JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander's calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week. If you have a question or concern, please send an email to RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil using the subject line "Feedback Fridays." Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.
Q. Are there any talks about active duty members residing off-base being able to enroll their children in the school on-base?
A. Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention as educational opportunities for military dependents are of top priority to leadership. Members that reside off the installation may apply at each installation school for the Non-Resident Transfer Program. In approving transfers, the superintendent considers availability of space, availability of instructional and support staff, the student’s disciplinary history, attendance, grades, and any potential adverse effect on resident students. If approved for a waiver, parents should be prepared to provide transportation to and from school. All NRT students must reapply each year and meet district eligibility criteria. Each installation school district sets their own registration window as to when they will open the NRT application for the upcoming school year. Below are the links on the district websites that refer to the guidelines and local district school board policy. District eligibility criteria is set at the local level by the School Board of Trustees. However, if you need additional guidance, please contact JBSA School Liaison Offices; JBSA-RAN at 210-652-5321, JBSA-FSH at 210-221-2214/2256, and JBSA-LAK at 210-671-8388.
Lackland Independent School District:
Fort Sam Houston ISD:
Randolph Field ISD:
Q. When is the Defense Travel System going to be fixed? There are voucher system errors, invalid Lead Defense Travel Administrator phone numbers,and invalid email addresses posted.
A. Thank you so much for your question! We want to ensure our personnel know who to contact when they have DTS questions. The 502d ABW has a LDTA within the 502d CPTS who helps the unit Organizational Defense Travel Administrator with questions and system issues. The ODTAs provide needed assistance directly to the customers and help remedy system errors. There is frequent turnover in personnel who act as ODTAs and keeping this contact information current in DTS can be challenging. If you do not know your unit ODTA, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-671-9322, and the 502d CPTS will work with your organization to update the ODTA contact information in DTS. For customers comfortable with navigating self-help sites, the following are great resources to obtain further assistance:
-Live Chat through DTS if you scroll down past travel documents and DOD Travel News at the following link: https://dtsproweb.defensetravel.osd.mil/dts-app/pubsite/dashboard
-DTS system announcements at the following link: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/Passport/bin/Passport.html
Installation & Facilities
Q. Are there plans to provide the 502d SFS with office, storage and training areas that would meet normal USAF standards?
A. Fantastic question … yes! There are a number of efforts underway to improve the capability, capacity and quality of 502d SFS work spaces. Here are a few examples. The 502d SFG and 502d CEG have partnered to remodel building 2244 with a two-phase project to better meet Base Defense Operations Center mission requirements. Additionally, building 2250 is starting a remodel and roof replacement in early February 2019. Finally, squadron and group leaders are working with the 502d CEG to find additional training space through the installation space utilization process.
Q. Will you consider opening the Selfridge and Luke gates on the training side of JBSA-Lackland during lunch hours?
A. Unfortunately, Security Forces at JBSA-Lackland do not currently have enough manpower to open the Luke and Selfridge West gates for additional periods. We’ve maximized our manpower to open both gates during morning and afternoon rush, Mondays through Wednesdays, and a full 12 hours on Thursdays and Fridays. Opening either gate for additional time would mean reducing time at other gates or reducing patrol and response capabilities. While the current gate hours represent the most effective balance of Mission Partner and customer priorities, we recognize they are not a perfect fit for everyone. Your feedback is invaluable; we will continue to look for opportunities to support our partners and customers with our limited resources.
Q. How big is Joint Base San Antonio?
A. JBSA is comprised of four primary locations: Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, Randolph Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base. JBSA expands across a total of 11 geographically separated parcels of land consisting of 46,539 acres, and 35 million square feet in facilities that support over 266 mission partners. JBSA has almost 80,000 military and civilian personnel that accomplish training, flying, medical, cyber, intelligence, and installation mission support each day, and provide support to more than 560,000 active duty, guard, reserve, students, civilians, retirees, veterans and dependents throughout San Antonio and the Southern Texas region. JBSA contributes more than $30 billion in economic impact to the State of Texas and $13 billion to the local economy in San Antonio. So, you could say we’re pretty big!
