USAFE initiative aims to set standards for appearance of bases
RHEIN-MAIN AIR BASE, Germany — Air bases across Europe are sprucing up as part of a larger initiative called Combat Proud, put on by U.S. Air Forces in Europe.
Though military communities participate in seasonal cleanups, USAFE wanted to take it further by setting standards to keep bases looking sharp throughout the year, said Tech. Sgt. Donald D. Anderson, quality assurance evaluator and base maintenance controller at Rhein-Main Air Base.
“This is a program re-emphasizing the importance of keeping installations throughout USAFE in … suitable conditions,” Anderson said.
He explained that an increase in military missions after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks had most airmen focused only on their jobs, leaving tasks such as base upkeep and improvements falling to the wayside.
With Combat Proud, commanders and supervisors are held responsible for keeping up their areas to a higher standard, along with the usual seasonal cleanups and contract work done throughout the year.
“The thing that makes us [Rhein-Main Air Base] unique is that we’re closing in two years, so we can’t put a whole lot of money into it, but we can clean it up,” said Staff Sgt. Matt Summers, base spokesman.
A message released by the USAFE commander, Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong, states that the “outward appearance is a window to the inner workings of a unit. Pride in appearance spills over into pride in work, mission accomplishment, esprit de corps, and customer satisfaction.”
Guidelines are being released to ensure consistency, architectural compatibility and high standards.
“Senior leaders have put a lot more emphasis on the way our home looks,” said Lt. Col. Guy Parker, 469th Air Base Group deputy commander, while raking leaves during base cleanup Tuesday on Rhein-Main. “It’s a good reminder of what bases need to do to maintain proper guidelines and keep our homes looking good.”
Some improvements include picking up trash more frequently, installing new fences, planting shrubs, and repainting parking and road stripes.