Buckley selected AFSPC 'installation excellence' winners

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Having a base packed with individual command- and Air Force-level award winners and more than a few "over-achievers" seems to add up to excellence for Buckley Air Force Base.

The base was recently selected as the 2006 Commander-in-Chief's Installation Excellence Award winner by Air Force Space Command.

The Presidential award was established to recognize efforts by people in the Armed Forces who operate and maintain military bases around the globe, and is given to one installation from each service for enhancing mission performance and quality of life through excellent working, housing and recreational conditions.

Buckley AFB will now compete against the winners from other major commands within the Air Force for the honor of being named overall installation excellence winner.

The winner should be announced sometime this summer, said Lt. Col. J.P. Page, 460th Civil Engineer Squadron commander and author of the winning award nomination package.

The award carries $1 million in monetary prizes, which are dedicated to further quality-of-life improvements, and divided between the top three installations. The first place winner receives the majority of the money: $500,000.

Buckley AFB is still growing, a result of the change from a National Guard base to an active duty base in 2001. The new construction, facility upgrades and other improvements to the base infrastructure has added roughly 125,000 square feet in the last year alone, totaling more than $22 million.

Future project highlights will include the completion of the new chapel, the installation of a running track, and the construction of the Leadership Development Center, Colonel Page said.

Other accomplishments that distinguished Buckley AFB from the competition: having a Medical Group managing a joint venture with the University of Colorado and a Military Personnel Flight work enlisted performance report referral issues with the Air Force Personnel Center for a solution distributed Air Force-wide.

Buckley AFB also brought home bragging rights from AFSPC for Best Civil Engineer Unit and Best Resources Flight. Maj. Dave Wilder, 460th CES Operations Officer, won the Design Excellence Award for his extended efforts toward and commitment to quality and innovation in Air Force facilities design, and 1st Lt. Scott Hunter was named Outstanding Civil Engineer Manager of the Year.