97 CES keeps it ‘reel’ during Earth Day fishing derby

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Heidi Bucins
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 97th Civil Engineer Squadron environmental flight hosted the third-annual fishing derby for Airmen and family members at the fishing pond on Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, April 28, 2023.

The fishing derby is held annually in celebration of Earth Day. The event gives service members, family members and friends the opportunity to get outdoors and spend time together while fishing.

Kelly Niland, 97th CES natural resource program manager, helped organize the derby alongside other environmental team members and Oklahoma game wardens.

“The fishing derby is a contest to see who can catch the biggest fish in celebration of Earth Day,” she said. “The point of it is to get families, kids, and people who have never fished before to experience this outdoor activity. It’s a morale boost for people!”

Senior Master Sgt. Rodolfo Pena, 97th CES operations flight superintendent, described why the fishing derby is a special event to him.

“It’s a way for us to come back to our resiliency side of being in the military and civilian workforce,” he said. “Having a day like this gives the ability to wind down and enjoy each other’s company. Nothing else is better than relaxing with a day of fishing and family.’’