Altus AFB named world's best Air Force Base

Published: Mar. 13, 2014 at 8:00 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 at 2:35 PM CDT
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ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla._Recently Altus Air Force Base was one of six bases in the running for the Air Force Commander-In-Chief's Installation Excellence Award, now they're official the best in the world.

Teams of judges based their final decision on the installation's support for the Department of Defense, innovative programs and overall marked improvements highlighted in each of the installation's submission letters.

Altus says one of their top priorities was improving the quality of life for all of the people on base, something Altus says they have worked hard to achieve. To help do that, they built an Airmen Resilience Center and it's the first of its kind and it came together without any Air Force funding, just eager volunteers.

"A lot of these young airmen are away from home for the very first time in their lives. How do you they find community and strength the assist them through the day. We believe this center is very big for that," said Air Force Chaplain Trent Davis.

The base also has an aircraft maintenance team that is almost completely civilian and they were the first active duty or civilian maintenance organization to receive star status from OSHA, meaning they have a successful health and safety management program.

"I think safety plays a big role in any organization. When a team comes in, I think that is one of the very first things they look at and I think our outstanding recognition for our safety program has made a big difference," said Safety Supervisor, Bryan Doyle.

The base also focused on improving by cutting costs, last year they saved over $4 million in fuel costs alone.

"We found that if we use the closer air refueling tracks then we would save the money and the time from going out to the further ones," said Captain Matthew Foss, Commander of Wing Current Operations.

The Commander of the base, Colonel William Spangenthal, said this award couldn't have been achieved without the help of the partnership they have with the Altus community.

"I'm very proud of our airmen. We have active duty, reserve and civilian airmen who work everyday and do incredible business and to win this award really highlights the incredible things they do on a day to day basis," said Col. Spangenthal.

Other than just recognition, close to $1 million also comes along with it, money that will be used to continue to improve quality of life. Everyone on base was given the opportunity to express how it should be spent by submitting their ideas.

Once narrowed down they'll go to a vote.