Army Officer Makes Conn. Air National Guard History
By 1st Lt. Bryon M. Turner, 103rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 03, 2008
BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, East Granby, Conn. -- When sweeping leadership changes within the Connecticut National Guard were announced on May 7, 2008, one move in particular made history. Lt. Col. Timothy J. Symonds, Deputy Chief of Staff for Information Management, Connecticut National Guard, took charge of the 103rd Communications Squadron, Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Conn., providing leadership to the squadron's full time force as the unit's newly appointed administrative officer.
"The Connecticut National Guard continues to meet the challenges of unprecedented transformation and change through our constant vigilance and a willingness to do what is necessary to do right by all our soldiers and airmen. I have therefore determined (these) senior command and staff moves to be necessary not only to better position us to operate in the here and now, but to prepare us for the challenges of the future," said Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, adjutant general and commander of the Connecticut National Guard.
Lt. Col. Symonds brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to the 103rd Communications Squadron. As former a member of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq, Lt. Col. Symonds has a proven track record of putting his technical know-how to work to improve the flow of mission critical information between the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Having served in a staff and advisory role to the adjutant general for communications related issues, Lt. Col. Symonds is uniquely qualified to take the 103rd Communication Squadron to the next level with a focus on joint operations.
"The joint environment is the future; there's no denying it, moving forward we need to be able to work together to get the job done," said Lt. Col. Symonds.
Lt. Col. Symonds will forever hold a special place in the rich history of the Connecticut National Guard as the first Army National Guard officer to lead an Air National Guard squadron, setting the tone for future joint endeavors within the state.
"This is a tremendous opportunity," said Lt. Col. Symonds. "We have some very smart people here in the Communications Squadron. I'm looking forward to working with them and developing a stronger appreciation between the communicators within Army and Air National Guard."
Reflecting on his previous assignment, Lt. Col. Symonds said, "I was fortunate to have phenomenal personnel in Hartford, it was an honor to serve with them."
Working within an Air National Guard unit will present some new challenges for this former field artillery officer; challenges he's eager to meet.
"While the technical issues will be familiar, learning the corporate culture at Bradley, with all the new acronyms and social norms that go with it, will be an interesting challenge," said Lt. Col. Symonds. "Fortunately, I'll have the help of some seasoned senior enlisted troops to help me along."
Despite the change in his work environment, Lt. Col. Symonds has no plans on changing his leadership style.
"People are our number one resource, and they need to be treated as such, while maintaining mission focus," said Lt. Col. Symonds.
"We have important work to accomplish. Helping to make the Bradley's master plan a reality, supporting the new missions here and fostering a joint environment will be top on my list," said Lt. Col. Symonds. "I welcome the challenges to come."