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U-Fix-It gives service members, civilians tools for minor repairs

By Robert Goetz | 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | March 22, 2017

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, Texas —

During the next few weeks, service members and civilian employees throughout Joint Base San Antonio will swap their everyday work tools for shovels and rakes as the installation observes Proud Week.

A facility at each JBSA location will play a crucial role in the semiannual grounds cleanup as the go-to place for all the tools, personal protective equipment and garden supplies to get the job done.

Formerly called Self-Help, U-Fix-It has materials available year-round for landscaping, easy repairs, interior paint jobs, minor plumbing issues and other non-emergency maintenance chores that do not require submission of an Air Force Form 332, the base civil engineer work request.

“The U-Fix-It program allows facility managers to repair minor problems such as cracked light diffusers, ceiling tiles, door stops and toilet seats, just to name a few,” said Sara Podwika, 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron U-Fix-It lead supply technician at JBSA-Randolph.

JBSA has three U-Fix-It stores: building 4196, bay F-4 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, building 5497 at JBSA-Lackland and building 891 at JBSA-Randolph.

“There are approximately 290 items in each store ranging from nails to paint,” said George Smoot, 502nd CES U-Fix-It examiner and inspector at JBSA-Randolph. “Facility managers are given access to the listing through Virgil McGee, 502nd CES requirements chief.”

Consumable products such as pest and weed control products, nails, paint and paint accessories, eye protection and gloves are not returned, he said. Rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, trimmers, clippers, pruners and other similar tools are signed out by Air Force Form 1297 and should be returned in a timely manner so they are available to others.

The U-Fix-It program allows for non-emergency discrepancies to be repaired or replaced by the end user, Smoot said.

“This frees the craftsmen assigned to the shops to be able to work the urgent and emergency discrepancies,” he said. “Facility managers routinely replace items around their building as well as the landscape within 50 feet of the facility.”

Use of the U-Fix-It facility allows for speedier results as well, Smoot said.

“Submitting a routine work order request on an Air Force 332 form can result in a wait time of at least 30 days,” he said.

JBSA-Randolph’s U-Fix-It facility also supports the JBSA Recreation Park at Canyon Lake and the Seguin Auxiliary Airfield, while JBSA-Lackland’s facility at also serves the Medina Annex and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston’s U-Fix-It also supports JBSA-Camp Bullis.

William Wallace, 502nd CES material control chief, said the U-Fix-It stores are primed for the upcoming Proud Week: April 3-7 at JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph, and April 10-14 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

During this week, military members and civilian employees unite to remove trash and debris from the grounds and facilities, he said.

“Commands also use this time to improve the grounds adjacent to and around the facilities by trimming hedges and plants and putting down mulch as necessary,” Wallace said. “Commands can also spruce up the interior of their facilities by deep cleaning, polishing bright work and painting.”

For more information on U-Fix-It, call Casey Sarver at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, 808-6079; Edward Trevino at JBSA-Lackland, 671-2055; or Smoot at JBSA-Randolph, 652-2242.