Local

April 20, 2012

912th Refueling Squadron adopts a highway just in time for Earth Day

Tags:
Story and photos by Megan Crusher
452 AMW Public Affairs
cleanup1
Twenty members of the 912th Air Refueling Squadron pick up litter along the southbound I215 between the Cactus exit and just past the Van Buren exit for their inaugural litter removal after adopting a highway through Caltrans' Adopt-A-Highway program, Feb. 24. (U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher)

It’s not an uncommon sight to see people in regular clothes with neon vests, hard hats, goggles and work gloves carrying a trash picker-upper in one hand and a plastic bag in the other while removing litter from the side of a highway; some have even been spotted wearing bright orange jumpsuits.

However, if you were a motorist driving southbound on Interstate 215, near March Air Reserve Base, Feb. 24, you would have been in for a pleasant surprise as 20 members of the 912th Air Refueling Squadron, dressed in ABUs and flight suits, banded together to pick up litter alongside the highway.

No direct order was given, nor punishment issued; they were there because they wanted to be. Simply put, the members wanted to help beautify the highway outside the base.

It all started one morning when Capt. Rick Adams, pilot, 912th ARS, was driving to work and noticed a bunch of trash gathered up against the fence near the museum.

“I thought, we should go clean up that area because it looks really bad and it makes the base look bad,” said Adams.

When he got to work he asked a co-worker if he was in the mood to do a good deed and volunteer to pick up trash alongside the perimeter fence. After a minute or so, he recanted his question thinking it might be against a local mandate. He thought there would probably be a lot of red tape to go through for permission, but then an idea dawned on him.

“I thought, maybe we could officially adopt the highway; that way we’re legal,” said Adams.

Adams and Capt. Scott Morrison, pilot, 912th ARS, ran the idea by their commander, Lt. Col. Brice Middleton, who was just as enthusiastic about the idea and encouraged them to pursue their endeavor.

“I thought it was a great idea and a great way to support the community and help the environment,” said Middleton.

Adams contacted Caltrans, managers of the Adopt-A-Highway program, requested an area close to the base and filled out all the required paperwork. The process took about two months and after everything was completed, the 912th was given a two mile stretch southbound, starting a little north of the Cactus off-ramp, ending just past the Van Buren off-ramp. Driver’s getting off on Cactus will see the ‘Adopt-A-Highway’ 912th Air Refueling Squadron sign that was posted as a courtesy by Caltrans.

Caltrans provided safety equipment, trash bags and safety training to Adams and Morrison in order to prepare them for the duration of the job and hazards they might encounter. The training also prepared them to teach volunteers how to remain safe while removing trash from the side of a busy interstate.

The 912th’s Adopt-A-Highway sign was created and installed as a courtesy by Caltrans at no cost to the 912th ARS.

Col. Mary Aldrian, vice commander, 452 AMW attended the first safety training session to show her support for the squadron and volunteers.

“I think it’s wonderful what the squadron is doing,” she said.

The first litter removal lasted more than two hours and resulted in a pile of 20 bags, plus pieces of wood and tires.

“I will definitely do it again,” said volunteer, Staff Sgt. Michael Tate, unit training manager, 912th ARS. “Anything to make our highways beautiful.”

The 912th has owned the two-mile stretch since February and will be responsible for the area for five years. They conducted their second litter removal in March and their third is scheduled for the end of April. They will continue to clean up the roadway at least once a month.

“I’m pleased with how things turned out our first time out,” said Adams. “This was a perfect thing for our squadron to do, to get out there and help the community, help the environment and make the area outside the base look nicer.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

Airman retires after 37 years of service

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang Chief Master Sgt. Karen L. Krause, 452nd Maintenance Operations Squadrons superintendent, receives a flag from a Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard member during her retireme...
 
 

Look past 1947 for Air Force roots

The Air Force officially turns 67 this month, but my Uncle Gino thinks it’s older. He’s 90 and the lone surviving brother of my father. Both of them served in World War II, as did two of their siblings. My father was in the Navy, as was his eldest brother, Europeo (his real name, I...
 
 
Courtesy Photo

Pilots earned top honor for WW II actions

Courtesy Photo First Lt. Donald J. Gott and 2nd Lt. William E. Metzger Jr. of the 452nd Bombardment Group, were killed when their heavily damaged B-17 Flying Fortress exploded Nov. 9, 1944, as they raced to friendly territory i...
 

 

A reminder of our 24/7/365 responsibility to ourselves and each other

All Airmen have a responsibility that last much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in September, the month-long event is a reminder of everyone’s 24/7, 365-day responsibility to...
 
 
HBI-Web-Graphic

Online risk assessment offers ways to evaluate, improve health

How well do you know yourself? Poor health is not always obvious. Even people who appear healthy can be at risk for medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Health Risk ...
 
 

Life is all about choices

Back when I lived in the rural Midwest, late September and October was harvest time for the farming communities. For many frantic weeks, farmers would be out in the fields from morning to night, trying to beat the first snowfall, gathering in the crops they had planted earlier that spring. In southwest Minnesota the harvest...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin