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Base plans productive year

Posted 2/7/2014   Updated 2/7/2014 Email story   Print story


by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

2/7/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- As the New Year begins to unfold, Maxwell and Gunter have a lot in store for base personnel.

"We have a lot of community projects going on," said Chief Master Sgt. Harry Hutchinson, 42nd Air Base Wing command chief. "In 2014, you will see mission growth despite the ongoing fiscal constraints within the military."

This year, base residents, employees and others with base access can expect to enjoy new community constructions, such as a Splash Park at the Maxwell pool, and Freedom Park, a $400,000 park located on Maxwell that is being donated and constructed by the local River Region area community. The park includes a playground area, running area and soccer field.
Along with the improvements to the quality of life at Maxwell, 42nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Trent Edwards said, "In 2014, you can expect to see more partnership with the 187th Fighter Wing (at Dannelly Field), the 908th Airlift Wing and the Joint Forces Headquarters Alabama National Guard. Additionally, we are trying to bring another flying mission to Maxwell."

Spouses can expect to see a continued focus on key spouse and spouse mentor programs.

"Spouses will continue to play a major role in mission readiness," Edwards said.

The wing will also focus on programs for single Airmen who live in the dorms and programs for single parents.

"As the host installation, we have a responsibility to provide quality of life programs for our Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex team members." Edwards said.

Also, STARBASE, the Department of Defense youth activity program that helps local fifth grade students study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, will be expanding into a summer program as a means to open its doors to more Alabama students.

"STARBASE is a major example of why Maxwell is a world-class installation," said Edwards. "We are thankful for Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's financial support of the program, as well as key support from Ann Sikes from the Montgomery Education Foundation and Joe Panza from the Air University Foundation. We enjoy an incredible partnership with our local community."

Although Maxwell is planning many improvements for the installation, base leadership acknowledges that there are still major challenges ahead.

"2014 will be a year of challenge and opportunity," Edwards said. "This is one of the most challenging times in our Air Force history, and I'm not going to try and sugarcoat that. We're going to get smaller. It's going to be painful, and it's going to create friction. However, the contributions our Airmen make to our nation's defense will always be important and valued, and executing our mission at a very high level and taking care of people will remain our top priority through it all."

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