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Team V member awarded for superior housing service

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Gretchen Swinehart, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron housing element chief, is lauded by Terry Yonkers, assistant secretary of Air Force installations, environment and logistics at the Pacific Coast Club here Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Swinehart and the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron housing flight have won numerous awards for outstanding service for Team V housing residents. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Gretchen Swinehart, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron housing element chief, is lauded by Terry Yonkers, assistant secretary of Air Force installations, environment and logistics at the Pacific Coast Club here Wednesday, August 8, 2012. Swinehart and the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron housing flight have won numerous awards for outstanding service for Team V housing residents. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It has been said that a comfortable house is a great source of happiness and the housing office here works to ensure Team V members not only have a house, but a home and a community.

For her superior service, a housing manager here was lauded by Terry Yonkers, assistant secretary of Air Force installations, environment and logistics, at the Pacific Coast Club here Aug. 8.

Gretchen Swinehart, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron housing element chief, recently earned the Professional Housing Management Associations 2011 Outstanding Senior Housing Manager award at the Air Force Space Command and Air Force levels for her work here.

"It is such an honor to be recognized at such a high level as it shows the success of the Vandenberg Housing Program has been highlighted," said Swinehart. "It means our customers are happy and that is really what matters most - taking care of our Airmen and their families."

The award is given to senior management staff who are responsible for directing, managing or overseeing major housing that go beyond their job responsibilities.

"Gretchen is an extraordinary leader and very passionate about helping our Airmen and their families with their housing needs," said Bea Kephart, 30th CES asset management flight chief. "She leads the housing team and promotes pride of ownership, top-notch service and is always looking for ways to improve."

The housing flight here also won the AFSPC Brig. Gen. Michael A. McAuliffe award for best housing flight in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

"Without our outstanding leadership, co-workers and the support and hard work of our entire CE and housing team to include our privatized housing partner Balfour Beatty Communities and our unaccompanied housing management team our program wouldn't be a success," said Swinehart. "It is exciting ... and really an honor that makes you realize people appreciate our efforts to provide our military members with the best housing possible."

Base housing on Vandenberg has been privatized since late 2007.

"Privatizing (Vandenberg) housing has brought our housing inventory out of the 1960s and up to present day standards," said the Wooster, Ohio native. "Getting through the initial development period of demolition, construction and renovation was challenging but now that is all under our belt and people can see the fabulous results."

Swinehart has worked at Vandenberg for more than five years.

"I love my job here at Vandenberg and hope to be able to continue to serve our military families as well as our unaccompanied Airmen in obtaining exceptional, quality and affordable housing in the hopes that I can continue to improve their quality of life," said Swinehart. "Being recognized at that level is really an honor for our whole base as it isn't a one person job."