Experience System at the Bowling Centers Allows Users to Customize Their Entertainment

Columbus AFB Bowling Center

Experience System at the Bowling Centers Allows Users to Customize Their Entertainment

The StrikeZone Bowling Center at Columbus AFB continues to be one of the activities that in pressing on in spite of lingering pandemic and staffing issues. Since taking over, Bowling Center manager, Amanda Garza, has been constantly looking for creative ways to utilize the center for entertainment and a viable food option.

“The biggest challenge I’ve had since taking over the Bowling Center is the lack of adequate staffing,” said Garza. “We’ve been operating as a skeleton crew for the better part of the year, however the staff we do have are phenomenal. They are always willing to back each other up, never complain and just want to do their part (and then some) to provide the community with good food and fun experiences.”

The entire Community Services flight has played a vital role in the continued success of special events at the Bowling Center. Garza says everyone pitches in–it’s truly a team effort.

Boss & Buddy Bowling seems to be the most popular thing happening at the StrikeZone. Every Wednesday afternoon from 3-6pm, the center supports the community by providing a space to allow teams, coworkers, offices, and leadership to come together and blow off steam. It is often used as an opportunity to challenge other squadrons to see who’s the top dog on the lanes. The great thing about bowling is that anyone can do it regardless of skill. Every now and then a bowler will surprise everyone and come out with a huge win. Whether you bowl or not, you can always grab some food, a cold drink, and enjoy downtime with your team.

“As soon as we get some staff, we have so much planned!” Garza said. “Tournaments, leagues, squadron parties, birthday parties, going away celebrations, you name it!”

Starting in July the Bowling Center is debuting the Single Airmen Bowl Free, a R4R sponsored event. This is a totally free bowling experience for single airmen to get them out of the dorms and on the lanes, making the most out of their time on Columbus AFB.

The center recently installed a brand new Experience system. This system allows guests to select the “experience” they prefer to make it more entertaining. They have several choices of themes, environments and games to play available at the bowler console. The system has so many options. There is even a way to animate the players to be part of the graphics while they bowl!

Love for Art and an Eye for Creativity Drives the Staff at CAFB Arts & Craft Center

Love for Art and an Eye for Creativity Drives the Staff at CAFB Arts & Craft Center

The Arts & Craft Center has long been a source for custom framing and engraving services at Columbus AFB. It has also been very active in special art and craft events that provide an artistic outlet for all ages. COVID and staffing turnover has prevented the center from conducting these classes until now.

New Arts & Craft Manager, Bridget Cruz, is revitalizing the shop and will soon begin to offer various art, craft, classes, and activities.

Ms. Cruz started in September of 2021 and comes to us by way of Ft. Mead in Maryland. While her background is in Criminal Justice, her love for art and “creating stuff” has landed her in an environment where she can fulfill her passion. She is an accomplished artist with works in oils and watercolor media.

Did you know that the Arts & Craft center offers a variety of graduation framing packages? They feature special layouts and mating to tell the story of student’s training experience here at Columbus Air Force Base. Orders must be placed at least 3-weeks prior to graduation.
Arts & Craft’s engraving service can be done on just about any surface including metal, wood, or glass for signs, desk plates, name tags, plaques, trophies and more. Consult with the staff for your special project.

The frame shop can customize any painting, print, photo or needlework with our wide variety of style moldings in stock. The center has mat boards in a variety of colors, including acid-free mat boards for preserving special pieces of artwork. It also have non-glare glass that can be custom cut to fit your frame.
Dry mounting is also available to add a professional touch to framed posters, photos, certificates, etc.

The Arts & Craft center has a variety of aviation prints for purchase. Please call 434-7856 for more information.



Columbus AFB Bowling Center ManagerBowling Center Manager, Amanda Garza, brings experience and excitement to Columbus AFB StrikeZone. She comes to Columbus via Laughlin AFB, Texas, where she also served their base bowling center. Amanda is an AMA certified pinsetter maintenance mechanic.

“Pinsetters are fascinating and intricate pieces of machinery,” Garza said. “These are my babies and I take real good care of them.”

She went on to say, “The bowling centers has always been a popular place on base to hangout, drink a few beers with your buddies, eat a burger, and enjoy bowling. I hope to bring that level of participation back to CAFB. I am very excited about adding different programs and activities to enhance our patrons experience.”

One of the first things Amanda is re-introducing is the Friday night Neon Bowling where you get a prize if you get a strike with the neon head pin. She plans to have a Halloween themed bowl night with prizes for the best costume. Another feature she is bringing to the StrikeZone on Friday nights is beer and mixed drinks from the bar provided by the Club.

Columbus AFB is lucky to have such a dedicated Bowling Center Manager!

