Air Guard rededicates Base Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility

By Senior Airman Maxwell A. Rechel
123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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Chief Master Sgt. Curtis Carpenter, command chief of the 123rd Airlift Wing, cuts a ribbon officially reopening the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility at the Louisville, Ky., base on Jan. 7, 2012. The facility, now known as The Winner’s Circle, features pool and foosball tables, a kitchen and a volleyball court. It is operated by the 123rd Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard came together Jan. 7 to reopen the base Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility with a new name: “The Winner’s Circle.”

The facility, which features pool and foosball tables, a kitchen and a volleyball court, is designed to boost morale and foster camaraderie between organizations, said Col. Greg Nelson, commander of the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing.

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Tech. Sgt. Shuan Cowherd (right) assistant wing fitness manager for the 123rd Force Support Squadron, talks with fellow FSS Airmen Tech. Sgt. Ricky Odle (middle) and Tech. Sgt. Aaron Foote at the reopening of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 7, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

“I think it’s a great facility, and a great opportunity for people to get together after Saturday’s drill,” Nelson said following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to re-dedicate the site. “They can share experiences of the day and talk about the weekend, and it’s a great time to interact between organizations.”

The facility’s new was selected from more than 100 suggestions offered by wing members, said Lt. Col. George Imorde, 123rd Force Support Squadron commander.

The MWR facility had been underutilized for some time, and base leaders hope renewed emphasis will lead to better esprit de corps across the wing.

“We talked about getting a solid MWR back up and running for the enlisted,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Greenwood, “and we saw it as nothing but a good thing. This is just a start, and hopefully we can make it grow bigger.”

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Airman 1st Class Reymart Relos, a food service specialist with the 123rd Force Support Squadron, plays pool during the reopening of the Kentucky Air National Guard’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 7, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

The 123rd FSS will open The Winner’s Circle every Saturday afternoon following the duty day. Meanwhile, the hospitality of snacks, drinks and food items will be provided by a rotating system of units on base, Imorde said.

He noted that many Guard units don’t have the MWR resources of active-duty bases, which often include concerts, movie theaters and bowling alleys, so facilities like The Winner’s Circle take on even more importance.

“This is just a small piece we can do and hope to make bigger,” he said.

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