ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE — When entering the base one of the first buildings people see is the main gate’s entry facility — a small area that can have up to six airmen working at the same time and is manned 24/7, 365 days a year — a building you can expect to collect some wear and tear over the years.
When the 97th Security Forces Squadron received funds to renovate the main gates’ entry facility, they turned to Airman 1st Class Jason Martin to help make it happen.
“One day I got the news that we might be getting some money to renovate the main guard shack [entry facility] so I drove up there and asked those that were working if they had any ideas,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Smith, 97th 97th Security Forces Squadron operations superintendent. “A1C Martin had some good ideas and sent me a draft which I gave them to the command, who gave us the green light to get it get it done.”
Martin had been a handyman a year prior to enlisting in the Air Force, so his chain of command trusted him to spearhead the project.
Although Martin was the lead, he had help from fellow airmen to get the job done.
“Other airmen helped during their off time — A1C Scott Smith helped me get the supplies delivered and scraped up the old tile,” Martin said. “A1C John Noble built stands for the cabinets and stained them.”
With the help of the two other airmen, Martin has not only finished the project earlier than originally scheduled but also under budget.
Martin was given $2,000 for the renovations and finished with a surplus of $700.
An important aspect of the entry facility project is enhanced work place efficiency.
“This has increased how much room the defenders working in there have,” Smith said. “It has given them more space for equipment which has made it easier for those coming onto base.”
One of the most important results of the innovation is the morale of the airmen.
“I already saw morale increase when we started this project,” Martin said. “The guard shack [entry facility] hadn’t been touched up in a while. It feels good to have a work place that doesn’t show over a decade of wear and tear and that we can take pride in.”
Thanks to one airman leading boldly and taking the initiative it not only improved the physical appearance of an entry facility but it increased work efficiency and raised the morale of those that work inside it.
Reach Airman 1st Class Kirby Turbak at 580-481-7700.