Arnold AFB Christmas tree lighting set for Dec. 4

  • Published
  • By Bradley Hicks
  • AEDC Public Affairs

Arnold Engineering Development Complex team members at Arnold Air Force Base are looking to establish a new tradition they hope will bring across the base a little holiday cheer.

A lighting ceremony for the large Christmas tree standing just past the Main Gate and across the road from the Arnold AFB Commissary is set to occur on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. Arnold team members are invited to attend.

Aside from a live tree team members of Arnold Fire and Emergency Services used to decorate in front of the Fire, Police & Communication Building on Arnold AFB, headquarters of AEDC, Brandi Harmon, a civil engineering technician at Arnold AFB who helped facilitate the effort, said this is the first time in years a Christmas tree, likely never one of this magnitude, has been set up at Arnold AFB.

“In my almost 24 years on base, this is the first time that a Christmas tree this magnificent has been on base,” she said. “It sure is a sight to see and definitely puts you in the Christmas spirit.”

Installation of the 40-foot-tall, 22-foot-wide tree was completed on Nov. 17. The process of bringing the tree project to fruition began after base leadership expressed their desire for a Christmas tree to be displayed in a prominent location at Arnold AFB for the benefit of all personnel to enjoy the holiday season.

“It is anticipated that the tree will last for many years of holiday celebrations at AEDC, thus improving morale and camaraderie within the AEDC workforce,” Harmon said.

The tree is comprised of metal frame and 155 branches with 300 ornaments.

“Constructing the tree took a village, as it involved several crafts on base, supervision, safety, system engineers and planner/schedulers,” Harmon said.

Harmon and Steve Bryan, a craft supervisor at Arnold, searched for a suitable location for the tree. The two decided the ideal spot would be at the Kindel Drive entrance just inside of the Main Gate.

“Here, the tree can be seen as you come through the Main Gate and from Wattendorf Memorial Highway and can be enjoyed by all,” Harmon said.

The tree stands 54 feet from the overhead lines, allowing more than 40 feet of fall safety away from these lines. It is secured by a 2,500-pound concrete jersey barrier and cabling. As an added precaution, the tree is secured with C-clamps from scaffolding materials.

Along with the approximately 300 ball ornaments that decorate it, the 40-foot Majestic Mountain Pine tree is topped with a 5-foot 3D five-point star.

Hot cocoa and cider will be served during the lighting ceremony, compliments of the Arnold AFB Commissary. Parking will be available at the commissary and along the Kindel Drive loop in front of the Arnold AFB Administration & Engineering Building.

“I would like to thank all who were involved…,” Harmon said. “Hopefully, this is the start of a yearly tradition at AEDC. Merry Christmas to all!”