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Laughlin, community renovate South Winds Marina


Laughlin Airmen and the local community have teamed up to give one of the Air Force’s freshwater marinas a facelift this summer and fall.

Laughlin’s South Winds marina, located on the shores of Lake Amistad, with 64,900 acres of water for recreational use, is one of the high points for Airmen assigned here.  However, it fell into disrepair after a long drought, so Laughlin, several federal agencies and the City of Del Rio are working together to once again make it the Air Force’s premier marina.

Every time Laughlin Airmen ate a breakfast taco, or anything else from a 47th Force Support Squadron facility, they helped boost the Non-Appropriated Funds available to improve Laughlin facilities. The NAF Council voted to spend $51,000 from this fund on the marina project.

“These are Airman’s dollars at work that are being re-invested to make Laughlin a better place to live, work and play,” said Tara Morton, 47th Force Support Squadron deputy director.

She added that the Air Force Services Agency is supporting the Laughlin initiative as well by funding $23,700 to reconnect fuel capability to the dock.

 “The National Park Service was a big asset and worked with us closely ensuring we met all the appropriate guidelines, and the Border Patrol provided a spill kit, enabling us to meet the NPS requirements and get us closer to having this spectacular facelift completed,” Powell said.

Thanks to the public-private partnership initiative, helping governments and the private sector find ways they could better work together, the City of Del Rio also gave the project a boost.

A potential deal stopper was finding an electrician able to reconnect the different aspects of the project, primarily the dock and electrical connections. The city stepped up and provided an electrician to work the problem out with the FSS.

The motivation was simple, according to the Del Rio City Manager: “Positive interaction between Del Rio, Laughlin and other federal entities is vital to bringing out the best in all entities,” said Henry Arredondo. “It’s Del Rio’s goal to always work together with all agencies when possible to make our city better!” 

Laughlin’s wing commander values the ties between all the local agencies and understands why they are linking arms on this project.

“When Del Rio hurts, Laughlin hurts, and when Del Rio excels, Laughlin is better,” said Col. Thomas Shank, 47th Flying Training Wing commander. “This is just one more example of all of these agencies working together to make this a great place for all of us to live.”


The end result will be something of which Del Rio and Laughlin can be proud.

“We just want to make this a premier recreation stop for our Airmen to be able to go to and have fun,” said Susan Powell, Sustainment Services Flight chief.