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Wing cleans up their act in pre-Labor Day grind

Master Sgt. Kevin Watson, 111th Attack Wing recruiting office supervisor, uses a hedge trimmer to cut back shrubs that surround the Wing’s headquarters building, Aug. 4, 2015, Horsham Air Guard Station, Pennsylvania. Watson used his landscaping skills during the wing’s clean-up day. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released)

Master Sgt. Kevin Watson, 111th Attack Wing recruiting office supervisor, uses a hedge trimmer to cut back shrubs that surround the Wing’s headquarters building, Aug. 4, 2015, Horsham Air Guard Station, Pennsylvania. Watson used his landscaping skills during the wing’s clean-up day. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Shieka Wilcox, 111th Attack Wing Human Resources Office, was assigned to the weed-pulling team during the base-clean-up day Aug, 4, 2015 at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pennsylvania. Wilcox joined her fellow Airmen in using the event to accomplish base beautification, but also to spend time with members that she doesn’t always see during the duty day. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Shieka Wilcox, 111th Attack Wing Human Resources Office, was assigned to the weed-pulling team during the base-clean-up day Aug, 4, 2015 at Horsham Air Guard Station, Pennsylvania. Wilcox joined her fellow Airmen in using the event to accomplish base beautification, but also to spend time with members that she doesn’t always see during the duty day. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. James Tobolski, 111th Attack Wing project manager, holds up a sign that he found while clearing out unneeded items on the base during the Wing’s clean-up day Aug, 4, 2015 at Horsham Air Guard, Station, Pennsylvania. Tobolski was a key component in organizing the day, which not only leads to a better-maintained installation, but also encourages esprit de corps among the participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released

Chief Master Sgt. James Tobolski, 111th Attack Wing project manager, holds up a sign that he found while clearing out unneeded items on the base during the Wing’s clean-up day Aug, 4, 2015 at Horsham Air Guard, Station, Pennsylvania. Tobolski was a key component in organizing the day, which not only leads to a better-maintained installation, but also encourages esprit de corps among the participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Andria Allmond/Released

HORSHAM AIR GUARD STATION, Pa. -- Volunteers from the 111th Attack Wing prepared for Labor Day by flexing their muscles in manual labor during a base clean-up event held Aug. 4, 2015 here.

Organized several times a year, base beautification not only makes the installation look it's best, but it also gives members the chance to work with fellow Guardsmen they might not see on the average duty day, said Col. Howard "Chip" Eissler, 111th ATKW commander.

"We take everyone and spread them throughout the base," said Chief Master Sgt. James A. Tobolski, 111th ATKW project manager. "It doesn't matter if they know the person who'll be working next to them because by the end of the day, they will. In fact, it's actually better when we split up offices and units."

The day began with a commander's call, rallying the troops and readying them for the day's events. After a short address and a recognition of newly-acquired members led by Eissler, Tobolski divided the assembly into smaller working groups, each with an assigned leader and duties specific to an area of the base. Responsibilities ranged from raking leaves and trimming shrubbery to larger-scale functions like tree trimming and wood chipping.

"When we have a base clean-up day, it certainly accomplishes the mission of enhancing the appearance of the base, but it also allows us to showcase skills that fall outside the realm of what we do every day as Guardsmen," said Master Sgt. Kevin Watson, 111th ATKW recruiting office supervisor. "For example, we might not know that this master sergeant knows landscaping or that major is capable operating heavy equipment. Yet, on days like this, those hidden talents are showcased and utilized for the good of the unit."

After toiling in the 90-some degree weather, the partitioned teams reunited at the installation's dining facility--tired, but spirited from a morning of comradery and cleaning. And in the end, the impeccable installation was proof positive that teamwork triumphed
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"As with all of our base clean-up days, we consider this one a success," said Tobolski. "Getting people out and moving with their military family, while working for a unified goal is always a win
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"And for those who had a good time today, don't worry, they'll be plenty more opportunities to get out of the office and do some manual labor."