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. Our Child Development Centers, or CDCs, have long waiting lists and I don’t live near the base, so I’m not sure the CDC is the right option for my kids. Does the base have any other options to help me find good child care off base?
A. Thank you so much for your question. Fortunately, there are multiple child care options at Joint Base San Antonio if the CDC isn’t the right fit for your family or you aren’t able to get in when child care is needed.
Quality alternate care options consist of Family Child Care, or FCC, homes as well as child care facilities in the communities adjacent to the installation coordinated through Child Care Aware of America. Both options provide subsidized rates similar to the rates charged at the CDCs.
Family Child Care is home-based care with reduced provider to child ratios compared to the CDC. FCC homes are located on and off the installation. They are trained and licensed by JBSA and regulated by Air Force policies that are similar to the CDC.
FCC homes typically operate during the normal duty day; however, some accommodate alternate work schedules outside the CDC hours and overnight/weekend care. Child care with a FCC provider can be requested through militarychildcare.com which is the same system used for requesting care at the CDC.
The Department of Defense has partnered with Child Care Aware to augment child care in community based programs that meet the quality standards of DOD CDCs. Through Child Care Aware of America (http://www.childcareaware.org), military members can 1) determine eligibility, 2) locate and select qualifying off-installation child care, 3) apply online and upload required documents. To receive fee assistance, military families must be on the CDC waiting list prior to submitting an online application for monthly child care fee assistance. CDC care requests are made online at militarychildcare.com.
Installation & Facilities
Q. I work at JBSA-Lackland where I use the Selfridge West gate on the training side to come into the base. We have an unsafe situation where people are using the middle lane to turn into the base cutting off people who wait in line in the far right lane. Maybe a person can stand near Military Drive preventing cars from the middle lane turning into the entrance?
My coworkers and I were discussing the situation and feel this is a dangerous situation and would like to ask for your assistance before someone gets hurt. I’m not sure if manpower is the issue or maybe we could set out cones to prevent this from occurring since this intersection feeds from both sides of Military Drive and the Selfridge East gate. I feel very strongly that someone could be injured if something isn’t done.
A.Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. The traffic conditions at the Selfridge West gate are dynamic and complicated. Not just the various lanes and directions of traffic, but also the lines of legal jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, cones aren’t a viable option in this situation. While they would potentially help with traffic turning from Military Hwy, they would impede traffic crossing from Selfridge East. However, our 802nd SFS team is working with the Bexar Country Sherriff’s Office to increase presence in the morning at Selfridge, similar to San Antonio Police Department’s support outside the Valley Hi gate.
Additionally, our Defenders will increase monitoring of traffic from inside the base boundary, citing individuals for violations they observe. Hopefully this team effort will help to curb the unsafe behavior. But, we’ll keep monitoring and be ready to make more adjustments.
Again, thank you for bringing this up. Safety is paramount … keep the feedback coming!
Q. I am wondering about the seeming lack of progress being made on the construction project at the Valley Hi Gate. I understand the project began Jan. 21 and I generally use the gate 3-4 times per week.
A. Thank you for your question. JBSA was fortunate to get some much needed end-of-year funding towards improving multiple entry control points. Four of these projects were specifically to improve security through additional speed humps, bollards and tiger teeth.
Based on the timing of the contract, work was required to start at each of the locations when it did in order to meet fiscal law. The contractor is then granted a performance period in which to conduct the work. The contractor has already completed two of the four gates and is now focused on the Valley Hi location, with a projection to complete that project on or ahead of schedule.
Civil engineers, Security Forces and contracting are capturing lessons learned from this set of projects to incorporate into our next round of gate projects in order to minimize future impacts at our already heavily burdened entry control points.
Q. I am a big fan of our joint base libraries at JBSA-Randolph and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. I have noticed over the past six months or so that the inventory of books at these libraries has decreased noticeably. I asked library staff about this and was told the libraries have been directed to cull the shelves of older books, such as ones showing evidence of mold or damage, and to generally reduce the number of books. I was just wondering if there is a directive to reduce the number of books and what the future holds for our base and post libraries.
A. I’m so glad you asked this question because it gives me an opportunity to share the exciting changes ahead for both the JBSA-Randolph and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Libraries! These libraries have been approved for a complete remodel to a more user friendly design called the Modern Bookstore Library.
The JBSA-Lackland Library recently remodeled to this layout in 2017 and it has been a great success. The first part of the project involves prepping the library, which includes “weeding” materials and books that have not been checked out for at least two years. This will allow us to increase materials more in demand by customers, have awesome intuitive and creative displays, and improve the browsing experience overall for our patrons!
The libraries will also be receiving all new shelving, comfortable new seating/meeting spaces, prominent user-friendly signage, and an entire new cataloging system similar to what you would see in a bookstore.
Once we complete the full renovations by the end of the year, we plan on continuing to further enhance and provide more access to Makerspace programs, children’s programs, and digital/e-resources. For contact information and current information on our JBSA Libraries, you can visit them on their website at http://www.jbsalibraries.org, their “JBSA Libraries” Facebook page, and their JBSA Libraries Instagram account.
Q. What exactly was included in the Unit Effectiveness Inspection and/or what did the inspectors look at or ask questions about? Were personnel interviewed?
A. Thank you very much for your interest in how we were inspected. The UEI included an assessment of our Wing’s performance based on the four Major Graded Areas (1. Managing Resources, 2. Leading People, 3. Improving the Unit, and 4) Executing the Mission).
Additionally, the inspectors looked at our ability to effectively support our mission partners and the Air Education and Training Command Inspector General sent out a survey weeks in advance to get inputs from our Wing personnel. The AETC/IG also interviewed many 502d ABW personnel and asked questions concerning their living and working environments, but the AETC/IG was unable to conduct all the interviews due to the government closure for a day of mourning for President George H. W. Bush.
If you’d like to review a copy of the UEI inspection report, please let our IG team know. In addition, for a more in-depth explanation of a UEI, please see Chapter 3 of AFI 90-201 (https://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=AFPW_EPubs&query=afi90-201).