Peterson wraps up LeMay visit; groundbreaking on new base housing begins

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- As many of you know, the Gen. Curtis E. LeMay Award evaluation team departed Peterson April 12 after a week-long evaluation of the 21st Services Squadron. To say the least, it was an outstanding visit as the five-member team received a first-hand look at the incredible services programs and personnel we have here. 

With their unmatched enthusiasm and reputation for services excellence, it was clear right from the start that our services team left an indelible impression. As Col. Herman Jett, senior ranking member of the LeMay evaluation team mentioned in his closing remarks, the 21st SVS set the bar extremely high in our bid to be named "Best Services Squadron" in the Air Force. 

There are many people to thank for the superb preparation that went into hosting the LeMay Award evaluation team -- so many, in fact, that it's difficult to single out just a few. From the outstanding overall leadership offered by Maj. Mike Marvich, 21st SVS commander, and his deputy, Dan Schofield, all the way to the hundreds of Team Peterson members who greeted the evaluation team as they arrived on base, it was a total team effort. 

What really stood out was the genuine excitement and sense of camaraderie displayed by those attending each of the LeMay events. There was no better example of this than the contagious energy that Joey Sanchez and 1st Lt. Jesse Johnson exhibited as narrators during the evaluation in-brief -- their enthusiasm really set the tone for the entire week. However, enthusiasm will only take you so far; there has to be solid programs in place in order to have a shot at being named best in the Air Force. 

To that end, the evaluation team highlighted four separate programs -- High Frontier Honor Guard, Pikes Peak Lodge, Silver Spruce Golf Course and the Aragon Dining Facility - and numerous 21st SVS "best practices" which demonstrate why we have a great opportunity to be recognized as best services squadron in the Air Force. The LeMay evaluation team also handed out 68 individual awards to 21st SVS personnel for providing superior service. 

Regardless of the outcome of the LeMay Award, to be announced sometime in May, our services squadron did a phenomenal job not only during the evaluation but also during the entire year. It's impossible to compete at this level with only a few months of preparation -- it takes sound processes and effective programs 365 days out of the year. Congratulations to the 21st SVS; we are all very proud of your accomplishments. 

Another important event that took place April 11 was the groundbreaking for the construction of 597 new homes on Peterson. After ceremoniously breaking ground at the corner of Stewart and Mitchell streets, participants and members of the community headed to the Peterson Club to formally mark the beginning of our new military family housing project. What a great day it turned out to be as we kicked off one of the biggest quality of life programs we've ever had on base. 

Thanks to the efforts of numerous individuals from Actus Lend Lease, the company selected by the Air Force as the preferred developer for our housing project, things continue to progress extremely well. Specifically, Jeffrey Simon and Bob Mathis from Actus Lend Lease have provided outstanding leadership and a true partnership with the Team Peterson community. In addition, Jim Mullin, also from Actus Lend Lease, has worked diligently behind the scenes paving the way for housing privatization and the important events to come.

 Finally, the members of Tierra Vista Communities have also been instrumental in the success we've achieved thus far. Since taking over management of Peterson's privatized housing, things are running better than ever thanks to their proactive management approach. The transition last year to privatized housing was absolutely flawless and we continue to be amazed at the level of service provided by the folks at TVC each and every day. 

The groundbreaking ceremony was truly significant. Besides the construction of our new homes, renovations will also be made to 55 existing base homes. What's even more exciting is the quality and amenities that are being worked into the project. From standard two-car garages, air conditioning in every unit and large master bedrooms with walk-in closets all the way to pre-wired high speed internet connections, kitchens with energy-efficient appliances and 4-5 piece master baths, these homes are going to be dramatically better than before. Even the exterior will have upgrades including large back patios, covered front porches and fenced-in back yards. 

The bottom line is that people are going to, more than ever before, want to live on base with these kinds of homes available to them. Our folks have always known about the convenience of living on base, but now there are a whole new set of reasons to choose this option. Thanks again to everyone in the Team Peterson area for your outstanding support not only during this past week but each and every day of the year. We are all going to look back on this milestone as something that made a tremendous impact on the future of our base and the families that live here.