Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

November 24, 2011 at 7:33am

McChord CGOC cleans up highway

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Drivers traveling the stretch of Interstate 5 from State Route 512 to Gravelly Lake Road may see a familiar name on the sign at mile marker 127.

You might even say "Team McChord" owns that stretch of highway.

The McChord Company Grade Officers' Council recently teamed up with the Washington State Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway program. Per the agreement, the CGOC is required to pick up litter on that assigned stretch of highway four times a year for the next four years.

"We're proud owners of that two-miles of I-5," said Capt. Kristina Sawtelle, a logistics officer with the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McChord Field and the president of the CGOC. "We're going to keep that two miles as clean as we can."

The CGOC - which is made up of lieutenants and captains - exists to aid in CGOs' professional development, expand their social network and perform community service both on and off base.

The group approved the project unanimously and sent a group of 10 Airmen to the site Nov. 7 to clean it up.

"Everybody was on board with it," Sawtelle said.

The CGOC actually had to turn other junior officers who wanted to come out away because there can only be a select number of people picking up trash for safety reasons.

"We wanted to look for a community service project that we could consistently be able to do," said 2nd Lt. Lana Moore, the CGOC community service chairman. "It's nice to be able to clean up in the communities where we live and where the base is."

CGOC members also liked the fact the sign gives the base and Team McChord Airmen some positive visibility to those passing through, Moore added.

The activity itself of picking up trash on the morning of Nov. 7 also created a great opportunity for Airmen to get together and make new friends.

"There were some of us who didn't know each other," said Moore, an officer in the 627th Force Support Squadron.

As for the activity itself?

"There was a lot of trash out there," Moore said with a laugh. "We found some interesting stuff."

The community service project is just one of the things on the group's agenda. The CGOC is currently preparing to host a professional development conference in Seattle in May.

"It's a huge undertaking," Sawtelle said.

More than 250 CGOs from bases all over the country are set to come to the Northwest for the event, which is titled "Building the Strategic-Minded CGO."

The group will also unveil a new environmental plan, "Green as We Go," on base and locally early next year.

"It's designed to encourage people to pick up trash as they go through their day-to-day business," Moore said.

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