We Are All Force Support

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Craig Smalls
  • 36th Wing Force Support Squadron
I was asked near the start of my tour to describe my goals and vision for the 36th Force Support Squadron under my command. Full of optimism, yet early in my tenure, I had no idea the magnitude of the question! Constrained budgets and resources coupled with our unique island locale have created customer service challenges I could never have anticipated. That said, even in these times of fiscal uncertainty, my objective has remained constant: To exceed customer service expectations 365 days a year, 24/7. Understand, this does not come easily and is not accomplished alone. We all play a major part in the success of the Force Support mission--the commander, unit members and even you, the customer. Simply stated, "We are all Force Support!"

Our Role

From day one, the 36th Force Support Squadron has strived to provide unmatched customer service. Every member of this dynamic unit carries a "customer first" attitude and I'm a witness to this work ethic daily. From DEERS enrollment and child and youth programs to mortuary and casualty, truly cradle to grave, your 36th Force Support Squadron is here for you. Our manpower and personnel functions are busy, as usual. With our customer throughput higher than ever, we continue to provide the full complement of services necessary to manage the related programs and policies affecting our Air Force and Navy members. The education center continues to improve lives through tuition assistance programs, post-9/11 GI Bill and on-base military and civilian institutions. Our around-the-clock services at the Magellan Inn/Skyline Kitchen, Coral Reef Fitness Center and Andersen Gateway Inns and Suites are world-class. Finally, events like Step Afrika, The Harlem Globetrotters, The Frontmen and Andersen's Got Talent have reenergized service members, families and guests alike. Caring for people, rejuvenating our customers to enhance the mission--it's what we do!

Your Role

We are all truly Force Support. I often call myself the most fortunate squadron commander on base. What other unit can "enlist" the assistance of the entire installation - every individual - to complete its mission? I truly have a legion of thousands. Through your use and enjoyment of the Palm Tree Golf Course/Mulligan's, the Top of the Rock Consolidated Club/Bamboo Willie's, outdoor recreation, pet lodge, child and youth programs, arts and crafts, Gecko Bowling Center and Grill, and auto hobby, among others, the 36th Force Support Squadron is able to improve Andersen's quality of life one program at a time. I encourage you to continue to support your MWR programs and ensure their sustained vivacity as we push to operate under financial scrutiny and develop efficiencies. The rewards are immediately realized. One of my favorite 36 FSS events is First Friday at the Top of the Rock Consolidated Club--a membership appreciation night held on the first Friday of every month highlighted by a free buffet for all club members. This event is the most evident example of what your dollars and patronage can do for you and all of Team Andersen. As part of our team, club members enjoy benefits and discounts not only at the Top of the Rock for meals and events, but at other MWR food establishments such as Mulligan's and Gecko Grill as well as on tours and equipment at outdoor recreation. Your role in our success doesn't stop there. In 2011, the 132,462 volunteer hours Team Andersen unselfishly provided equaled a total contribution of $960,360 in labor costs and proved irreplaceable. Volunteerism, the purest form of altruism and self-help, has helped make our island home the most phenomenal place most of us have ever lived. I see it in each and every volunteer who steps forward to help with a 36th Force Support Squadron facility or event. A real blessing.

"We are all Force Support" and through our collective effort we have enhanced our MWR experience here at Andersen and will continue to do so in the future. Expect expanded food options in our restaurants, cutting-edge recreational items such as rock-climbing walls and an enhanced state-of-the-art skate park, plus, the latest in cardio and strength equipment upgrades in the Coral Reef Fitness Center. Further, look for dance and jujitsu classes, Missoula Children's Theater, and a deployment-based experience called KUDOS, Kids Understanding Deployment Operations, for our youth. All of this while enjoying 36 FSS-provided base events such as the Easter Egg Hunt/Spring Festival, Memorial Day Bash, Fourth of July Freedom Fest, Labor Day Bash and Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. Through your support and patronage, we'll continue to give back and make it happen!

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