Commander’s Highlights

Starting out I would like to say I’ve been waiting all summer for this nice snow.
I want to thank Steve Vanhelten for his contribution to this month’s Highlights.
Here we go. I entered the Air Force in December of 1977. Basic training was at Lackland
Air Force Base outside San Antonio, Texas. Tech school was at Shepard Air Force Base outside
Wichita Falls, Texas. My AFSC was 56650 and titled Entomology Specialist which is a fancy
name for doing pest control. I killed roaches, termites, mosquitos, rats and other pests in the
barracks and base housing. Calls to treat beds for crab lice usually came in groups of three.
My first permanent base was at Malmstrom Air Force Base outside Great Falls, Montana.
Malmstrom at the time was a SAC missile base. We would fog the base for mosquitos
between 01:00 and 05:00 hours three times a week. Just before we would go by the weapons
storage area we would call and let them know we were coming. For three weeks in a row as
we went by the weapons storage area; we would be pulled over by the same two Security
Policemen. They would have their windshield wipers going trying to wipe the malathion we
were spraying off their windshield. We would turn off the fogger and get out of the truck.
We would be wearing hard hats, goggles, respirators, white coveralls, steel toed combat
boots and rubber gloves. They would be in combat fatigues and smelling of malathion.
They would then ask us what we were doing. We would reply fogging for mosquitos. After
three weeks of this replied, “What does it look like we are doing?” My sergeant’s jaw dropped
and the Security Policemen looked at each other and went back to their truck. We were
never pulled over again.
In July of 1979 I was transferred to Kadena Air Base Okinawa, Japan. My last six months on
Okinawa my duty station was Marine Corps Base Camp Kinser. One day while driving an
Air Force truck to Kinser I was stopped at a stop light. To my right was a Japanese Cement
Mixer. Between us on a scooter were two kids. At the lights the kids on scooters would filter up
between the stopped lines of car and trucks and scoot out in front of you when the light turned 
green and their top speed was always slower than the speed limit. I depressed the clutch and 
revved the engine like I did back home challenging for a drag race. The driver of the cement mixer answered. When the light turned green the kids on the scooter lost. The driver of the cement mixer was grinning from ear to ear and the kids were white as sheets. at the next light they stayed behind us.
My last base was Offutt Air Force Base Omaha, SAC headquarters. I had just made Staff Sergeant.
In our office we had a coffee maker. Everyone in the office took turns making coffee. One day when it was my turn I put the filter into the coffee maker, leveled the grounds with the top of the filter and brewed the pot. I started drinking the coffee black without cream or sugar. After each sip I would exclaim how great the coffee tasted. The other Staff Sergeant started drinking the pot with me. When we finished the pot, it was his turn to make the next pot. He made it just like I had. The airmen in the office then voted that Sergeants were not allowed to make coffee. I did not sleep that night.
A great job of telling your story. Thank you !!!!!!
That’s it for this month please tune in next month for more I hope.
Commander Ron Ihde with Steve Vanhelten’s help.
RECRUIT RECRUIT !!!!!!           319 290 6762        319 276 4662