Peterson Fire Department an excellent host; new honor guard facility opens

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Well here we are, the last week of October and with the colder mornings, winter seems to be upon us finally. Time to break out the heavy coats and skis. Peterson had a great summer, and I am happy to see that our base personnel and families are following good operational risk management and are utilizing the Wingman concept.

On Oct. 27, Chief Master Sgt. Tim Omdal and I spent the night with our Team Pete Fire Department. We wanted to see firsthand how our highly trained and professional fire fighters live and work. We arrived at 6 p.m. and ate a great meal with the crew on duty. Thanks to Tech. Sgt. Gerhard Klingler for cooking - the pasta was great. Although the duty day was over for most of Team Pete, the Fire Department is always on call. That evening, they hosted an emergency medical technician certification course. Over 13 folks from around base are going through the three month course to be licensed EMTs. After touring the department and finding out our assignments on the truck if we had to respond to a situation, we watched a little Monday Night Football with the crew. Thanks to Assistant Chief David Reynolds, and Tech Sgt. Anthony Hayne, the station captain, for hosting us. Although Monday night was a quiet night at the station, you can rest assured we have highly trained professionals ready to respond to any situation 24 hours a day.

On Oct. 30, Chief Omdal and I had the honor of opening our newest addition to Team Pete, the Family Child Care and High Frontier Honor Guard facility. We, along with representatives from the 50th Space Wing, our Mission Support Group, the High Frontier Honor Guard, and our Family Child Care office "cut the ribbon" on this building, which will vastly improve our base family child care customer service and will provide a crisp new "home" for our award winning Honor Guard.

This new "razor-sharp" facility will not only present a more professional image, it is functionally more efficient. For example, the Family Child Care Program's new location is within easy walking distance from our main Child Development Center, allowing easier access to their training room for orientations and on-going provider training. The Honor Guard's new training complex is four times larger than their old facility and includes a parking lot and designated loading dock for the Honor Guard's equipment. A dedicated briefing room and separate dressing rooms were added, giving our guardsmen better privacy. We also installed tiled floor to give each member the same sense of realism they deal with while on detail, and the new entry way will foster greater team morale and will give a positive first impression as people enter the building. Once again, we are fulfilling our wing mission by providing unsurpassed installation support and helping to develop Warrior Airmen.

This new facility would not have been completed were it not for the selflessness, professionalism and hard work of many individuals and offices. Thanks to Master Sgt. Steven Dodd from our High Frontier Honor Guard, who oversaw the construction projects and personally assisted with the building renovations. Our Mission Support Group did a great job managing all of the moving parts, and the Force Support Squadron was our coordinating agency between the 21st SW and the other external agencies. Our Civil Engineering and Communications Squadrons renovated the facility and installed all of the communication lines. Finally, Chief Omdal and Chief Master Sgt. Patrick Sheehan, 50th SW command chief, handled much of the high visibility support and top cover. To all of you, my grateful thanks and appreciation for a job well done.

One final thought, on Oct. 31, the youngest members of Team Pete will be out in force going door to door for that all-important candy. Halloween is a fun and enjoyable holiday for our kids, so please be aware of them and remember to be safe. Drive slowly and maintain constant vigilance and alertness for all of our little ghosts and goblins. Have a great week and a great Halloween.