Lajes Field Adjusts Base Services

Officials with the 65th Air Base Wing at Lajes Field in the Portuguese Azores announced changes to base services due to the base’s demographics shift. Since August 2013, Lajes’ population has changed from a 3:2 ratio of accompanied airmen and families to unaccompanied airmen to a 2:3 ratio, with the expectation that the ratio will become 1:4 later this year, states an April 23 release. “Right-sizing our services is about understanding who we are as a community and tailoring our services, stores, and functions to meet airmen’s needs,” said Col. Chris Bargery, wing commander. “Yes, our airmen now arrive here unaccompanied, but many families still remain here,” he said. Among the changes, the physical therapy clinic and optometry clinic will close on May 15 and June 30, respectively; the child development center and Lajes’ youth programs will merge on June 13; and the Atlantic Island Kennels will close on Sept. 30. The Air Force has plans to reduce its presence at Lajes, transitioning the 65th ABW to a group. (Lajes report by Capt. Mark Graff)