The 216th Engineering Installation Squadron has been re-designated the 216th Operational Support Squadron and the Hayward Air National Guard Station has closed. It's a sad situation that tugs hard on the hearts and minds of those who make up the legacy of the 216EIS. Here are their thoughts about this day.
Farewell is too final a word to describe the collective emotions of the last technician force responsible for “closing shop” one last time at the Hayward Air National Guard Station.
We have all been privileged to know, and educated by, the many people who have served during our tenures here.
The world was a very different place when most of us began or continued our military careers at the 216th EIS. Together we witnessed world changing events both globally and domestically. Many of us deployed to places near and far in answer to our countries call for service and found ourselves placing service before self while our loved ones kept the home fires burning.It is to the families, friends and relatives of our brothers and sisters in arms that we owe some of the greatest gratitude of all.Without their caring, support and endless understanding, many of us would not be unable to be the professionals we are.
Some of us plan on retiring soon; others plan on staying within in the group while others have found opportunities with other units and wings. Regardless of where we are or what we are doing, we all share the common bond of our experiences together at that Hayward Air National Guard Station. We are a family of volunteers who have freely chosen to serve in what we will always consider the best jobs in the military. We have done our jobs well, and as professionals, we look forward to the opportunities that tomorrow brings.
From the final 216th Engineering Installation Squadron, Hayward Air National Guard, Technician Force….All Gave Some, Some Gave All…but we All Gave Together.Good luck to everyone.
I encourage everyone to join the 216th Alumni Association so we may continue our friendships for years to come.
When I think about the closing of the Hayward Air National Guard Station I’m reminded that this is the “place” where I served for many years and it’s saddens me to see it close.However, what made the “place” special were all the people that I served with there.There is a story and many great memories associated with each individual.Too many to talk about here.
I want to remind everyone that this is the very reason that we started the 216th Alumni Association.We want to “perpetuate the comradeship of all members” that made the “place” special.The closing of the Hayward Air National Guard Station was beyond our control.There was absolutely nothing we could do to prevent it.However, there is something that we can do to maintain the friendships and create even more memories by supporting and staying involved with the Alumni Association.All we have to do is “stay in touch” and “show up” at Association-Sponsored events.
Remember too that by staying in touch and keeping our contact information up to date we can create opportunities to get together and catch up.If you’re ever driving through FlagstaffArizona remember to look me up.Dana and I will always welcome an old friend for the night.
“I do want to write more in line with "Reflections" but it really becomes too emotionally difficult for me.All my time with the 216th, also goes parallel with my raising of my family.I was married while with the 216th, had my children while with the 216th, separated from them while deployed and gone to war with the 216th to become with one of the boys while with the 216th, and finally after a happy return...lost Gina while in the 216th.So you can imagine when I see our empty hangar close for good, it also symbolizes a closing of a happy and yet sad chapter on my life.Well we all will move on but to say goodbye to the base floods me with a lot of bittersweet memories.It does make me shed a tear”.
The sun has already set on the horizon on our beloved base.All the technicians have a new home and we will all move on.I am left as the Officer-in-Charge along with Major Barriere, and Major/Select Javier.For now our main mission is to support the technician’s for whatever is left to do in order to hand off the old Hangar to the City of Hayward.Please coordinate with SMSgts Prince and Eaton, MSgts Davis and Ramirez for weekend moving of old furniture and equipment.This is our last UTA before the final close.I will miss the base, and believe or not, I am the officer that has been around here the longest since Aug 88.I can definitely say that I enjoyed and learned from professionals like all of you.I thank you for the support you’ve given, and I will miss the 216th’s camaraderie and esprit de corps.I wish you all prosperity in your future endeavors”.
“My 18 years serving with the 216EIS has been a proud, fun and, at times a sad experience.Some may have questioned the value of the mission we supported.But our customers (the ones who really count), who benefited from our efforts, truly appreciate the difference we made in the execution of their missions.There’s a quote we often use, “No Comm, no Bombs”.In recent years this has been even more evident in the execution of military actions since 9-11.We should all hold our heads high and be proud of our accomplishments.We’ve managed to find the time to have fun together, as we traveled the states and world.Yes, “what goes TDY stays TDY.”But we all have memories that will last a lifetime.We’ve lost members of the 216EIS family.Those who served and those of their families, our extend families.We’ve all cried and felt the heartbreak of loosing them.But we’re all better for have knowing them and should always keep them in our prayers.Yes, the last UTA and the closing of Hayward ANGS, is a hard and difficult reality to accept.But now we have the memories and continued friendships to keep.No re-mission strategy will be able to take those away from us. There ours to keep forever.In closing, I salute each and every person who makes up the legacy of the 216EIS.”
“My tenure at the 216th EIS was short but rewarding. As a brand new training manager in 2003 the unit gave me many challenges. I worked as a full time training manager at the 216th for 2 full years and learned the skills that I would need to become a Group Training Manager. The 216th was a great learning experience for me. My tour at the 216 was just as rewarding personally. My Bay Area commute went from 35 miles to 3 miles and I became an AGR after 12+ years of active duty and 4 years as a technician. The friendships I made with people at the 216th have lasted much longer then my tenure at the 216th. Had the 216th remained in Hayward I would still be with the unit to this day!”