War on Terrorism

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Face of Defense: Airmen Help to Make Iraq Cleaner

By Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Lee
U.S. Air Forces Central

KIRKUK, Iraq, May 17, 2011 – After six straight days on the job, people usually use their day off to rest and recover before their week starts again. That's not the case with a group of airmen deployed to Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Iraq.

As areas of the base got dirtier and more polluted with trash, members of the 321st Expeditionary Logistical Readiness Squadron’s vehicle maintenance flight created a volunteer project called Operation Kirkuk Regional Air Base Cleanup.

On any given Sunday, the program allows anyone from any unit to spend a few hours walking around the base to pick up trash with fellow airmen.

"I have enjoyed doing this, because while I'm working, I'm hanging out with everyone," said Air Force Senior Airman Troy Jenkins, a volunteer with the project. "We all have a good time together working, so it makes time fly."

Airmen of all ranks who wanted to make a difference and create a cleaner atmosphere have assisted in making the program successful by engrossing themselves in it and helping to contribute toward impressive results: more than 7,500 pounds of trash and debris collected in less than three months since the project began.

"It's nice helping out," said Jenkins, who is deployed from Altus Air Force Base, Okla. "Any time you can put something in a better spot than it was, it's good."

The volunteers recognize the impact they have in keeping the grounds clean and kept up until Iraqi forces assume control of the base.

"In the future, we will be giving back this area to the [Iraqis], so we need to keep it in good shape," said Airman 1st Class David Moseley, a founder of the project. "We're trying to show that it may not be our country, but we do want to take care of it as much as we can."

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