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MSG Corner: Housing flight gets Airmen situated, ready to go

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Like an organism, Team Andersen relies on its sub-units on base to create homeostasis, maintaining a stable, constant condition, in order to create a mission conducive environment. One of the units that plays a vital part in getting the Airmen situated and mission ready is the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron's Housing Flight.

The housing flight ensures that the military members are provided adequate housing, whether they live in accompanied housing or the dormitories. The flight also helps servicemembers who wish to secure housing off base.

"We want to ensure the units and the neighborhoods are well maintained, clean, and safe," said Robert Anderson, the 36 CES housing flight chief.

Prior to servicemembers moving into a house or a dorm, maintenance contractors, also part of the housing flight, provide occupancy maintenance and replace materials that are damaged or worn out.

"We want to have everything ready for the tenant so that they could focus in getting their families settled, get themselves situated in their units and focused on the mission," he said. "We try to have homes ready when they arrive. Our goal is, if somebody walks in the door today, we can show them two units that are ready to be moved into."

Along with the option of living on base for accompanied service members, the housing office can also provide an off base referral listing of houses that passed government inspection.

"They could go look through that list and contact the realtor off base," said Mr. Anderson. "At any point in time, if there are issues between the landlord and the tenant, we can also act as a liaison."

The work of the housing flight does not end with the servicemember moving in; they assist in providing furniture as needed and maintenance assistance as well.

"The furnishing management office can provide loaner furniture before their household goods get here when the member arrives on island," he said. "They can also loan furniture when the members have their furniture shipped to their next base. They also manage and inventory the furniture at the dorms."

"Housing maintenance is also part of our flight," he continued. "They have personnel available 24/7 if there are emergencies. Call them up and somebody should respond in an hour."

With all the different kinds of services that the housing flight provides, Mr. Anderson said that the main issue that they always seem to come across is in infrastructure.

"The issue that we have is that our houses are very old," he said. "They were built in the early 60's and were built to that standard. The expectations of the occupant may be higher than what we can provide."

Renovations in base housing have been done in the past. The last one was six years ago and the housing flight is working towards renovating again sometime soon.

"We're still constricted with the size of the units so we can't make them bigger," said Mr. Anderson. "But there are always other ways to make the units better."

Some of the renovations they have done recently include exterior painting of the houses, new sidewalks and recreational spots, like the new basketball courts. They are currently working towards creating more residential parking for the tenants and providing more lighting for family areas.

Mr. Anderson also said that the housing flight is open to concerns, ideas and suggestions that could improve housing.

"They need to know that if they have maintenance problems or issues, call us at the office and the front desk should refer them to someone who can assist them with their concern," he said.

"I use to be active duty, but that was years ago," Mr. Anderson continued. "My concerns back then are most likely different from the concerns of the base residents of today. They should voice out their concerns to their chain of command or just straight to us. We need their feedback."