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Home : News : News
NEWS | March 29, 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 using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.



Installation & Facilities


Q. Why does it take so long for facility repairs? At JBSA-Lackland, there is a problem in the men’s room in building 7025 at 1451 Stewart St. The room has two urinals (both out of service) and two commode stalls. During busy hours and graduations, military members, employees and visitors struggle to use the facility due to limited services. This always causes frustration to all.


A.  Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Bathrooms are always a priority and our Civil Engineers rely on facility managers to communicate issues critical to building maintenance.


For the problems with these specific urinals and commodes, a work request was submitted to 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron Customer Service Jan. 25 and was responded to by our plumbing shop. For these bathrooms, our engineers determined these recurring issues require additional investigation.  Our plumbing shop is working on a permanent repair.  Manpower limitations and sustainment activities at times impact timeline for repairs.


To assist backlog and mitigate these types of delays, our Civil Engineers are pursuing a trade-craft contract (for summer 2019) that will create contract capability to reduce the backlog of work requests and provide appropriate quality assurance on final repairs.


In general, if you are experiencing recurring facility issues, please contact 502nd CES Customer Service at 210-671-5555.


Q.  I am hearing rumors that the Department of Defense commissaries may soon be taken over by AAFES and opened up to DOD civilians and contractors. Is there any truth to that rumor?


A.  Thank you very much for your question. Both AAFES and the Defense Commissary Agency continuously strive to provide world-class service to all of their customers.


In a Military Times article titled "Defense Department pushing ahead to merge commissary and exchange systems," dated March 6, 2019, DOD officials are expecting to “harvest significant savings” by consolidating commissary and exchange systems into "one defense resale enterprise" such that the benefits would “far exceed the costs.”  


Any merger will require the approval of Congress because current law requires the DOD to operate separate commissary and exchange systems.  Additionally, a request to change DOD policy to extend limited shopping privileges to DOD civilians is currently under review by the DOD, and we hope to hear positive news soon.


Q. When will the picnic area and shelter by the airfield and fire station at JBSA-Lackland be completed for military families and the public to use?  It’s an awesome and beautiful place to hang out and have lunch and watch aircraft land and take off with families after BMT graduations and on weekends.


A. Thank you very much for your question. After the pavilion at Upson Park was damaged by a severe storm, our 502nd Civil Engineer Group approved a self-help repair project to restore the shelter.


During the repairs, we discovered the pavilion had old paint that tested positive for lead. This additional work requires our Civil Engineers to remediate the lead paint through a contract before we can continue with the renovation. The estimated time to restart the pavilion renovation is May 2019. 


Q. Are there any plans to repair the poor road conditions on Growden Road outside of JBSA-Lackland? Is this road the responsibility of the federal government or the City of San Antonio?


A. Great question! The portion of the road outside the gate is the responsibility of the transportation division of the City of San Antonio. There is, in fact, a construction project scheduled that will widen sections of Growden road from two to three lanes. It is scheduled to begin this summer and will provide much needed widening and repairs to improve commercial traffic flow. 


The work is a result of the strong partnership between Joint Base San Antonio and the City of San Antonio and our surrounding communities. As we progress further with the project, we will advertise the construction dates and traffic plan through social media and the JBSA Legacy base paper to inform motorists and JBSA employees and their families.




Q. The Air Force used to have an IDEA program where they would pay you a portion of any cost savings ideas that people came up with. Now it seems that the Air Force still wants good ideas to help save costs on various programs and yet there is no more money award incentive being offered for coming up with these cost savings?  Has the Air Force IDEA program changed and no longer offers any type of money rewards for good ideas that save money?


A.  Thank you very much for your question. The Airman Powering Innovation (API) Program did replace the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness (IDEA) Program. 


The new API program is a step in the right direction because it connects Airmen directly to Principal Decision Makers in the Air Force and, the best part, it does provide monetary awards for approved ideas (up to $2,500). 


I encourage everybody to submit their great ideas through the API website:  If you have any specific questions about the program, contact our local Manpower Office.