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. I work at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and we have flight lines and aircraft flying in and out nearly every day. My concern is that if we ever had a major airplane crash on base, train derailment, or other major disaster on base, that we are not adequately prepared for it as civilians and contractors. I understand that the police and firefighters always prepare for such scenarios on base, but I never see the civilians and contractors prepare and practice for such scenarios on base. What would we do as civilians in the event of an emergency?
A. Great question! Safety and emergency preparedness is an important matter for all JBSA personnel. First, as you’ve already pointed out, we have a very well prepared emergency services force, to include mutual aid agreements with our off-base community partners.
Part of this force is our Emergency Management office located within the 502nd Civil Engineer Group, who maintains plans and coordinates with unit Emergency Management Representatives to provide guidance on preparedness. They also provide training to all personnel who attend the newcomers’ briefings. Included in the training and guidance is information on shelter in place and evacuation planning as well as basic standardized checklists.
I encourage you to contact your unit’s Emergency Management Representative or unit leadership to learn what procedures your organization has in place. You are also welcome to contact the CE Emergency Management Office at 210-652-2222 for additional training or if you have any further questions.
Installation & Facilities
Q. I was under the impression that all of our main gates at JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Randolph, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Camp Bullis would all be worked on simultaneously? Is that not the case? Or is each gate being worked on individually?
A. Thank you very much for your question. As you highlighted, we are very focused on improving our gates in order to provide increased base security across JBSA. Gate repairs will be worked sequentially in a staggered approach. Closing all gates simultaneously would unfortunately create significant operational impacts to personnel entering and exiting the various installations.
Civil Engineers worked with Security Forces to develop an appropriate schedule that ensures adequate alternate routes in and out of the installation. Gate repairs will continue into FY20 and the 502d ABW will continue coordination with base populace to ensure awareness. We greatly apologize for the inconvenience, but ultimately these entry control point upgrades are for everyone’s benefit.
Q. Housing speed limits are typically 15 mph. Why is Main Circle the only housing road on JBSA-Randolph that is 25 mph?
A. Thank you for bringing this question to our attention. The safety of service members, civilians, and their families who live in our community is of great importance to us. The Civil Engineers will coordinate with Security Forces on the speed limit on Main Circle and will address formally at the next JBSA-Randolph Traffic Safety Working Group for assessment. If determined that the speed should be reduced, signs will be updated and Public Affairs will push out a notification.
Q. What can be done about spouses and dependents parking in handicap parking spaces on the sponsors’ DV plates.
A. Handicap parking, like any other traffic code issue at JBSA, is governed by our JBSA supplement to Air Force Manual 31-116. The manual lays out specific parameters for what vehicles are authorized to park in handicap spaces. In a nut shell, the vehicle must display a local or state-issued handicap decal, placard, or sign, or a state-issued handicap or DV license plate.
Additionally, the driver must either be the owner of that decal or plate, or be picking up or dropping off the owner. Anyone who suspects a violation of AFMAN 31-116 can notify Security Forces through their local Base Defense Operations Center, or BDOC. For ease of reference, listed below is the phone number for each location’s BDOC:
- JBSA-Fort Sam Houston BDOC: 210-221-2244
- JBSA-Lackland BDOC: 210-671-2921
- JBSA-Randolph BDOC: 210-652-5700
Q. Why are communications so hard to establish with the 502d ABW Task Management Tool, or TMT, system?
A. Our 502d ABW admin staff prides themselves on timely responses in the Task Management Tool, and we sincerely apologize for any problems in communication. TMT is an IT system that allows information to flow from and to higher headquarters, increasing awareness and efficiency.
If you ever have any concerns about a task or are unable to find the status of a particular package, please do not hesitate to contact our Wing Executive Officer, Capt. Macklin Wagner at 210-808-7506, or the Superintendent of Executive Services, Master Sgt. Jonathan Elzie at 210-808-7542.
Q. I was recently forwarded the latest copy of the weekly Q&A Brig. Gen. Lenderman sends out. I applaud the effort to spread the word on pressing issues and critical information, and I found much of the information to be very helpful. Unfortunately, since I am a member of a tenant organization, I had no idea this venue even existed until recently. Would it be possible to include tenant organizations on the distro list for this weekly e-mail (or at least key leaders within those organizations to disseminate at their discretion)?
A. Thank you so much for reaching out and for taking the time to review our weekly question and answers. Our Q&A is by no means a secret and although some questions are 502d Air Base Wing-specific, the majority of our queries pertain to the entire JBSA community.
With that in mind, I will continue to try and reach all personnel that live, work, and play across our installation. Our HQ staff is working with our hard working Communications Squadron and the Army Network Enterprise Center to create an email distribution list capable of reaching all members of our JBSA community.
We will be sure to advertise when it is completed. In the meantime, our mission partners across JBSA can still read the weekly Q&A in its entirety in the printed copy of the JBSA Legacy and its online version at http://www.jbsa.mil/News/Publications/.
(Editor's note: Below is the Feedback Friday questions and answers that were omitted from February 15th’s publication)
Q. Is there a way to speed up the CAC issuing for new employees? New hires wait days or weeks which in turn delays their ability to get a computer account.
