Maine Air National Guard personnel return from six-month deployment
The Maine Air National Guard’s 243rd Engineering Installation Squadron (EIS) welcomed home 30 personnel following a six-month deployment to support overseas operations in Africa and Southwest Asia.
The personnel had been spread throughout various areas of the U.S. Central Command’s and U.S. Africa Command’s area of responsibility including Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Niger, Djibouti, and Kenya to provide specialized cyber engineering resources and support assets for command and control systems for CENTCOM and AFRICOM. The returning members of the South Portland-based 243rd EIS worked in similar fields to which they train and prepare for at the South Portland Air National Guard Station.
Members of the 243rd EIS are trained in providing information technology and communications setup, support, and removal at military installations across the globe. Many of the members of this deployment have supported previous missions.
The 243rd EIS is co-located at the South Portland Air National Guard Station with the 265th Combat Communications Squadron. Both units of the Maine Air National Guard have supported numerous state and federal missions in recent years, including for COVID-19 testing, vaccination sites and providing necessary equipment to health care providers throughout the area.
In addition to the two units in South Portland, the Maine Air National Guard is composed of the 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor and the Joint Force Headquarters component in Augusta.

488th Military Police Company changes hands
The 488th Military Police Company held a change of command ceremony Feb. 5, in which Capt. Garrett Clark handed over command to Capt. Mickael Nunez.
Nunez joined the military in 2014, attending basic training and officer candidate school after receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hope College in 2011. He completed Military Police Officer Basic Course in 2015 and was assigned as the platoon leader for 2nd Platoon, 488th Military Police Company, and later became the company executive officer.
Nunez transferred to the 120th Regional Support Group in May 2020 where he was promoted to captain. He later transferred to the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in March 2021 as an assistant operations officer. In May 2022, Nunez became the officer-in-charge for the 488th’s rear detachment while the unit was deployed. In his civilian capacity, Nunez is a trooper with the Maine State Police.
Clark’s military career began in 2009. He transferred to Husson University in 2010 and was commissioned through the University of Maine ROTC program. Clark’s previous military assignments include platoon leader for the 488th Military Police Company, plans officer for the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and assistant provost marshal at Joint Force Headquarters at Augusta. In 2019, he deployed to Poland in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, where he served as a plans officer for the 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.
Most recently, Clark lead the unit through their 13-month mobilization to the Southwest Border. He now works full time as the Associate Professor of Military Science with the University of Maine ROTC Program.

Former chief of staff named next Army assistant adjutant general
Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, adjutant general for Maine, has named Brig. Gen. Blair E. Tinkham as the next assistant adjutant general for the Maine Army National Guard.
Tinkham will advise the adjutant general on all state matters pertaining to the Army National Guard, as well as acting as a principal advisor for joint policies, procedures, force modernization, and strategic planning.
Tinkham enlisted in the Maine Army National Guard in 1989 as a rifleman with “B” Company, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry (Mountain) in Brewer. He commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1992 and was assigned to the 262nd Combat Engineer Battalion, and later commanded the 152nd Support Maintenance Company, 286th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and 52nd Troop Command.
Tinkham completed 26 years of Active Guard Reserve (AGR) service in December 2022, culminating with two years as chief of staff for the Maine Army National Guard. In his new position, Tinkham reverts to a drill status soldier, serving the traditional one weekend a month, plus annual training time.
In his full time capacity, Tinkham has held a wide array of administrative, operations, logistics and special staff positions, and deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal (4), and the Combat Action Badge.
Tinkham holds two degrees from the University of Maine – a bachelor’s degree in physical education and master’s degree in education. He is also a 2016 graduate of the U.S. Army War College in with a master’s degree in strategic studies.

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