Bowling Center Reopening, Let the Good Times Roll!

Bowling Center Reopening, Let the Good Times Roll!

The Columbus Air Force Base Bowling Center was once the center of activity and a bustling gathering place for the base community. It has a rich history of bowling tournaments, family gatherings, and a popular hangout for service men and women, base employees, and retirees. However, over the past couple of years, it has struggled to stay afloat due to COVID-19 restrictions and retaining employees. The FSS Community Services Flight has risen to the challenge and is reopening the bowling lanes beginning this month, Monday through Friday. The grill will also have extended times to include dinner.

The Bowling Center staff is dedicated to providing a menu with many entrees as well as a wide range of beverage options including beer and mixed drinks. The full menu can bee seen on ColumbusAFBLiving.com website.

Strike Zone Lanes are available for walk-ins or you can reserve your lane by calling the center. Bowling is available Monday – Friday (see the schedule) with Neon Bowling on Friday nights.

The 10-lane center has state-of-the-art Qubica Auto Scoring System with graphics, synthetic lanes, and an extreme light and sound system. There are two large screens that also show movies and music videos on Friday nights. The staff is also making plans for a variety of special programs such as leagues, squadron parties, Friday night Neon bowling, and holiday specials.

There is Something for Everyone at Outdoor Recreation

There is Something for Everyone at Outdoor Recreation

Cookers, coolers, fishing rods, cornhole, outdoor games, tables and chairs, generators, 2-wheelers and dollies, tents, rakes, shovels, bicycles, boats, RVs, campers, trailers, life jackets, surf boards, lawn mowers and other lawn care equipment, camping gear… you name it, CAFB Outdoor Recreation has something for everyone! ODR is here to supply all of your equipment needs to make your next outdoor excursion fantastic!

The Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway offers some of the best recreational bass fishing in the nation. The area also offers some of the best white-tail deer hunting and ODR has equipment to outfit your hunting or fishing expedition. There are plenty of wilderness and State Parks near by for camping and just spending time in nature. ODR has RVs, campers, tents, and all the gear you need for a great outdoor experience.

If you enjoy water sports, ODR offers a large variety of inexpensive boat rentals to including canoes, bass boats, deck boats, pontoon boats, and a Bass Tracker boat.
ODR’s Equipment Rental section offers a wide variety of home and garden equipment and tools, picnic supplies, grills, generators, open and closed utility trailers, carpet cleaners, and much more.

Outdoor Recreation offers many programs, events, and services throughout the year to give you an opportunity to enjoy the glorious outdoors either on a self-directed basis or as part of our numerous outdoor adventure programs. Some of the events ODR has conducted in the past include ping pong tournaments, tandem sky diving excursions, indoor rock climbing, volleyball tournaments, archery tournaments, paintball tournaments, skeet shooting tournaments, cornhole tournaments, canoe tug-a-war, and much more.

Plans are underway to utilize the old golf course for an outdoor adventure park with a variety of activities for families and the entire base community. This outdoor activity center will be called Venture 360, where the community and fun come full circle. More to come about this exciting new concept in outdoor fun in the near future.




Jason Montgomery took over as the CAFB Outdoor Recreation Manager in June of 2018 and literally hit the ground running. His journey started during the peak of the rental and pool season. He took up the challenge of his new role quickly and has not missed a beat since.

CAFB is in Jason’s blood having been born right here in the late 70’s. Prior to his Air Force Civilian career he served as a Mississippi State Park Ranger, which provided valuable experience for the outdoor services he provides.

“ODR has given me the privilege of serving again, via Airmen and families,” said Mr. Montgomery. “This base has meant so much to my community. I knew the position I had in front of me and felt honored for the opportunity. My hope is to continue expanding the foot-print of our operation by offering diverse outdoor options that boost morale and create healthy memories for the people of Columbus Air Force Base.”

He went on to say, “I think it’s important that every person ask themselves the question
‘why do I do what I do’. Each of us want to feel we are a part of something bigger than ourselves. I have the privilege of working with a team of incredible people with one common goal, improving the lives of others. I can’t imagine anything greater.”

Columbus AFB is lucky to have such a dedicated ODR Manager!


New, Inviting Look for the CAFB Library at The Commons

New, Inviting Look for the CAFB Library at The Commons

The Columbus AFB Library is still located in the BLAZE Commons only in a new and more visible place. A new storefront section close to the Commons open area will now make seeing and getting to the library much easier.

The Library, now open to in-person patrons, is a full service library with a dedicated and delightful staff ready to serve. They strive to connect both young and old patrons with information as well as encouraging them to experience the joy of reading.
In addition to fiction and non-fiction titles for all, the library offers audio books, eBooks, movies, and computer-based programs to meet educational and recreational reading needs. Wi-Fi access is available throughout the facility. The computer lab has three CAC-enabled computers and printing services.

