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Vandenberg DDR gets facelift

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Recent renovations at the Drug Demand Reduction facility here allow the DDR staff to keep-up with a heavy work load.

In the past, DDR, which collects all random drug testing samples for Team Vandenberg, was unable to test both civilians and military on the same day.

"With our original setup we simply did not have the facilities nor did we have the space in our waiting room to accommodate the number of people who would be here," said Steven Ingrahm, DDR drug testing program administrative manager.

David Bedwell, the DDR program manager, says the upgrades added 281 square feet to the facility and still saved the Air Force money. Instead of contracting the renovations, the project was executed in house by the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron.

"This was done in house, locally," said Bedwell. "It was a large cost savings to the AF and it enhanced the readiness capability of 30 CES with their personnel being able to learn plumbing, communication, electrical and other skills they may not have ever come across without a project such as this."

Because most Airmen only interact with DDR during a drug test, Bedwell believes people forget the program's primary mission: deterrence.

"Random drug testing has been shown to be the primary method of deterrence," he said. "But we do much more than that by reaching out to the community. I'm on the Lompoc Drug Advisory Committee for the Unified School district and we also work with the local Boys and Girls Clubs," said Bedwell.

This message of deterrence will be highlighted during the upcoming Red Ribbon Week, which takes place from 23-31 October. This nation-wide tribute remembers the ultimate sacrifice of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique Camarena.

Bedwell and his staff will participate in Red Ribbon Week by sharing Camarena's story and a message of deterrence with the local community.

For more information on drug abuse protection and to learn about Special Agent Camarena's story, go to http://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com.