Making Offutt look good starts at the gate

  • Published
  • By David R. Hopper
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

Members of the 55th Security Forces Association worked on the landscaping just outside the Kenney Gate May 10 as part of a base beautification project.


“We do this annually because we care about making a good first impression,” said Senior Airman Kassandra Gomez, 55th Security Forces Squadron quality control evaluator and 55th SFA member.  “This is just our way of giving back to the Offutt community as members of the 55th Wing.”


The annual landscaping included new flowers, mulch and a lot of green thumbs courtesy of the 55th SFA.


The importance of projects like this go beyond just base pride, here are the viewpoints of a few patrons:


“I think it is important to make a good impression,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aray Figueroa, National Airborne Operations Center NCOIC.


“Making the gate aesthetically pleasing is important but I think what makes the most impact for me at the gate is the courteous and professional defenders who greet me in the mornings,” said Chrisinda Swede, 55th Force Support Squadron marketing specialist.


The volunteers from the 55th SFA tackled the spring beautification in four phases. The first step was simply the planning phase - determining what flowers and how much mulch is important when you are working with a limited budget. Next, they prepared the areas for the plants and mulch and pulled all of the weeds that cropped up with the spring weather. The final phase required getting their hands dirty and planting.


“We hope to inspire others to work to their fullest potential by setting the example,” said Tech. Sgt. Stephano Picchietti, 55th SFS combat arms NCOIC and 55th SFA president. “We also maintain the area around the B-52 Stratofortress at the Kenney [Flag] Gate because we want to make sure the base looks good for all guests that visit Offutt AFB.”


“Airman Gomez orchestrated the whole event this year; from securing the necessary flowers and mulch to organizing manpower,” Picchietti added. “She did a fantastic job.”


Now that the 55th SFA has completed the spring phase of the revitalization, they will maintain the area every 2 – 4 weeks or as needed until the winter.


“There were items donated by various organizations off base and even discounts given for the project, the community surrounding the base is truly amazing,” Picchietti said. “We could never thank them enough for their support.”