Q. How does the latest DOD funding bill signed by the President impact JBSA?
A. On Sept. 28, 2018, President Donald Trump signed HR6157, the DOD and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, fully funding the DOD for Fiscal Year 2019! This is the first time in over a decade we’ve started the FY with an appropriation law in effect instead of a continuing resolution. This is great news because it allows the 502d ABW to aggressively spend down our actual budget and saves the wing countless man hours in repeat finance and contract actions each time a CR is extended. While the 502d ABW works through initial distribution, estimated to occur in December, please lean forward and take care of mission requirements. We’ve advised wing senior leaders to use FY 2018’s budget as a guidepost.
The bill fully funds facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization across the enterprise enabling the estimated 502d ABW's FY 2019 initial distribution to be roughly the same as FY 2018 giving our wing the buying power it needs. It also authorized a 1.9 percent civilian and 2.6 percent military pay raise. Moreover, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act specifically authorized $25 million in military construction funds for the Basic Military Training Recruit Dormitory #6 at JBSA-Lackland. We are looking forward to a financially healthy FY 2019!
Q. What do you perceive as the greatest challenge to the joint basing process? Can it be resolved during your tenure here?
A. First of all, a tough but great question. Thank you for asking it. From my seat, one of the greatest challenges we face is keeping our workforce ready and strong. Because San Antonio is growing so fast, JBSA is home to so many great organizations, and with the nationwide unemployment rate at its lowest point in over 10 years, we are in constant competition for talent. Factor in the length of time it’s currently taking the AF to bring a civilian onboard and we get a civilian workforce that is always sitting at more than 10 percent vacant. It’s a real challenge. But, the good news is we’re going after it as hard as we can. We’re partnering with the Air Force Personnel Center to host JBSA-centered hiring fairs; we’re holding process improvement events on the work we control; and our civilian personnel team is working closely with units to develop strategic workforce action plans that set us on the path to success. So, while this is a big challenge, I’m confident we’ll make gains across JBSA. Thank you again for the question.
Q. What is your advice on balance? How do you keep it “together”?
A. Great question and one that I’ve definitely wrestled with the last 25 years in the AF. Over the years, some assignments have afforded opportunities to achieve greater balance in my life, while at other times, I’m more aligned to the position than balanced. Regardless of the position, however, I’ve learned to put first things first. For me, I start the day with some quiet time where I hold good thoughts about the day ahead. Then, I head to the gym. I’m not a morning workout person by nature, but when I work out in the morning, I have more energy throughout the day; I’m guaranteed to get my workout in despite a high-demanding schedule; and I have more time with my husband, Dave, after work. In terms of time management, as I’ve gotten older, I work harder to manage my schedule to focus on what is important versus what is urgent. I also create opportunities during the work day to do things that energize me and make me smile. For instance, Chief Ransom and I love spending time with all of you, and we prioritize our “out and abouts” and opportunities to get to know you and your families. We also try to honor everyone’s time and to be fully present in the moment with all of you. While I’m not always successful about leaving work by 1700, I don’t typically do any work at home. I stopped bringing work home about 10 years ago, and I typically will do my “homework” in the morning. In addition, the weekends are important for all us to recharge and spend time with our friends and family, and I try my best to keep the weekends focused on doing things that bring joy to my life like spending time with loved ones, working out, being outside, going to great restaurants, and reading a good book. Finally, I take my leave. Dave and I have been a dual military couple our entire careers, and we’ve had several assignments and years apart, so our leave is sacred. I encourage all of you to take your leave, and if you’re not able to take leave, please let your leadership know. Unless we’re in a national crisis, it’s important for all of us to take time to take care of ourselves and our friends and family by taking our leave. Hopefully, this helps shine a little light on how I keep it together. Thank you all for what you do every single day for our wing and our community!