Air Force base proud of environment-friendly programs

BILOXI, Miss. — The traditional Air Force blues have taken on a shade of green as Keesler Air Force Base looks out for the environment and our tax money while protecting the nation's freedom.

Ride around the 2.63-square mile base, the most densely populated in the Air Force, and it resembles a college campus with its Live oak trees, green lawns and manicured golf course. Look closer and you'll see recycling bins, police patrolling on bicycles — a program so successful it's being considered at other Air Force bases — and large construction projects that are using green technology.

Construction debris from about a dozen buildings on the base and 1,028 new homes is kept to a minimum. About 31,000 tons of concrete was crushed and used as road base. Demolition debris from old three-story dormitories was sent to Congressman Gene Taylor's Artificial Reef Program.

"It's something we're really proud of. Our engineers have done a great job of being environmentally conscious," said Col. Greg Touhill, commander of Keesler's 81st Training Wing.

Touhill shows his environmental concerns and keeps fit by riding his bicycle to work "at least once a week." He also came up with the idea for bicycle patrols on the base and in Keesler housing areas and Maj. Joseph Musacchia ran with it.

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