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  • Published
  • By Bob Hughes
  • 6th Civil Engineer Squadron director
As you drive around this base, I am certain you have witnessed several projects under way. Construction equipment and dirt piles are not the most visually attractive landscape, but they are signs of progress. It is impossible not to notice all the changes that have occurred at MacDill over the recent months and the last several years. In my position in the civil engineer squadron, I have been fortunate to have been part of multiple construction, demolition and repair projects. I have enjoyed the opportunity to see many efforts from the initial idea stage through completion.

With long planning and programming lead time required for most projects, most civil engineer commanders do not get to see so many big projects from the cradle to grave completion. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be at a thriving installation with so many good ideas that lead to continuous improvements. This is the fun part of an Air Force civil engineer's job, listening to other's inputs, recognizing achievable results, and then executing projects for long lasting improvements from which everyone can benefit. I see that as a collective opportunity to vote on the future of MacDill AFB. Believe it or not, CE is always looking for your input.

This year we are again changing our infrastructure that will permanently alter the way we travel around key locations on MacDill. First, we are adding a lane to South Boundary Boulevard that will open in late August. The intent is to assist in expediting northbound traffic, primarily during heavy periods at the end of the work day. The other major traffic flow change is at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard. and Florida Keys Avenue. The rerouting of Florida Keys is necessary to construct our new visiting quarters facility that will be located just south of the Davis Conference Center. This will be a long, nearly two year construction project bringing us 350 rooms in a world class VQ that will enhance the experience for our frequent visitors attending conferences or just visiting to enjoy all MacDill AFB has to offer.

One important aspect in our busy lives, but sometimes difficult to do is recognize the opportunity to affect change. Due to the nature of military life, change is constantly happening all around us. People move on to additional challenges, organizations evolve to meet the needs of higher level headquarters or local customers, and we reinvest in our installations to meet current and future mission requirements. Some individuals tend to lead change while others are reluctant to participate. How do you see yourself in a changing world or organization? Do you look at it as an opportunity to improve or just another burdensome thing to endure?

At this point you may be wondering, why is he talking about change? In addition to the modifications taking shape at MacDill, we again are blessed in this country to have free elections. Although this is a long process, it is the benefit of having freedom and choices. The country collectively discusses possible changes.

This year I will experience something for the first time in my life, which is living in a city that will host a political party's national convention the week of Aug. 27. There will be several impacts on us that week to include some hectic traffic disruptions for our commuting community. Our traffic disruptions will be minor inconveniences compared to downtown Tampa.
Just try to keep it all in perspective. This is a milestone event in the election process. It's a process that provides you the freedom to tell your elected officials what you want and voice your opinion on future changes. Your country is looking for your input.