The Landings at Goodfellow

One of the houses slated for Airmen and NCOs at The Landings at Goodfellow (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Clayton Lenhardt)

One of the houses slated for Airmen and NCOs at The Landings at Goodfellow (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Clayton Lenhardt)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Picture this: brand new homes located less than five minutes off base, fully equipped with community recreational facilities, including basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, picnic and barbeque areas, a community center with a fitness area and great neighbors, all within your budget. This is what every Goodfellow Air Force Base servicemember with a family will have access to this June.

The Landings at Goodfellow, an impressive housing project currently under construction, is part of the Air Force Housing Privatization Program. The program is a government initiative that allows the services to leverage appropriated construction funds and government-owned property to attract private capital to improve military housing.

"There has always been a major shortage in adequate military family housing on Goodfellow," said Chief Master Sgt. Frederick Ricker, 17th Training Wing command chief master sergeant. "This is how the Landings at Goodfellow came to be. This housing project will help alleviate the housing shortage on Goodfellow and provide quality housing for the Airmen stationed here."

Chief Ricker said the housing project would not have been possible without the help of the community.

"We have a beautiful and wonderful relationship with the San Angelo community," said Chief Ricker. "They donated the land to us so we could build our housing on it. That's the tremendous partnership we have between Goodfellow and the San Angelo community."

The Department of Defense decided to take on privatized housing where they basically outsource family housing, said Chief Ricker.

Pinnacle Hunt won the bid to build the Landings at Goodfellow, which will effectively provide a great community for Airmen to live in, he added.

"I think this is something that is long overdue on Goodfellow," said Chief Ricker. The project began in August 2008 and occupancy will begin in June 2009. There will be 194 housing units available to all Goodfellow servicemembers and their families.

"The entire Team Goodfellow can apply and live in this community as long they have families," said Chief Ricker. "This project is really fabulous."

Chief Ricker said one of the things lacking on Goodfellow was a sense of community within the military itself.

"On other bases, the base is the hub of activity for the military member," said Chief Ricker. "Due to lack of adequate housing on Goodfellow it's hard to generate that kind of camaraderie. I think that having 194 military families living right off the base will lend itself to developing that kind of community relationship that I think is very important, while providing our Airmen top quality housing."

Chief Ricker said he wanted to expose the chiefs and first sergeants to the housing project, educate them on what was in store for Airmen and get them energized so they could pass on the information to their Airmen.

"One thing I'm working on is communicating effectively with all our Airmen from the chiefs to our E1s," said Chief Ricker. "It's important for them to know everything that's happening here at Goodfellow. They have to be aware that this housing is available and open to them. Unfortunately, most Airmen are not aware of that. They think it was built for the civilian community, which is not the case."

Master Sgt. Alicia Wilder, 17th Civil Engineering Squadron, said what the Air Force has done is significant.

"This is high-quality privatized housing at a low cost," said Sergeant Wilder. "You can't get quality amenities like this anywhere else at this price. They have paid attention to detail and produced top-quality housing."

Chief Master Sgt. David Crane, 17th Training Group Superintendent, said the housing project was a great opportunity for our military members.

"It's a tremendous morale booster," said Chief Crane. "This is really nice. They didn't spare any cost."

Chief Master Sgt. Edwin Forrest, 17th Mission Support Group Superintendent, said the housing project would make a big difference to servicemembers on Goodfellow.

"The quality of life has gone way up," said Chief Forrest. "It's a big improvement. I have never seen anything like this. It's great."

Chief Master Sgt. Richard Sherman, 17th Security Forces Squadron, said the housing project was outstanding. The Air Force has come a long way. This initiative will greatly improve the quality of life at Goodfellow. It's a great opportunity for the next generation Airmen, he added.

"It will be a momentous occasion for Goodfellow once we open it up," Chief Ricker said, "and this goes hand in hand with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's priority of taking care of Airmen."