Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffin,
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Known as the Natural State, Arkansas has a lot to offer both the budding outdoorsman and the avid sportsman.
Outdoor Recreation takes advantage of nature’s gifts by providing outdoor equipment to suit a variety of leisure activities for Airmen and their families.
However, Outdoor Recreation is more than just equipment rentals and trips; they’re about giving back to those that serve.
“Reaching out to our Airmen and giving them an opportunity and service that is outside the structure of rigorous everyday routine of the military, that’s what we’re all about,” said Nathan Koppersmith, 19th Force Support Squadron Outdoor Recreation specialist. “I believe it’s important we give the Airmen first-class customer service and provide them a unique experience that they’re not going to get anywhere else.”
Helping Airmen unwind by providing opportunities to get outdoors and providing transportation while keeping costs down is the goal of Outdoor Recreation.
“We offer trips specifically for single Airmen in the dorms to give them options on the weekends,” Koppersmith said. “We get them outside to be active, physically and socially.”
Airmen and their families don’t have to wait for the weather to warm up to enjoy what the Outdoor Recreation center has to offer.
“We have a new feature that’s taking America by storm – escape rooms,” Koppersmith said. “A physical adventure game made for people to work as a team to find clues and escape within one hour. We currently have a pirate-themed room with more to come within the year. So far it has been hugely successful.”
Although specializing in recreational activities, customer care is the cornerstone of Outdoor Recreation.
“For nearly two years I’ve participated in hiking, skydiving, cave exploring, paddle boarding, ATV riding and more,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jose Flores, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Guidance and Control specialist. “Every trip has been fun and thoroughly taken care of logistically. They have an extremely friendly, knowledgeable and professional staff that make every experience worth it.”
It doesn’t take much to notice that the greatest resource Outdoor Recreation has to offer isn’t the equipment, rather the service and care provided to each and every Airman who walks through the door.
For more information, call Outdoor Recreation at 501-987-3365.