The library’s collection also includes: the Air Force Chief of Staff Reading List to foster Airmanship; testing study materials (e.g., CLEP, DSST, ASVAB, SAT, ACT, GRE, and much more), Spanish books, printed newspapers and magazines for adults and children are also available. Its digital imprint includes OverDrive, RBDigital, Mango Language programs, and more. The Air Force’s eLibrary provides a wealth of resources for everyone.

Needless to say, the library staff has had to be extremely creative during the COVID pandemic which basically closed the library to in-person access. They have utilized social media, particularly Facebook, to continue providing informative and fun programs in a virtual environment. Almost daily live and recorded events allowed them to continue programs such as StoryTime, Blaze Book Club, Youth Book Club, and Fiber Arts with Megan using Zoom and Facebook. They added other virtual and interactive fun events such as Crazy Hair Competition, Name Your Car Day, Wisteria Wednesday, Joke Hoteline Day, and much more.

As restrictions are slowly being lifted, the library has begun hosting Story Time at Freedom Park. The Summer Reading Program kicks off this month with Story Time on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays; Movie Mondays; special craft sessions, and other activities to encourage summer reading.




CT Salazar at Columbus AFB LibraryCharles “CT” Salazar has been librarian here at Columbus AFB for more than 2 years but did you know he is also an accomplished poet? In fact, he was the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters Award in poetry.

“Some of my favorite writers, including past National Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize recipient, Natasha Trethewey, have been recipients of this award in the past,” said Salazar.
“It was pretty neat to be nominated much less actually receiving the award.”

CT has a MFA in poetry and playwriting and is finishing up his Masters in Library Science degree. In addition to his library proficiency, he is writing a book that will be released in 2022.

Prior to the COVID pandemic, Salazar spent most of his weekends visiting libraries, universities, and bookstores for readings or guest lectures in other states.

Columbus AFB is lucky to have such an incredibly gifted librarian!



Mr. Quinton "Q" Floyd at Columbus AFB Fitness CenterMr. Quinton Floyd has now been at Columbus AFB for 15 months as the Fitness Center Director. After serving in the Army for 8 years, he has continued to serve his country by helping meet the fitness goals of Airman for more than 30 years. Mr. Floyd, or “Q” as he is commonly called, came to Columbus from Homestead Air Force Base in Florida where he also served as the Fitness Director.

Floyd’s passion for fitness began while in Germany when he was in the Army. He got involved in a lot of different sports and volunteered as a fitness instructor. He has been a bodybuilder and powerlifter for many years which is how he developed a love for fitness.

“I look at being the Fitness Director as just another way to serve my country,” said Floyd.

Columbus AFB FSS is lucky to have “Q” on our team!

Fitness Center is at the Center of CAFB Life

Fitness Center is at the Center of CAFB Life

May is Fitness Month and the Fitness Center is open, ready to help meet the physical fitness needs of Columbus AFB. Staying in shape and healthy is an essential part of Air Force life especially those in pilot training. In fact, it is a requirement as part of the training program. The professional, certified staff offers an array of fitness options with top-of-the-line workout equipment, aerobics classes, intramural sports, monthly Fun Runs, and other special events to promote fitness.

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, it has been a challenge to continue to provide high quality exercise services at the center while providing maximum risk mitigation in the process. Sanitizing, social distancing measures, and limiting rental equipment has become a normal part of the staff’s everyday activity and concerns.
As restrictions ease, the center is now offering 24/7 access to active duty patrons. Also, the locker rooms and showers are now available. The basketball and racquetball courts opened back up in March allowing for fun events such as the Dodgeball Challenge and 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament.

The Fitness Center houses cardio equipment, two rooms of selectorized weight machines, a free weight room, spin room, aerobics room, 2 racquetball courts and a full size basketball court.

For those new to fitness, Fitness 101 Instructional classes are available. The Fitness Center has a large selection of cardiovascular and strength training equipment with instructional classes available. Trained fitness specialists will teach you how to exercise effectively to meet your goals, as well as train you how to use the exercise equipment. This is a great class for those who are new to working-out, or who haven’t been to the Fitness Center recently.
There is a room with video equipment where diverse and intense workout DVD’s can be played so that you can workout at your own pace.

The Fitness Center also operates the Alpha Warrior tent. This facility houses various apparatus for suspension training that utilizes your body weight for resistance and helps you build muscular strength and endurance, helps build a rock solid core and can benefits people of all fitness levels. There are also a wide range of weight conditioning equipment.