JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Many Airmen at the dormitories and Soldiers at the barracks have encountered difficulties in the parking lots because of snow.
Whether it is walking to their cars or walking towards the dormitory or barracks, everyone should be cautious, and pay attention to residents about to park their cars which can slide because of the overabundance of snow.
The 773d Civil Engineer Squadron for the Elmendorf side and Western Company snow removal contractor for the Richardson side have implemented a plowing schedule to keep lots clear and most importantly safe for all Airman and Soldiers.
“We have specific days to work on each parking lot,” said Gary Sliwa, 773d CES snow barn lead civilian. “Our goal to maintain safety for pedestrians and vehicles. We work to ensure most of the snow and ice is removed, and use sand to provide vehicles with better traction.”
Informing dormitory and barracks residents how the schedule will work is crucial.
For the Elmendorf side, “Each Airman Dormitory Leader has a listing of every Airman in their facility and if their parking lot is going to be closed, the ADL will send out an email 72 hours prior, regarding closures,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Lee Pentimone, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron unaccompanied housing superintendent.
Pentimone said signs are displayed in the parking lot 72 hours before closures. Another way residents stay informed is by signs posted on doors and bulletin boards of facilities. Most recently the ADLs have shared the information with the first sergeants, to help spread the word to Airmen.
Without plowing, parking lots can be hazardous.
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Angelica Higuera, 301st Intelligence Squadron signal intelligence discovery analyst, said that although she owns an all-wheel-drive vehicle, when parking lot spaces are not plowed it can be difficult to park.
“I don’t want to hit another car or one of the plug outlets, let alone get stuck,” Higuera said.
Furthermore, it can impact JBER’s mission in a negative way.
“If someone’s car gets stuck, it will affect the time they arrive to work, not to mention if someone falls and gets injured it would prevent them from doing their job,” Sliwa said.
All the planning and hard work will not come to fruition if dorm and barracks residents don’t cooperate and play their part.
“It is paramount that Airman and Soldiers help us help them by moving their cars from the parking lots, said Sliwa. “If they follow the schedule, we can ensure clear parking lots.”
Consequences are being implemented for those who do not follow the schedule.
“Potential parking tickets and even towing vehicles,” Pentimone said. “We reach out to residents before taking action, but some of them don’t give us any choice.”