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Few concerned about being told "have a blessed day"


UPDATE: Robins Air Force Base officials reversed themselves late Thursday, saying it's OK for gate guards to greet people with "Have a blessed day."

That came several hours after a base spokesman said they had banned the phrase because they believed it violated Air Force regulations against endorsement of religion. Dozens of people criticized the ban, online and in person, after 13WMAZ reported on it earlier Thursday.

Robins released this statement at 6:17 p.m. Thursday:

"We are a professional organization defended by a professional force. Our defenders portray a professional image that represents a base all of Middle Georgia can be proud of. Defenders have been asked to use the standard phrase 'Welcome to Team Robins' in their greeting and can add various follow-on greetings as long as they remain courteous and professional.

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Robins AFB personnel banned from giving unwelcome "blessings"


Robins gate guards are no longer allowed to use the phrase "have a blessed day," when greeting visitors and employees as they drive in after a complaint from an unnamed military member.

The individual complained on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation website, saying they were greeted on "no less than 15 occasions over the last two weeks" with the phrase.

The complainant did not think it was appropriate due to his "non-religious nature."

Hurdles slow G-RAMP's pace


14 years ago, a former Warner Robins mayor came up with an idea: use 91 acres of city-owned property adjacent to Robins Air Force Base to develop private industry. The businesses would add jobs and complement base missions.

Since then, the city has spent more than $230,000 toward the effort, known as G-RAMP. That stands for Georgia-Robins Aerospace Maintenance Partnership.

Years later, the land, on the northwest corner of the base, is still vacant. It looks much the same as when the idea came about.

The vast majority of people driving the perimeter road of Robins would never notice the headstones just behind the fence.

The Thomas & Sullivan Cemetery sits in the shadows cast by looming Air Force hangars.

Redevelopment Agency Director for the city said on a recent afternoon, "It's been around long before we have."

Behind the Lines: Painting planes a patriotic duty


People recognize the grayish-blue of Air Force aircraft around the world.

Many of those planes get their trademark color inside hangars at Robins Air Force Base.

The people in the Corrosion Control shop call it their patriotic duty to put a top notch coat of paint on every plane.

Inside Building 89, the hands of a 20-man crew fly over, around, and under the body of a C-130 aircraft.

Its makeover in the paint shop is the last stop before she returns from maintenance to duty.

"We take a lot of pride in making sure the plane does look good," says painter Tim Davis.

Davis compares it to an industrial-sized arts and crafts operation replete with stencils and an armory of paint. However, the job lacks the safety of an 8x10 canvas and brush strokes.

"It can be a very dangerous process," says Terry Lowe.

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Robins Hosts Clergy Summit


Robins Air Force Base Chaplains say 17 civilian workers have committed suicide since 2009. Five of them occurred last year.

That's one of the main reasons the chaplains and base leadership put together the first ever clergy summit. About 70 clergy from different faiths and denominations gathered at the Museum of Aviation Thursday. Air Force Chaplains can help military members in spiritual matters, but by federal law, they can't provide support to civilian workers. To fill in the gap, Robins Chaplain Jonathan Wade says they want to inform community clergy about stresses facing Robins employees.

Reverend Scott Petersen from All Saints Episcopal Church welcomes the opportunity to help.

Behind the Lines: Robins Public Health


The men and women of Robins Air Force Base protect our freedoms, but to fight, they have to be fit.

13WMAZ went "Behind the Lines" with Robins' Public Health Division to see how they battle disease at home and abroad.

SSgt. Tam Nguien's weapons fit in the palm of his hand. He's a technician in the Immunization Clinic.

The shots he gives to patients numerous times a day fight illnesses that could attack even Robins' most fragile civilians.

When we visited the clinic, he was giving routine immunizations to six-month old Autumn Storie. She's the daughter of a Robins airman, Matt Storie.

Nguien said to the Stories, "See. She did good. She stopped crying."

The routine injections against tetanus and whooping cough, like Autumn received, protect airmen and their families at home.

Gen. Lindsley takes hands-on approach


Some bosses prefer to orchestrate employees from the four walls of their office, but not Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley.

The commander of 7,000 mechanics, engineers and software developers at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, prefers being a man among his people.

Lindsley talked about his style, and why he believes it's getting results.

Brig. Gen. Walter Lindsley wanted to schedule his interview with 13WMAZ in his office, but not because it's where he feels most at home.

He said, "I want to make myself accessible. I'm not accessible up here."