A. Thank you so much for your question and focus on helping us onboard our new employees faster. In the past, new hire employee appointments were blocked off every Thursday afternoon at all three of our MPF locations to allow for the building of the new employee’s profile in the system (DEERS). Now, new hires are authorized to be seen any day of the week (Mon-Fri), as long as their DEERS profile is built. They can choose to make an appointment or walk-in (0800-1545). Their wait time will be dependent on which service they choose and how busy the waiting room is at that time. We would recommend that if they choose walk-in, they arrive first thing in the morning. Hopefully, this will expedite the process and alleviate them having to wait for an ID card.
Q. What is the penalty for a civilian employee sleeping while on duty during working hours (15-30 minutes a day)?
A. Thank you for your concern and question. Discipline for civilian employees is governed by AFI 36-704. This takes a variety of considerations into account when assessing penalties including the severity of the offense, repeat infractions, and extenuating circumstances. While sleeping on duty is certainly an actionable offense, the penalty may vary. If you notice an employee sleeping while on duty, you should contact his or her supervisor. That supervisor should then contact their servicing JBSA Employee Management Relations Specialist in the Civilian Personnel Flight to ensure the appropriate corrective action is taken to address the matter.
Installation & Facilities
Q. I recently saw that the gate hours for the Wilson gate on Fort Sam Houston are being significantly reduced. This gate provides easy access to Broadway Avenue, the Pearl and Highway 281. It provides easy access for lunch locations and it would be very helpful to have the gate open and available on weekends for residents that live on base. Is there any plan to change the operating hours back or even expand the hours?
Thank you for your question, and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the gate changes at Fort Sam Houston have caused. The decision to open the South New Braunfels Gate was made in consultation with US Army North, one of our mission partners here at Fort Sam Houston. The opening was intended to address the needs of our mission partner as well as to be good partners with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County and ease the traffic concerns of the Homeowner's Association adjacent to Wilson Gate. In opening the South New Braunfels gate, there was no manpower added to the Security Forces Squadron to expand the hours of operation. Instead, manning was realigned from the Wilson Gate.
However, based on our mission partner and Fort Sam Houston community feedback, we recently reallocated existing security forces and starting on Saturday, 2 March, we are expanding the hours of the South New Braunfels Gate to include Saturdays and Sundays from 0600-2200. In addition, starting Monday, 4 March, we are expanding the Wilson Gate hours on Monday – Friday to 0600-1300. With the increased Wilson Gate hours, the South New Braunfels Gate continues to provide an alternative route to help ease traffic in the neighborhood adjacent to the Wilson Gate, especially following the opening of the community college on the corner of Wilson and Cunningham.
Q. It’s been several years since the installation of the no left turn signs at the RAFB clinic parking lot to exit the base. These signs are regularly ignored, much to the dismay of those waiting behind the offending driver. May I suggest the installation of rubber lane dividers, or some other type of barrier along this section of road to discourage this obviously dangerous situation?
A. Thank you very much for bringing this issue to our attention. Traffic safety-related issues are addressed through the Traffic Safety Working Group. CE will work with Security Forces and present this issue at the next Working Group meeting in March for consideration. Additionally, CE Operations Engineers will assess the area and explore your recommendation along with other alternatives to present at the Working Group. If approved and funded, the installation of lane dividers should be relatively simple and quick. In the meantime, the 902 SFS will conduct proactive policing to show police presence with the intent to educate drivers and discourage future violations.
Q. What is your policy on long-term base passes for civilian employee’s dependent(s) to include after retirement. Please describe what services are afforded to us and our dependents to include schools, youth centers, day care, clubs, pools, base gym, golfing, etc.
A. Thank you for your concern regarding this issue. In accordance with DoD Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) policy, limited use of military MWR activities are permitted at the discretion of the Installation Commander. I have authorized Dependents of DoD Civilians and Dependents of DoD Civilian Retirees limited use of MWR activities. DoD Civilian Employees are authorized to escort and/or sponsor dependents and guests onto JBSA provided the dependents/guests have identification and successfully pass a background check. Additionally, DoD Civilian Retirees are eligible to escort up to 5 guests onto JBSA under the same guest provisions listed for current DoD Civilian Employees. Services authorized for use by all categories of DoD Civilians and their dependents are Morale, Recreation, and Welfare services throughout JBSA on a space available basis.
Q. I frequently use the showers in the men’s bathroom at the Randolph Fitness Center. I don’t understand why the hot water is so “spotty.” On rare days, it’s great. Most of the time, however, it is warm, or tepid at best. I can’t speak for the women’s bathroom, but I imagine it’s the same for them. Can you look into this issue?
A. Thank you for bringing the hot water issue at the Rambler Fitness Center to my attention. CE Operations Engineers have assessed the boiler and hot water system at the Randolph Fitness Center and determined all components to be operating properly. The problem of spotty hot water may be caused by high usage during peak fitness center hours when the number of patrons showering depletes the hot water faster, and over and above the capacity of the system as it is currently configured. CE will research if the system's capacity can be increased or modified to support peak usage periods within a reasonable cost and engineering effort with the intent to improve customer satisfaction. We do ask that if you ever observe any system stoppages or facility issues, please notify the fitness center staff as soon as possible so the facility manager can track and help expedite repairs.
Q. What is your recipe for a perfect cookie?
A. My front office team will tell you that I am a huge sweets fan, and will never walk by a good cookie. However, sadly, I am domestically challenged in the kitchen, and I don’t have a great cookie recipe. That said, my mother-in-law has the best recipe for “English Toffee” that even I can make.