Peters retires after 28 years of service to Air Force, Kentucky Air Guard

Story by Staff Sgt. Vicky Spesard, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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Col. Jeffrey Peters, the outgoing commander of the 123rd Mission Support Group, receives a Kentucky Distinguished Service Medal from Col. Barry Gorter, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing, during Peters’ retirement ceremony at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., Jan. 11, 2014. Peters served in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard for 28 years. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Horton)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Col. Jeffrey L. Peters, commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Mission Support Group, officially retired after 28 years of service during a ceremony held at the Base Annex here Jan. 11.

As support group commander, Peters directed the operations of more than 400 Airmen who provided a host of key services to the Louisville-based 123rd Airlift Wing, a C-130 airlift unit. Those services included base fire protection, security forces, civil engineering, disaster preparedness, communications and information technology.

“You have touched so many parts of this base,” said Col. Barry Gorter, commander of the 123rd Airlift Wing. “You have led the 400-plus members who are a part of your command to take care of the rest of us. You have touched all of us. Our mission here goes nowhere without the support of your group.

“I want to personally thank you,” Gorter continued. “Not only have you always been professional, but you have a calm, cool demeanor. You don’t get rattled. In the senior leader group, we found comfort in that, and I want to thank you.”

During the ceremony, Peters was presented a second Meritorious Service Medal, a Kentucky Service Medal, a Certificate of Appreciation signed by President Barrack Obama and a Certificate of Retirement.

“When I look back at the start of my Air Force career, I see a lot of life lived,” Peters told the audience. “I feel that my last 30 years have been well spent. I look forward to finding things to do that meet that same criteria of time well spent. I have been so blessed to have worn the uniform for so long.

“My hope today is that I had a chance to make a positive impact on your careers,” he continued. “And if I couldn’t do that, that I had a chance to make a positive impact on you day.”

Peters began his career with a commission as a second lieutenant through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Pennsylvania State University in 1985. He served nine and a half years on active duty in various weather officer positions. His last active-duty post was as commander, Detachment 10, 5th Weather Squadron, Fort Benning, Ga.

He joined the Kentucky Air National Guard in 1995 as a weather officer before accepting a number of leadership positions on base, including commander of the 123rd Aerial Port Squadron, commander of the 123rd Security Forces Squadron and Inspector General, 123rd Airlift Wing.

Peters deployed in 1993 to Mogadishu, Somalia, where he served as a senior meteorologist in support of Operation Restore Hope; and to Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, in 2005, when he was the staff weather officer in support of Operation Joint Guardian.

Lt. Col. Matt Stone has been named as Peters’ replacement.

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