ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
The 97th Air Mobility Wing took initiative to keep Altus Air Force Base clean during a base-wide clean-up Sept. 20, 2018, ensuring the local area remains trash-free.
When imagining a utopia, one important component is a clean community free of any pollution. Airmen assigned to Altus AFB consistently try to bring that utopian aspect to the base with routine base clean-ups.
Base clean-ups on Altus AFB take place every third Thursday of the month. On these days, Airmen pick up and throw away trash from across the entire base. This task requires teamwork and participation from the majority of base personnel.
“We’re all here together,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Michael Ortiz, a response force leader assigned to the 97th Security Forces Squadron. “So it’s important that we all pitch in and take care of each other.”
During the clean-up, the base is divided into different sections, which are then assigned to the squadrons. The 97th Civil Engineer Squadron provides everyone with gloves and trash bags and when the time comes, the squadrons start scanning their respective areas for any trash.
On the surface, it seems as though Airmen are just picking up trash to keep the base clean, but it’s not that simple.
“We represent the base,” said Ortiz. “So it’s important that things are clean, presentable, and professional.”
The clean-ups also allow Airmen to take pride in their workplace.
“The clean-ups help Airmen invest in where they live and work,” said U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Greg Towe, a flight commander assigned to the 97th SFS. “In turn, that gives them pride in what they do and how they do it.”
Every community has issues, but when the Airmen of Altus AFB discover a problem, they implement a system with hopes of prevention. The effort toward a flawless society is endless, but the cleanliness part is achievable for the Mighty 97th. Consistent base clean-ups keep the pollution-free dream.