best that he's worked with in his 23-year military career.

"It's their proactive attitude, exceptional performance, ability to overcome challenges, and willingness to go the extra mile each and every day is why they are truly special," he stated, adding the major benefit of the re-designation under the BRAC process will be the collective use of installation management services from Randolph, Lackland and Fort Sam Houston supporting the San Antonio metropolitan area.

Colonel Van Ovost said with the closing of the chapter in the history of the 12th MSG, a new chapter to continue the legacy of those organizations opens.

"The talent and the teamwork that the wing - and Team Randolph - depends upon have not changed," she concluded. "It remains. Our mission facilitator, the oil in our engine, is still here, just as important--just as much a part of the team as before."