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New website makes it easier for Airmen to enjoy the great outdoors

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Airmen and their families wanting to spend time in the great outdoors camping, boating or just relaxing can use a new Air Force Services Activity database.

To make it easier for members of the Air Force family to determine what Air Force recreational opportunities are available, AFSVA catalogued a list of family camps and recreational facilities at MyAirForceLife.com.

“We hope that whenever a family decides to go camping or RV-ing, they would use the Air Force to do that,” said Jason Caswell, the marketing research analyst for AFSVA. “Whether it is a weekend getaway on one's current installation, or a cross-country vacation with the family, the Air Force provides amazing opportunities to reconnect.”

The list of campsites is broken down by state. There are 35 states listed in the database as well as Japan, Caswell added.

“For example, if I know I’m traveling to Alabama, I can click on Alabama and see what Air Force bases are in Alabama and from there click on the link, call and make the reservation,” he said.

The idea originated when Phil Heeg, the Air Force outdoor recreation program manager at AFSVA, was asked if there was a list of Air Force recreation lodging locations. Although there are available commercial sources for the information, there wasn’t an Air Force-specific resource.

Heeg was then tasked to coordinate with outdoor recreation managers across the Air Force to establish an Air Force-operated, central database.

Christy Lingenfelter, the outdoor recreation manager at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, calls the site a fantastic tool that will be beneficial to everyone.

“One of the biggest hurdles of Air Force campgrounds is the lack of exposure,” Lingenfelter said. “I hear all the time from new customers to the campground that they didn’t know we were here. When asked, they said they heard about us from a former customer. To have a one-stop shop for Air Force campgrounds will be greatly beneficial to snowbirds and military families alike trying to plan their trips with greater ease.”

This directory, which will be updated annually as additional data becomes available, is expected to help Air Force recreation lodging operations maintain high levels of occupancy year-round.

The Air Force maintains 36 recreation lodging facilities with over 500 cabins and almost 100 fixed-RV sites worldwide, according to AFSVA. Also, 71 family camps across the globe feature thousands of RV hookups and tent sites for all camping needs.

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