Keesler named best base in the Air Force

From the Air Force News Service

Air Force leaders announced the winners of the 2013 Air Force Installation Excellence awards and Special Recognition program March 27.

Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., is the recipient of this year’s award, with McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., receiving runner-up.

“It is our distinct privilege to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the men and women who operate and maintain our Air Force installations,” Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said in the memo announcing the award. “We thank them for a job very well done.”

The Installation Excellence Award encourages commanders to create an environment that promotes innovative and creative ways of enhancing base-level services, facilities, and quality-of-life initiatives that sustain excellent base operations.

A few examples of Keesler AFB’s efforts include expanding the recycling program, renovating dormitories, improving the medical evaluation board case completion time, and reducing errors in deployment out-processing by 20 percent.

Seventeen personnel and eight units from Keesler AFB were named as “Special Recognition” winners for exemplary achievement in support of installation excellence.

The individual special-recognition winners are:

– Maj. John Ponton – 81st Force Support Squadron

– Maj. Wendy H. Wilkins – 81st Medical Surgical Squadron

– Capt. Jacob Marshall-JAG – 81st Training Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

– Master Sgt. Michael T. Asdel – 81st Training Wing Safety

– Master Sgt. Nicole D. Dismute – Mathies NCO Academy

– Master Sgt. Tomeika Washington – 81st Force Support Squadron

– Tech. Sgt. Daniel J. Mike – 335th Training Squadron

– Tech. Sgt. Shaun Wilke – 81st Training Squadron

– Staff Sgt. Brandon T. Barrette – 335th Training Squadron

– Staff Sgt. Hana K. Webb – 81st In-Patient Operations Squadron

– Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Pomeroy – 81st Comptroller Squadron

– Ms. Sandra M. Browne – 81st Training Wing (Sexual Assault Response Coordinator)

– Mr. Alberta E. Ciampa – 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron

– Mr. Steven R. Green – 81st Contracting Squadron

– Mr. Tommy Lassabe – 81st Training Squadron

– Ms. Jackie A. Pope – 81st Force Support Squadron

– Mr. Gary R. Schafer – 81st Force Support Squadron

The unit winners are the 81st Force Support Squadron Manpower and Personnel Flight, 81st Medical Group Operating Room, 81st Security Forces Squadron Support Staff, 81st Training Group Military Training Operations, 81st Training Wing Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, 81st Training Wing Safety Office, 81st Training Wing Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Office, and the 338th Training Squadron.

Thinking efficiently, Keesler AFB Airmen continued to implement many innovative installation performance improvements during 2012.

Through energy and environmental conservation projects, the base maximized resources by tripling recycling totals.

They did this by acquiring a large hybrid vehicle fleet that reduced gas consumption by 42 percent, reducing petroleum usage by 33 percent by using biodiesel in all non-emergency vehicles with biodiesel, and launching the command’s first heat recovery energy program.

The base has a history of strong ties with its community. This was evident post Hurricane Katrina, 2005. The base continued their tradition of giving back to the community in 2005, through partnerships and committed volunteers.

They hosted the state Special Olympics, which has been held at Keesler AFB almost every year since 1982, and supported Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Heart Walk, youth sports, scouting programs, and humanitarian relief projects.

As the Air Force’s top installation, Keesler AFB has been nominated to the Secretary of Defense for the 2013 Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award.