News>Front Range bases assist with displacement vouchers
Senior Airman Jennifer Schneider and Airman 1st Class Chelsey Neumeier sign travel orders for U.S. Air Force Academy base housing residents during a processing line at the Academy's community center in Colorado Springs, Colo., July 9, 2012. Residents were evacuated from the Academy June 26-29 as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire, which did not destroy any structures on base but burned more than 18,000 acres and 346 homes in Colorado Springs. Schneider and Neumeier are assigned to the 50th Force Support Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Branum)
U.S. Air Force Academy housing residents wait in line to file vouchers at the Academy Community Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 9, 2012. Approximately 50 Airmen and civilian employees from the Academy and other local military installations set up a processing line to streamline the voucher application process. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Branum)
7/10/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- Airmen from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Schriever and Peterson Air Force bases and employees from Fort Carson set up a processing line at the Academy's community center July 9-10 to help file vouchers for Academy housing and enlisted dormitory residents who were displaced during the Waldo Canyon Fire.
More than 600 families evacuated Pine Valley and Douglass Valley housing areas here the evening of June 26, and while those living in base housing returned June 29, some areas of Colorado Springs' Mountain Shadows subdivision still lay under evacuation orders as of July 9.
In all, 50 people from six agencies took part in the process, said Mike Beeson, the chief of the 10th Force Support Squadron Personnel Services Flight.
"This was a brilliant team effort," Beeson said. "All the folks we've helped have been stellar. I couldn't have asked for anything more."
The line incorporated separate checkpoints for military and civilian personnel. Airmen and civilian employees double checked residents' orders and vouchers, routing them to Forest City and the staff judge advocate officials as needed. A handful of NCOs staffed a resolution area, where they helped iron out kinks in residents' paperwork.
The processing line helped 75 people during the first morning's session, which started at 9 a.m. By 1 p.m., the time the afternoon session began, nearly that number had already lined up for help.
"I'm ecstatic with how well everything went (the first morning)," Beeson said. "There are some things we can do smarter with regard to copying orders, but I think we're hitting a home run."
Staff Sgt. Michael White, a physical therapist for the 10th Medical Group who was displaced, agreed.
"It was awesome," he said. "It's really great that everyone came up here and put this together. Once I started, I got through in eight minutes."
While the venue required a different route to work for the Schriever and Peterson AFB Airmen who helped staff the processing line, they didn't seem to mind. Senior Airman Jennifer Schneider and Airman 1st Class Chelsey Newmeier, from the 50th Force Support Squadron at Schriever AFB, said their drive to the Academy was actually shorter than their normal commute.
While Senior Airman Joshua Thomas faced a longer-than-normal drive -- from his residence on the east side of Colorado Springs to the Academy instead of Peterson -- he didn't seem to mind.
"I'm just glad to help out," he said.
7/10/2012 2:51:07 PM ET Thanks to all the finance personnel that helped out we greatly appreciate it