COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. --
Although Columbus AFB is considered a small base, our Services personnel have the absolute duty to provide as many diverse programs as possible. In order to do this, pre-planning, customer feedback, customer expectations, the right equipment, excellent managers and setting exceptionally high goals is imperative. It is a difficult, yet rewarding task to gauge these programs and determine how each directly supports our wing mission, improves quality of life and satisfies our diverse customer base.
As a customer-based organization, we are given challenges and milestones to achieve by the AF Services Agency. These challenges, based on Air Force Instruction and Air Force standards are consolidated into a five-star recognition programs.
The Air Force Outdoor Recreation five-star award is an annual recognition of superior achievement for those programs demonstrating excellence in operations, programs, training, facilities and customer service. The 150 item format is not a requirements checklist or an inspection, but a tool to use as an incentive to exceed standards and reach excellence.
An Outdoor Recreation Program must meet over 30 prerequisites and achieve 90 percent of the total point value for each category in order to receive this award. All four- and five-star bases receive recognition at the annual Outdoor Recreation Breakout Session held in conjunction with the National Recreation and Park Association Annual Congress or the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education held in October or early November.
CAFB's Outdoor Recreation program, the most diversified section within Services, just received their fourth consecutive five-star rating, a feat accomplished by only two other bases in the Air Education and Training Command. Our program encompasses 12 different major sections and this year's fourth consecutive award validates it as one of the best programs in the Air Force.
A superior Outdoor Adventure Program has spearheaded our continued success. This program offers Whitewater Rafting in Ocoee, Tenn., Snow Skiing in Gatlinburg, Tenn., monthly Canoe trips, various instructional classes, hiking and horticulture trails, bike programs, standard and 3-D archery ranges, camping excursions and unparalleled bass fishing tournaments.
In addition, the one-year-old paintball program has become extremely popular and continues to attract customers. The base pool features two water slides, swimming classes for all ages, three daily lap swim sessions, free "Mom & Tot" pool use and the largest club member discount in Services.
Our equipment loan program serviced an amazing 82 squadron functions with numerous items from grills to tables and chairs. Superb 14th Flying Training Wing and 14th Mission Support Group support has allowed program expansion that now features 20 canoes, 14 fishing boats with motors, two bass boats and four kayaks. An exceptional equipment rental program features car dollies, 15 trailers, six boats, six small campers and seven 30-foot FEMA trailers.
Extensive planning and research, together with superb justification, allowed Outdoor Recreation to consolidate its operation with Information, Ticket and Travel office and produce an outstanding program with tickets to all major U.S. attractions, an unparalleled tour program which offered 154 tours, servicing 3,000 passengers who traveled 80,000 miles. The expanded leisure travel program includes air, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages and was one of only three bases to obtain fiscal year 2007 goals.
The skeet and trap range also is a highly successful program and boasts three-time World Skeet Shooting Champion Tony Rosetti as one of its volunteer instructors. The Magnolia Riding stables add yet another facet of customer service to the program by providing board for privately-owned horses. Another keen example of the ultimate customer service here at CAFB is the one-of-a-kind, 24/7 weighing scale program for all Do It Yourself moves.
Overall, the program produced a $36,000 profit during FY 2007 without the benefit of a big ticket FAMCAMP, a testament to varied programs, myriad of equipment and unbelievable customer service.
The bottom line: Without you, our customers, achieving this kind of success is not possible. So please, set your expectations of us high, tell us about those expectations, give us your feedback, and we will continue to provide diversified programs until we reach and satisfy every eligible program user.