138th MICO says farewell

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 138th Military Intelligence Company turns the final page in its long history as it inactivates at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, Oct. 15, 2022.

Since its activation at Robins in 2004, the 138th MICO has supported the 461st and 116th Air Control Wings, while reporting to the 116th Military Intelligence Brigade and the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command.

The 138th provided global command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission support to combatant commanders on the E8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft.

Lt. Col. Jordon Ewers, Processing, Exploitation, Dissemination Battalion commander, located at Fort Gordon, Georgia, said the soldiers with 138th MICO were an important part of Team JSTARS.

“As an integral member of Team JSTARS, which includes both 461st and 116th ACW, Army JSTARS, and the 138th MICO, were the near real-time link between the E8C JSTARS aircraft and ground maneuver and Army attack aviation elements,” he said.

Ewers said it was an honor to preside over the inactivation.

“It is my privilege to preside over the inactivation of this distinguished and veteran unit,” he said. “More important than the inactivation is the chance to honor the lineage and heritage the many veterans, both Soldiers and civilians, of the 138th MICO have upheld.”

Maj. Angeletha Long, 138th Military Intelligence Company commander, said she took command knowing the unit would inactivate.

“I took command of this organization after the Army had already slated the unit for divestment,” she said. “As such, my task was to write the final chapter and the epilogue of Army JSTARS.”

In writing that final chapter, there were more than a few tasks to accomplish.

“My duty was to bring home the forward-deployed 138th MICO service members,” she said. “Facilitate onward movement of all remaining service members, civilians, and family members, and transfer all vehicles, equipment, and property back to Army and Air Force stakeholders.”

The unit deactivated in eight months Long said, and the standard is 24 months.

“The Soldiers of the 138th MICO proved that they were more than capable of stepping up to this challenge,” she said. “They illustrated their professionalism and dedication by continuing to execute every task assigned.”

Long said it’s a sentimental experience.

“As the company deactivates and JSTARS continues its divestment, I find this doubly bittersweet as I am also retiring and finishing my career now that my guidon is cased,” she said. “It was my absolute honor to be in command again and serve as the final commander of the 138th MICO. To figuratively be at the helm of JSTARS as it flies off into the sunset.”

Long thanked the Airmen she had served with.

“To the Airmen of the 116th and 461st ACW, thank you for everything you have done for Army JSTARS and the United States Army,” she said. “Your dedication, cooperation, effort, and, most importantly, personnel have significantly contributed to the successes of Army JSTARS and the education, training, and professionalization of the U.S Army's warfighting function through live support to brigade combat teams. As your organizations continue their paths, I wish you nothing but the very best.”