176 Wing supports JBER Annual Foreign Object Airfield Clean-up Walk
By Staff Sgt. N. Alicia Goldberger, 176 Wing
/ Published May 22, 2012
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON -- Guardsmen of the 176 Wing here started the work week May 14 with a 'FOD walk', a military term for removing foreign objects and debris from a particular area.
Every Spring after the snow melts, JBER holds a Foreign Object Airfield Clean-up Walk with the help of military members from all corners of the base.
The 176 Wing supported the clean-up by providing as many personnel as possible. Guardsmen who normally wear the dress blues uniform on Mondays showed up in Airmen Battle Uniforms. Other than offering some emergency services, all offices were shutdown and all available guardsmen gathered in the parking lot of Hangar 21.
They spread out into a long line and covered a sector of the airfield, picking up litter and anything else that did not belong there.
Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Akers, an aircraft electrical and environmental systems technician from the 176 Maintenance Squadron, was recognized for finding the most interesting foreign object for the Wing. It was a fifty-pound light cover from the old taxi lights before they were upgraded. Lt. Col. Michael Griesbaum, deputy commander of the 176 Operations Group, found the largest foreign object for the Wing, a marking pole to identify fire hydrants along the taxiway.
"Removing foreign objects from the airfield is not just for aesthetic reasons, but crucial for safe aviation operations," said Col. Robert A. K. Doehl, vice commander of the wing. "These are objects that otherwise could have been ingested by and destroyed aircraft engines, run-over by and punctured aircraft tires, or otherwise caused mishaps."
This year, military members collected over 1,970 pounds of foreign objects from the airfield.
"I personally thank each and every one of you for your assistance in the continuing fight against FOD," said Tech. Sgt. Jacob Decker, the 3rd Wing FOD manager. "It is because of you that JBER is a cleaner, safer place to fly, fight and win."