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Installation excellence funds: where they are now
Airman 1st Class Craig Weires, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf_Richardson, Alaska, watches TV while sitting in brand new leather charis in Pollaris Hall's dayroom Aug. 10, 2010. Money from the 2010 Commander and Chief Installation Excellence award is being used in many different projects the most evident to Airmen is the upgrade of furnishings in dormitory day rooms. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jack Sanders)
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Installation excellence funds: where they are now

Posted 8/20/2010   Updated 8/20/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Jack Sanders

8/20/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Since the announcement of Elmendorf winning the 2010 Commander and Chief annual award for Instillation Excellence Airmen are wondering where the million dollars gained from their hard work has gone.

The answer is easier for them to find than they realize. The command staff has sent out notices in the past about their plans for the use of the money gained through the CINC award, most of which is being used to fund different long-term improvement options for the base.

Airmen in the dorms however, can have a small piece of mind knowing the comfortable leather couches they're sitting on in their day rooms and the Wired Café were purchased through the CINC funds as well as the large-screen TVs and artwork hung throughout the walls of their dormitories.

"These Airmen live here, this is their home," said Tech. Sgt. Carina Rodgers, Yukula Hall dorm manager.

"You've got to be proud of where you live," Sergeant Rodgers said.

Several things dorm residents say they often overlooked were upgraded through the funds obtained through CINC.

"We paid for the wireless internet so we have WI-FI in all the dormitories and the wired café. For the next year for the residents," Sergeant Rodgers said. "We bought all the furniture for Yukula hall with the CINC money. The leather couches, the flat-screen TV, the entertainment center, the coffee table; all of the stuff that used to be in the dayrooms was that blue Air Force furniture. We thought, 'Let's make the Airmen be proud of where they live, so let's upgrade.' We upgraded all the dormitories and the Wired Café."

The Wired Café, an area all Airmen can use to study, watch TV, surf the wireless internet.

The Wired Café memorial classroom, dedicated in honor of the late Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowls, which holds college classes Airmen or Soldiers may sign up for, has also been upgraded.

"The Wired café had a new flat-screen TV in the classroom for Power Point," she said. "All the furniture, aside from the individual TVs and laptop tables, was bought this year."

The selection choice for the new furnishings was left up to Sergeant Rodgers.

"I decorated it like I'd decorated my house," she said. "You got to be proud of where you live ...

"The biggest purchase was buying the WI-FI for the common areas for the dorm residents. Which is around $55,000 a year," Sergeant Rodgers said.

There are many more improvement projects across the base that are being funded through the CINC funds. However, the improvements for dorm residents aren't expected to end anytime soon.

"I'm currently working to get the dorm council back up and running, which will allow us to discuss other improvement options for the residents by the residents here," Sergeant Rodgers said.

Some of the other things CINC funds are supporting, according to Lt. Col. Larry Rice, 673d Comptroller Squadron commander, include but are not limited to improvements to Hangar 5 including, a track and restroom upgrades, repair of a broken golf course bridge and a bike path expansion.

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