How to spend half a million dollars

COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. -- Here's the list! Being one of the top three of 166 Air Force installations certainly has its privileges. 

Remember last February when the 2007 Commander in Chief Installation Excellence Selection Board stormed across our base? That team comprised of a Major General and four wing commanders were so impressed with the BLAZE team they approved 10 Air Force Best Practices after witnessing your amazing innovations and performance. Although Columbus AFB did not win the overall award, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, did, as runner-up, we garnished a hefty half-million dollar bonus. Between the long war on terror and the CSAF's recapitalization efforts, last year's fiscal year was nearly dust-dry of any quality of life "extras". That's why this cash award was so special, making Columbus AFB the envy of the other Air Force bases. 

Our wing commander, Col. Dave Gerber, was determined to effectively spend this money on the best overall quality of life initiatives for the BLAZE team and their families. We polled all the organizations on base as well as set up an internet link on the Columbus AFB website to survey the base populace for desired quality of life items to purchase. Hundreds of potential items were compiled and Col. Gerber selected the best that met the tenets behind these monies. The list below contains the main categories of items purchased, however does not necessarily list all the items or detailed breakout. You are encouraged to visit the variety of base Services activities to discover the home to many of the new purchases ready for your families' enjoyment. 

You should all be very proud. Use this positive momentum of pride and high-level performance to absolutely blow the socks off this spring's ORI. We already captured history-breaking recognition for Columbus AFB; now let's make more history on this year's Air Education and Training Command's Inspector General Operational Readiness Inspection...that would truly be "Outstanding!"