JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson personnel participated in Operation Clean Sweep, an installation-wide event in support of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce's 51st Annual Citywide Cleanup April 28 to May 4.
After each winter, JBER personnel in an organized joint effort to improve the installation’s appearance and cleanliness.
“It’s that time where we get all the units of JBER together,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Michael Riley, 773d Civil Engineer Squadron heavy repair superintendent. “All mission partners are involved; we go around the installation collecting trash and making sure the base looks clean.”
Operation Clean Sweep is more than just a name–it demonstrates action and change.
“It’s base beautification. It helps us show some pride in where we work,” Riley said. “It’s amazing the things you can find once the snow melts. After it’s over, there is also a team maintaining the cleaning effort for the remainder of the year.”
As part of the cleaning week, base members were responsible for edging and sweeping sidewalks, removing dead plants, mowing and raking, cleaning and weeding flowerbeds, cleaning parking lots, fence lines and ditches, and identifying and submitting work orders for items that need repair or pose hazards.
Those who volunteer know the importance of keeping the base in optimal condition and how it reflects on every member of the JBER community.
“We send the message that we care for our installation by preserving its cleanliness as much as possible,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Anthony, 673d Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance apprentice. “It felt good to help clean up the base and keep it presentable for our guests.”
The hard work and dedication of all JBER personnel who participated in cleaning the base paid off.
“Nine tons of refuse were hauled off base to the Anchorage Regional Landfill after the clean-up ended,” Riley said. “This was truly a whole base effort; every branch of the military was represented, conserving the shine of our Pacific keystone weapon system.”