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Harold R.
Republican KY 5

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  • Tribute to Major General Edward Tonini

    by Representative Harold Rogers

    Posted on 2015-12-09

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    ROGERS of kentucky in the house of representatives Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the 51st Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Major General Edward W. Tonini, upon his retirement after 47 years of service. Since December 11, 2007, he has admirably served as the Commanding General of both the Kentucky Army and Air National Guard and as Executive Director of the Department of Military Affairs, guiding the preparation of Kentucky's 8,500 citizen soldiers and airmen, along with the Division of Emergency Management, to respond in times of state and national emergency.

    He is responsible for Federal and State missions, assignment of leaders, recruiting, training, equipping, mobilization, facilities and public relations. He also oversees the development and coordination of all policies, plans, and programs affecting Army and Air National Guard members in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. As a member of the Governor's cabinet and the principle advisor to the Governor on military matters, General Tonini has been a steadfast liaison on homeland security matters and a stalwart advocate for the brave men and women who serve this great Nation.

    General Tonini received a direct commission in 1970 in the Kentucky Air National Guard. Prior to receiving his commission, General Tonini served as an enlisted member of the 123rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing of the Kentucky Air National Guard. His valiant service earned the decoration of the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Air Force Reserve Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Recognition Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, and the Kentucky Merit Ribbon. We are blessed in Kentucky to have such a leader at the helm of our military affairs.

    The list of medals, awards and accolades are mere reflections of the outstanding character displayed by General Tonini on a daily basis. His response time is impeccable, whether through organizing deployments overseas or responding to natural disasters in the hills of eastern Kentucky.

    His legacy project is undoubtedly the state-of-the-art Joint Support Operations (JSO) Counter-Drug complex located in London, Kentucky. Under his leadership, 1,433 Kentucky National Guard soldiers and airmen have participated in JSO counter-drug operations from the facility, seizing more than 3.4 million marijuana plants with a street value exceeding more than one billion dollars. They also removed nearly 35,000 pounds of illicit drugs from the streets, including cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, methamphetamines and opium. Their work led to the arrest of more than 2,600 people, the seizure of over $73 million in property and other non-drug assets, 514 weapons, 134 vehicles and more than $14 million. Beneath his breastplate of courage, beats a true servant's heart for the people of Kentucky and we are grateful for his leadership.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Major General Edward W. Tonini on a distinguished career of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States. My wife, Cynthia and I wish General Tonini and his wife, Carol many blissful years of retirement.


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