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NEWS | Jan. 4, 2019

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman 502d Air Base Wing Commander

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.


Personnel Issues


Q. Why are some individuals still on an Army position description after 8-plus years? In one instance, transitioning to an Air Force position description would give a person with 30-plus years of experience a promotion, as the job is a GS-9 on the Unit Manpower Document.


A. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. For the most part, the majority of position descriptions, or PDs, have been converted to Air Force PDs. Initially, civilian personnel advised managers against altering a PD if there could be negative impact (i.e., downgrading of position). This advice was to prevent 502nd Air Base Wing employees from losing money.


As you have stated, it has been eight years since the Army to Air Force transition and our civilian personnel staff has a better understanding how they can support grades for various positions. If you are still on an Army PD, please discuss writing a new PD with your supervisor. Once written and submitted to classifications at the Air Force’s Personnel Center, the classifier will work with your supervisor to make sure that the PD is within OPM regulations.


Q. My supervisor refuses to allow physical training for appropriated funds employees in accordance with Air Force Instructions, unless it is a requirement for the job to take a PT test. Is this legal?


 A. As an advocate for health, wellness and physical fitness, I encourage our civilian employees to participate in physical fitness activities as mission and workload requirements permit.


“In accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-815, civilian employees may be excused to engage in physical fitness activities for up to 3 hours per week. These workout hours are normally approved in conjunction with lunch breaks.”


Participation is not contingent upon the type of position occupied, but it is required that such activities be coordinated in advance with your chain of command. For more information, please contact the Civilian Personnel Employee-Management Relations section at 210-671-1643 or 210-671-0006.


Installation & Facilities


Q. The intersection of Carswell Avenue and Truemper Street is dangerous when drivers are heading north on Carswell and turning west onto Truemper toward the Valley Hi Gate at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. Although there is a sign indicating a single lane left turn onto Truemper, it is located too far back from the intersection (near the troop crossing/bridge) and drivers in the right lane often turn left believing both lanes are left turn authorized. Simply moving the sign indicating the legal direction of traffic flow from its current location closer to the intersection may be enough to fix the issue. There are arrows indicating authorized direction; however, they are at the intersection and the cars in the lines waiting at the red light cover them, which makes them “invisible” to the other drivers waiting.


A. Great feedback! In response to on your question, the 802nd Security Force Squadron accomplished a survey of the intersection and is now working with 502nd Civil Engineer Group to relocate the directional sign and paint additional arrows further back from the intersection to improve visibility for drivers as they add to the queue.


Q. Is it possible to have the Selfridge West gate at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland open until 1 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays to make it easier for personnel on that side of the base to utilize it during lunch time?


A. Unfortunately, Security Forces at JBSA-Lackland do not currently have enough manpower to open the Selfridge West gate for additional time.


Earlier this year, we analyzed JBSA-Lackland’s growing mission demands, coupled with Security Forces manpower and Air Force readiness requirements, to better balance mission partner needs with customer impact. One outcome of that analysis was an adjustment to the hours of operation for certain gates.


Although we recognize the change to the Selfridge West gate is not a perfect fit for everyone, it represents a balance of competing needs.


Q. Can we open the South Gate at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph for outbound traffic at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays? The community continues to grow on that side of the base and there are people who take their kids to school on base every morning, work out at the gym and other activities that don’t necessarily stay on base for the rest of the day. For those people, it would be very convenient to be able to drive off base through this gate as the outbound options are very limited in the mornings.


A. Thank you for your suggestion. There is a large volume of inbound personal and commercial traffic each morning through the JBSA-Randolph South Gate. When inbound vehicles are limited to only the traditional two inbound lanes, traffic backs up to Loop 1604, creating safety issues for highway traffic and significantly delaying all traffic through the South gate.


While we recognize converting the traditional outbound lane to inbound traffic for the first few hours of the morning creates an inconvenience for some drivers, it reduces the vehicle queue entering the base, in-turn reducing the associated safety risk and inbound time delay.


Q. Why was Lion Park on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland gutted? I understand the equipment was aging, but why not replace them? Instead, a new large park was built down the hill where base housing residents cannot walk to. The elementary school and youth center used to take field trips walking the kids to Lion Park because it was the largest, best park on base with separate equipment designed by age groups. Lion Park has become a spot for BMT families to hang out two days a week, because otherwise it’s completely useless to base occupants. Please find it in the budget to replace the park equipment; and please don’t let a new contractor waste another 10 months to do construction that we really could complete in a matter of weeks.


A. I really appreciate your feedback. After checked with our team, I learned that the Lion Park playground equipment was deemed unsafe and not to code due to the age and condition. This led to the subsequent removal of the equipment. Following the demolition, based on limited availability of Quality of Life funding, we were only able to rebuild a small portion of the removed equipment. The playground equipment at Stillman Park was replaced first, based on the initial need and planning decisions. Our Civil Engineers have additional plans to phase in replacement playground equipment at Lion Park, and if able to obtain funds this fiscal year, we can proceed with the installation, though there is no guarantee on available funds.


Q. Are there any plans to repair or fill in the pot holes on Winans Road and Nursery Road on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston?


A. Joint Base San Antonio has been especially plagued by pot holes this year as a result of the excessive rainfall we experienced. Our Civil Engineer pavements team tries to repair and fill pot holes as quickly as possible, and as weather allows. Winans Road and Nursery Road are two main routes CE tries to monitor closely. We also just completed recent in-house paving repairs at Walters gate, fixing the outbound lane in November and the inbound commercial lane this past weekend.


Q. Dormitory residents were supposed to receive mattress toppers in early November 2018, but dorm management wasn’t aware. Will we still be getting those mattress toppers?


A. The JBSA-Fort Sam Houston housing office purchased and issued all requested mattress toppers in early fiscal year 2018. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused. If a resident is in need of a mattress topper, please work through the dorm management staff to coordinate with James Fisher at CE for assistance. Mattress toppers are in stock and available for immediate issue.




Q. The awards system in our unit is terrible. Individuals who are doing outstanding jobs are told they are “only doing their job.” However, others are getting awards for “doing their job.” What can we do to standardize leadership views of when to submit personnel for awards?


A. Thank you very much for your question. Supervisors are the key to the recognition process by using consistent feedback and dialogue.  They must assist our people by providing realistic evaluations of performance which may equate to an award submission.


Essentially, award recommendations should recognize outstanding performance/achievements, etc., that clearly place the individual above his or her peers. Command Chief Master Sgt. Lantagne and I will continue to advise our leadership team to be proactive and forthright in our commitment to improve the recognition process.