Outdoor Rec sustains Airmen morale, readiness

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 325th Force Support Squadron outdoor recreation office is open and offering plenty of activities for Airmen and their families despite the current COVID-19 Health Protection Condition level.

Recent changes have been instituted to help protect the health and safety of Team Tyndall, however, ODR offers a wide range of fun activities and equipment available for rent often at prices lower than equipment found off base.

“Things have changed but there are still plenty of things to do,” said Robert Sprague, 325th FSS ODR director. “You can go out and play, get out of the house; there’s always something to do outside.”

ODR offers a wide variety of watercraft available to rent. However, renters of motor-powered vehicles must obtain their State of Florida boating certification if they were born after Jan. 1, 1988. Members can complete the training with ODR for free.  

“The best part is having them come back and tell me what they saw,” said John Estep, 325th FSS ODR recreation specialist. “They see dolphins, sea turtles and even sometimes manatees.”

Powered boats and jet skis are not all ODR has to offer. They also have kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, snorkel sets, axe throwing, camping equipment and sports equipment.

A majority of ODR’s trips, such as horseback riding and skydiving, are still available as well. The most popular service they had to postpone is the shuttle rides to and from Shell Island.

According to Sprague, the shuttle ODR used for Shell island is the only shuttle they have and therefore it makes keeping that vessel clean and sanitized difficult when there can be 50 to 60 people going to the island throughout the day. It is easier to maintain HPCON levels for individual, small group or family rentals.

“We have nine pontoon boats so we are able to cycle out four at a time,” said Sprague. “When the rentals come back we have a chance to sanitize to equipment and expose it to the sun for a few days before it goes back out again.”

ODR also partners with the U.S. Air Force Recharge for Resiliency program. R4R focuses on active duty Airmen who fall into one of three categories: single Airmen, Airmen gearing up for deployment, and Airmen and their families returning from a deployment or dependent-restricted assignment.

“Families can still come out and enjoy themselves and make memories,” said Estep. “Kids’ eyes light up when they tell you the things they got to see and do.”

ODR is open Thursday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They also remain open for select holidays.

“We will do everything we can to make sure you have the best time possible,” said Estep. “I work for you when you come to have a good time.”

For more ODR information, call 850-283-2255, reach them online at www.tyndallfss.com/odr and www.facebook.com/TyndallODR, or visit their office at the Beacon Beach Marina.