Not your father’s base housing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kevin Wallace
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
Imagine base housing - a group of aging structures with scratched trim, worn paint, leaking roofs and windows that mimic the sound of a freight train when the wind blows through their leaking seams. Though this may have been the situation on military installations around the world in the years past, Airmen are housed in brand new housing units with state-of-the-art appliances on Dover Air Force Base today.

This, after all, is not your father's base housing.

Dover Air Force Base Properties, LLC (Hunt Construction and Pinnacle Property) provides Airmen of all ranks with houses anyone would be proud to live in, said Deborah Augustine, Pinnacle community manager.

"As a 'military brat,' growing up on bases my whole life, I remember the way housing used to be," she said. "This year, our staff had the privilege of handing over 232 keys to brand-new houses here. It's an awesome feeling to see these Airmen housed in units commensurate with the duty and sacrifice they make for our nation."

The Team Dover command and civil engineers agree. In fact, the base's goal is to have all brand-new houses by 2009.

"At project completion, the 212 homes constructed in 2004 - 2005 will be joined by 768 new homes, making Dover the first base in Air Mobility Command to have all new housing," said Ray Couey, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron housing and base-asset manager.

Not only will the base have the newest homes, they'll be the nicest, said Mrs. Augustine.

"All new homes have garages, no less than two full baths and energy-efficient appliances," said Mrs. Augustine. "Servicemembers are no longer responsible for their snow removal or landscaping (unless their yard is fenced in). This service is taken care of by the property manager leaving more time for member to spend quality time with the family."

Everyone is on board with these initiatives, said Col. Eric Wydra, 436th Airlift Wing vice commander. With these new houses and individual cleaning and upkeep efforts from all assigned residents, the Team Dover community could be the benchmark of all base housing.

"We have the luxury of living in some of the newest and nicest base houses in the Air Force," he said. "It is up to each of us to ensure we display the same professionalism in our housing community."

Through the years, commanders have always lived in nice houses for the era of their command. However, for the enlisted, the case was much, much different in the years gone by, said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Reuning, acting 436th AW command chief.

In the Dover area, in 2007, a married E-3 gets $1062 per month for basic housing allowance. The chance would be nearly impossible for this same Airman to find a brand-new house with the same square footage, yard, amenities and a garage anywhere in the area. Today's Airmen have housing available to them that's been unparalleled anywhere at any time in Air Force history.

"I have been in the Air Force nearly 30 years and this is, without a doubt, the nicest family housing I have ever seen for a new airman or an old chief like myself," he said. "I truly appreciate the dedication and hard work of both Hunt and Pinnacle to make these houses more than brick and mortar - to make them homes our Air Force families can be proud to live in. I also want to thank all our families for taking time to keep these homes beautiful and making them the best, bar none, in the Air Force!"