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Town Hall meeting addresses issues across base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Carissa Wolff
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Renovation to the base pool, housing improvements, youth activities, vandalism and running safety are some of the topics that were discussed among Team Andersen members attending a Town Hall meeting Feb. 27 at the base theater.

Andersen leadership held the meetings in order to foster a better exchange of information to base residents to help address needs across the base.

General Ruhlman opened the meeting with an overview of Andersen's mission.

"We are currently experiencing build-up across the base," he said. "For one we have the biggest, most awesome hangar this base has ever seen. The Global Hawk Hangar, Hangar Six, is the size of a football field. We can fit six Global Hawks or six F-22 Raptors in it at one time."

Following the summary of the mission, General Ruhlman dove into the topic of base pool construction.

The pool will be ready to open back up around mid-March, said General Ruhlman. The pool will then close again in late-summer to accommodate renovation. The 36th Civil Engineer Squadron has begun drawing up the designs for the base pool.

Approximately $2 million will go to renovating the base pool, providing upgraded filters, electrical systems, deck surfacing and space, equipment, lifeguard stands and latrine and dressing areas.

Following the remarks from the general, Col. Mark Talley, 36th Mission Support Group commander took the floor, discussing several areas of concern for the base.

He said that there are further improvements for Tarague beach to include a concrete pavilion that families can utilize for parties or family events.

Colonel Talley also illuminated the issue of the Portuguese Man of War jellyfish being present recently at the beach. He said that the beach is properly marked with purple signs notating the presence of the jellyfish. The life guards are always looking for issues of this nature.

Colonel Talley then addressed moving the Teen Center closer to base housing. The Teen Center will soon be in the place of Outdoor Recreation and the dive shop.

Outdoor Recreation has moved to the old furniture store's location and is open during its normal business hours.

Future plans include connecting the Youth Center and Teen Center into one building, Colonel Talley said. The consolidation of the Youth and Teen centers will improve the building and add more space for meeting rooms and an expanded youth gym.

Airmen in the dorms or deployed personnel in billeting having better access to Outdoor Recreation is another benefit of the building swap, he said.

Another issue discussed involved the break in and destruction of government property by a group of adolescents at Andersen Middle School and an empty housing unit, which the adolescents used as a hangout.

The damage to the school and housing unit will cost thousands of dollars to fix.

"It started out with a few break ins at the school," Colonel Talley said. "Then we noticed there was some damage to the school to include spray painted racial epithets. It all kind of ramped up over several months. Because of this we asked our 36th Security Forces Squadron, whose primary job is flight line and perimeter security, to help us step up vigilance in the housing and school area."

The incident is currently under investigation, with the base legal office and the 36th Security Forces Squadron currently handling this matter.

The town hall meeting came to close, with questions being answered from members of the crowd with the assurance from General Ruhlman and Colonel Talley that all issues and concerns would be taken into consideration.

"We have people up here, with the sole task of writing all of these questions down," Colonel Talley said. "You can also come up in a few minutes and talk to us personally with any other questions."