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Fairchild hosts US Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, addresses Airmen quality of life

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers listens to a brief with U.S. Air Force Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander and U.S. Air National Guard Col. Larry Gardner, 141st Air Refueling commander, during her visit to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Nov. 7, 2019. Wing leadership met with McMorris Rogers and her staffers to address housing availability issues as well as current civilian employment wages, in an effort to improve the quality of life and service for Airmen. (U.S. Air Force phot by Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rogers listens to a brief with U.S. Air Force Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander and U.S. Air National Guard Col. Larry Gardner, 141st Air Refueling commander, during her visit to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, Nov. 7, 2019. Wing leadership met with McMorris Rogers and her staffers to address housing availability issues as well as current civilian employment wages, in an effort to improve the quality of life and service for Airmen. (U.S. Air Force phot by Airman 1st Class Lawrence Sena)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers visited Team Fairchild Nov. 5, to discuss quality of life for Fairchild Airmen and their families, to include housing shortages and civilian employee pay as Fairchild’s mission expands into 2020.

Fairchild leaders met with McMorris Rodgers and her congressional staffers to tour a few base facilities and talk about major upcoming changes that impact the quality of life and service for Airmen.

“We value the well-being of our military members and their spouses,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Fairchild is a vital part of the Eastern Washington community, and we are continuously looking for ways to support our military families and military readiness here at Fairchild.”

Fairchild is set to receive 400 additional Airmen by the end of 2020, and with on-base housing at 99 percent capacity, wing leaders addressed housing availability issues for Airmen on and off base. One way Team Fairchild is accommodating new Airmen are plans to convert prior lodging facilities into dormitories for incoming Airmen.

“We are aware of the challenges our Airmen face when searching for housing availability, so we are working with congressional staffers to ensure these issues are addressed,” said Lt. Col. Myles Gilbert, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “Our goal is to explore all avenues to improve the quality of living for all of our Airmen both on and off base.”

The meeting also covered civilian employee wages and how Fairchild, the largest employer in the region, can compete for high-quality civilian teammates to accomplish the mission.

“We are working with our congressional staff in advocating for competitive wages for our civilian employees,” said Lindsay Bansal, 92nd Force Support Squadron civilian personnel officer. “Addressing these issues will allow us to improve our ability to recruit and retain high-quality employees and continue to build an even stronger Team Fairchild.”

Team Fairchild leaders also highlighted the incredible work of their Airmen and how they enabled the Mobility Air Force mission during Mobility Guardian 2019.

As Fairchild’s mission grows by another squadron, 400 Airmen and their families, base leadership and community partners continue to address Airmen challenges to enhance their quality of life.