Services depends on you

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Steve Thompson
  • 509th Mission Support Group
Consider for a moment how life would be if we didn't have the wonderful luxuries and recreational opportunities that the 509th Services Squadron offers us on a daily basis here. 

Okay, moment's over, it's too harsh to imagine. Let's discuss instead how our award-winning Services team relies, in many cases, primarily on your support to provide the best possible services on base. 

Before I explain, it's important to note that the Services squadron has a huge mission providing cradle-to-grave services to more than 10,000 military, Department of Defense civilians, dependents and retirees every day.

As mentioned earlier, a critical part of the Services' mission includes providing morale and recreational activities for all on the base. 

It's important to know that most of these activities operate as businesses. As a matter of fact, Services is the only organization that manages multiple businesses while still operating within a government entity. This is no easy task. 

This means recreational activities such as golf, bowling, arts and crafts, the car wash and the Mission's End club operate purely on money generated by customers. These dollars are called non-appropriated fund dollars. 

Expenses such as new facilities, labor, utilities and custodial services are 100 percent paid from revenue brought in from customers - no government contributions are given. 

Anything left over, is placed into the NAF and is used to cover losses from other activities, replace old equipment, buy new equipment or used to fund new programming for base events.

Other key activities such as the youth center, child development center, outdoor recreation and even the swimming pool operate using a combination of NAF dollars and government funds or appropriated fund dollars. 

For these few but critical activities, the goal is for the government to subsidize with approximately 50 percent APF dollars with the remaining funded by NAF dollars. 

Simply put, the dollars you pay participating in Services activities are absolutely essential to keeping key community base services up and running. 

Why is this important? Because ultimately, if you don't participate in Services activities some may not survive.

So how can you help? First and foremost, enjoy and participate. You have a virtual country club at your disposal. 

Services offers hundreds of activities during the week and on weekends tapered to fit just about every lifestyle. 

Every time you participate it becomes easier for Services to maintain and offer better recreational opportunities for the base.  An excellent way for you to get involved is to become a club member. 

Whiteman's collocated club provides an elegant and traditional Air Force club for all ranks and is a great venue to enjoy a nice lunch buffet, book a fine dining event, relax and have a drink with a friend, or participate in any number of fun events offered each month. 

It's important to note that club membership dues are based on grade and offer a great deal versus what you might find in the private sector.

Furthermore, membership dues help your "country club" options to remain viable because, as I mentioned earlier, all NAF activities, golf, bowling, etc., benefit whenever revenue is gained in another NAF venue. 

So please stop by the Mission's End club and pick up a club membership application, ask questions and Services will buy you a free lunch.

Another way to help is to volunteer to represent your unit on the base, club or NAF advisory councils. 

These councils serve a critical role in keeping you and the community informed and are meant to provide you a voice to express your ideas, needs and expectations and help drive NAF resource decisions.

Lastly, you can be a part of the solution by providing Services your direct inputs, both good and constructive, once you've utilized their services. 

The squadron is always looking for feedback and does whatever ity can to fulfill your needs and work extremely hard to meet or exceed your expectations.

So what's in it for you? You have an entire organization of 300 plus military and civilian Services professionals working to provide you world-class service. 

Among other club member benefits mentioned above, there are many monetary benefits such as reduced prices, Services credit card incentives, club scholarships and the convenience of literally hundreds of activities and services offered right on base. 

So again, please get involved, and find out more about Services activities by visiting, or call 687-6525. You can also find out more about Services offerings in the Services section of this paper.

As the Air Force continues to cut APF service contracts, as has been the trend the last several years, NAF services will be even more important to military commanders and families who want to maintain the sense of community and lifestyle standards that we've all become accustomed too. 

Services needs your support now more than ever so please get involved with Services, you won't be sorry.