377 ABW commander cuts ribbon to open ‘Tiger Den’ and ‘Tiger Lab’ at Kirtland AFB’s SF dorm

Three Airmen cut a ceremonial ribbon.

Col. David Miller (left), 377th Air Base Wing commander, Senior Airman Dylan Ramirez, 898th Munitions Squadron (center), and Chief Master Sgt. Rob Stamper, 377 ABW command chief (right), cut a ceremonial ribbon to formally open the “Tiger Den” in the SF dorm at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, June 14, 2021. The nine-month self-help project transformed a storage room into a relaxing Zen room, providing a peaceful space for Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Cochran)

Three Airmen cut a ceremonial ribbon.

Col. David Miller (left), 377th Air Base Wing commander, Staff Sgt. Monzell Wiggins, 377 ABW NCOIC of Protocol (center), and Chief Master Sgt. Rob Stamper, 377 ABW command chief (right), cut a ceremonial ribbon to formally open the “Tiger Lab” in the SF dorm at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, June 14, 2021. A nine-month self-help project transformed a storage room into a more welcoming and functional space, with four places for Airmen to use computers with NIPR access, a large table with extra seating to work on group projects, and a small sitting area to relax and spend time with friends. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Cochran)

A decorative wood carving is displayed on a wall.

A handmade woodcarving is mounted on the wall of the “Tiger Lab” in the SF dorm at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, June 14, 2021. A nine-month self-help project transformed a storage room into a more welcoming and functional space, with four places for Airmen to use computers with NIPR access, a large table with extra seating to work on group projects, and a small sitting area to relax and spend time with friends. (U.S. Air Force photo by John Cochran)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

The oldest dormitory at Kirtland AFB now has new features to improve the quality of life for its 120 resident Airmen.

Col. David Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Rob Stamper, 377 ABW command chief, cut ceremonial ribbons June 14, 2021, formally opening the “Tiger Lab” and “Tiger Den” in Building 20221, the security forces dorm.

“It’s great seeing this come to fruition. It’s been months in the making. During the COVID pandemic, with people spending so much more time in the dorms, Airmen recognized the need for a place right here, to be able to blow off some steam, to catch their breath, to take a knee, to socialize in a comfortable atmosphere, as part of their ownership of the dormitory. This was Airmen-driven, identifying a need, with first sergeants and the Top 3 helping out with some of the harder stuff, making things happen,” Miller said at the event.

Stamper, the command chief, also spoke to the residents.

“This is proof that we can do things around here. This is your space – you own it. We can do things to improve your lives, in areas that you live and work in. Great job by everybody involved,” he said.

Project officers were Senior Master Sgt. Diane Brown-Trent, 377th Force Support Squadron; Master Sgt. Christopher Pfeiffer, 377th Security Forces Squadron; Tech. Sgt. Margueriete Pinnix, 377th Mission Support Group; Staff Sgt. Monzell Wiggins, 377th Air Base Wing; Senior Airman Nathan Cromyak, 58th Maintenance Squadron; Senior Airman Mary Garcia, 377th Medical Group; and Senior Airman Dylan Ramirez, 898th Munitions Squadron.

Brown-Trent spoke about the project’s goals.

“We wanted to make the Airmen feel like it was more of a college dorm environment, with common spaces where they could relax and do their work. This was also part of a project to kick off the ‘Dorm of the Quarter’ awards. The wing wanted to show the Airmen what was possible if they were awarded the winning money for the ‘dorm of the quarter,’” she said.

The nine-month undertaking, funded by $10,000 of wing money, was largely self-help, from initial design to the renovation that converted two unused storage rooms into their current purposes. The “Tiger Lab” is intended to be a welcoming and functional space, with four places for Airmen to use computers with NIPR access, a large table with extra seating to work on group projects, and a small sitting area to relax and spend time with friends. The “Tiger Den,” a relaxing Zen room, provides a peaceful space for Airmen.

Wiggins described the new rooms’ benefits.

“Airmen have a place to go relax, that’s not a tiny dorm room that acts as a living room, kitchen, bedroom, and restroom all in one – a separate place to clear their mind and forget about some of the stresses in life. Additionally, they can get a lot of CBTs done and read emails without having to travel across base to go to their work centers,” he said.