GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall here also plagued Texas, in a record-breaking multi-weather phenomenon, the week of Feb. 15.
“We got about five or six inches of snow,” said Maj. Christopher Higgins, 17th Civil Engineering Squadron commander. “Students were having a hard time getting to and from class, one individual even fell and broke their arm.”
Air Force bases in snowy climates have dedicated snow removal teams to clear out ice and snow when the weather calls for it.
“We don’t have any of that here at Goodfellow, because we’re in Texas,” said Higgins. “All we had was two bobcats, a backhoe, and three hand shovels.”
Already coping with rolling power outages, water issues, electricity outages, no heat, freezing temperatures and bursting pipes, the lack of equipment was no issue for Team Goodfellow.
“We rented a grader from downtown, so we’ve been using that to clear up the roads across the installation,” said Higgins. “We used the bobcats for the troop walks, allowing the trainees to pass safely to and fro.”
Like Goodfellow, the city of San Angelo also had no snowplows therefore, the 17th CES stood up a nine-man team and pieced together every available resource from around the base to tackle the issue of snow removal. This is another example of how when faced with challenges, Team Goodfellow thrives and overcomes obstacles.
“We were able to buy some snow shovels for the base, and reached out to the different training squadrons’ commanders,” said Higgins. “From there, we got their bay orderlies to go out and shovel the snow around their buildings, which increased the safety for their Airmen.”
Taking on the snow at high rate, the newly created snow removal team worked through the night of Feb. 16-17 to ensure the safety of all personnel traveling on base.
“It’s really come together for not having any equipment and an inexperienced team when dealing with snow,” said Higgins. “We had a nine-man team, and they were outstanding at adapting and overcoming the challenges thrown at them in order to continue the mission. They’ve been killing it, and I’m very proud of the work they’ve done.”