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50th Mission Support Group adjusts to changing roles


Airmen in the 50th Mission Support Group understood the importance of their duties before COVID-19, but the virus highlights their significance now as they adapt to their new requirements. 

The 50th MSG plans and develops base growth as well as encroachment with headquarters as part of their duties.  

“We’re all important for this [mission],” said Staff Sgt. Joseph Basuil, 50th MSG training manager. “It’s nice to know we’re still gainfully employed and we’re still doing what we need to do. But we’re taking extra steps with the delicate situation that we’re all in.” 

Basuil normally assists with training squadrons under the 50th MSG’s umbrella: civil engineer, contracting, force support, logistics, readiness flight and security forces.

During the base’s COVID-19 fight, he’s transitioned to also support the Rapid Response Decontamination Detail team, which stood up March 26 and sterilizes areas potentially contaminated with the virus.

“This is a hot topic and we’re taking it seriously,” Basuil said. “My role in this is just as important as anyone else’s out there. We get [an R2D2] team in there as quickly as possible to decontaminate to make sure we don’t lose our operations at any work center.”

The 50th MSG follows similar guidelines in its office to ensure their team remains operational.

“We clean and make sure we’re social distancing,” Basuil said. “We clean every day, twice a day – once in the morning and once before we leave – to make sure we minimize anything that’s going around. That’s to make sure everyone is healthy so we can continue to do what’s necessary.”

Those necessities remain important for Shawnee Lovato, 50th MSG secretary, who supports Col. Brian Kehl, 50th MSG commander.

Lovato manages Kehl’s schedule along with his meetings and other duties. Remaining organized with those assignments helps Kehl complete his mission. In addition to working with Kehl, Lovato now coordinates with those who telework.

“There’s a lot of touching base not only with squadrons, but also at the wing level, making sure everyone knows what’s going on,” Lovato said. “We just make sure we stay on top of communications in order to do our best. We still get the mission done and we make sure we do what we have to do and help the ones who aren’t here working.”

While COVID-19 continues to modify day-to-day life throughout society, the 50th MSG adapts to complete their mission.

Basuil, who takes calls for the R2D2 team, continues to adapt to the curve balls of his new role with the R2D2 team but also completes his mission each day.  

“It’s different, but great, to see we’re still functioning to our fullest capacity,” Basuil said. “Whether you’re teleworking or physically here, we’re resilient and we’re able to adapt and overcome and press on.” 

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