COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Members of Team BLAZE attended a Quality of Life town hall March 5, at the Club here.
Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander, was the primary speaker for the town hall, which was also livestreamed on the Columbus Air Force Base Facebook page for added participation and connection.
“I want to thank you all for being here,” Weeks said. “… I want to thank you all for filling out the survey that the 14th Mission Support Group and the 14th Medical Group put together so that we can understand what you all want and need.”
She along with various other subject matter experts from across the wing addressed numerous issues, developments and accomplishments during the town hall. Topics included QoL survey results, 2019 successes, upcoming events throughout various locations and squadrons on base, updates on projects throughout the wing, various activities going on in the community, and so much more.
Some successful initiatives last year included opening the Freedom Park, Club and Bowling Center renovations, and some of the major family/unit friendly events like the A-BLAZIN’ Race, BLAZE Fest and the holiday tree lighting amongst others.
Weeks noted throughout the slides that there are two demographic populations Columbus AFB is trying to serve; those with children and those without children. She pointed out that they were aware of it and created the survey accordingly and the results showed a very clear direction in those two avenues.
“Our promise to you over the next year moving forward is that we’re going to ask ourselves those questions as we institute some new endeavor of who are we trying to serve,” she said. “That’s one thing we’re going to ask ourselves so that we’re clear in what we are developing and making sure who it is serving and when it is serving those people.”
The continued major priority through these QoL initiatives will be to “recruit Airmen and retain families.”
After the Quality of Life Survey results, Weeks passed the mic to various SMEs on upcoming events going on at the Chapel, Commissary, Base Exchange, Community Services and several other activities.
Some things to look forward to at the Chapel include a Stations of the Cross service at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Chapel and a Jewish service starting at 6 p.m. March 13. Several prayer breakfast are also scheduled throughout March 16-17. Blessing of the Bikes will also be taking place at 8 a.m. March 20 at the Chapel followed by a mentorship ride going out toward Starkville, where bikers will stop for lunch before returning to base.
The Base Exchange
Firearms sales at the Base Exchange are now expected to start April 30.
The Utility Allowance Program has been temporarily suspended for base residents and they should have received an email that details the suspension. The office has also enhanced their dispute resolution process and residents are also welcome to contact the Air Force Housing Help Line at 1-800-482-6431.
The Airmen dorms continued to undergo renovation with an expected completion of July 2020 and the officer dorms are awaiting funding for fiscal year 2021/2022 projects. About 150 dehumidifiers have been purchased for dormitory rooms to help mitigate mold that forms due to the high humidity.
The entire two-mile BLAZE Fitness trail will soon be rubberized and expected to be finished in the fall.
Some of the changes coming to the Club and Overrun include new additions to the menu such as Trivia Wing Night and upcoming food vendor events. They are also planning some themed family nights and there are plans to update the Happy Irby Lounge with a crud table, darts and other recreational games.
Some of the results from the QoL survey that was sent out included people wanting fitness class options at the Fitness Center, more food options and healthier options, updated fitness center equipment and more of selection at the Base Exchange and Commissary.
At the end of the Town Hall, Weeks opened the floor to any lingering or last minute questions.
Town hall video available on Facebook
For those that were unable to attend or watch the town hall on Facebook live, and wish to see everything that was discussed, they can watch it by going to https://www.facebook.com/ColumbusAFB/videos/2028287643984701/.
“I ask you to take what you heard today and spread it to at least five to 10 other people who weren’t here so that we can spread the message what your base is trying to do take care of you, your families and your quality of life this year because it is one of our top priorities that we are trying to accomplish as wing leadership,” Weeks said.