Groundbreaking news

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Quion Lowe
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

The 16th Training Squadron worked with the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron to begin a project to renovate the area outside the 16th TRS technical training dorms, Jan. 20, 2021, here.

This project is the latest of many recent quality-of-life improvements the 16th TRS has been making to the tech school dorms. They have painted almost the entire dorm, bought new refrigerators and furniture, sporting equipment, and one student even volunteered to paint an indoor mural.

The project will include a recreational area with artificial turf, multiple gazebos and a fire pit.

“The goal is to establish a place for the Airmen in tech school where they can have their own space,” said Tech. Sgt. Brittany Brazzel, 16th TRS military training leader. “There is a really nice recreational area with the volleyball courts and other stuff, but that's all permanent party. So we want to provide a space for the tech school students to hang out away from permanent party Airmen and have their own space.”

In order to bring about this change, the 16th TRS leadership went straight to the source, asking the students the kinds of improvements they would like to see made.

“Our commander really wanted to come up with ways to improve life here for our students,’’ said Brazzel. “Once they told us they wanted a place to hang out we asked the students specifically what they would like. I’m glad that with the project we were able to implement some of those specifics like a fire pit and turf.”

Although they were able to come up with a plan right away, the COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges that at times stalled the process.

“The biggest roadblock we’ve had is definitely COVID-19,” said Thomas Knox, 49th CES Construction project manager. “It's taken us about twice as long to get everything going. Just to get people like surveyors and a design team safely here and also dealing with shipping being delayed. But COVID-19 is just something we all have to deal with now and I think with this project especially it’s important to push through.”

Although action was prolonged at certain points, Knox stressed the importance of the 16th TRS leadership staying involved through these delays.

“They were heavily involved during the beginning design process and have really had a hand in this project the whole time,” said Knox. “We even stood outside on the balcony over the area and drew together what the final product should look like. I think making sure they have full input really helps the end goal of getting the actual plans accomplished for the students who are going to live with it.”

Brazzel added how these improvements will have a positive impact on the success of the Airmen in training.

“Frequently the students will have offset schedules with their roommates and this can make it challenging to study or actively participate in remote academics,” said Brazzel. “These modernized additions to the dorm provide students with a space to study or openly discuss topics during virtual learning as well as renovated spaces to conduct leisure activities.”

With the improvements the 16th TRS continues to make to their facilities, it reinforces the all-encompassing approach to a culture of excellence and training that produces more-motivated and confident Airmen in the Air Force.