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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | April 5, 2019

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.

Personnel Issues

Q. I’m just wondering why there is such a pay disparity between GS positions and NAF positions. The CDC has office automation clerks who are a GS-05 position while SAC has office automation clerks in NF-02 positions. The exact same job is being performed yet the NAF people are paid considerably less with fewer benefits.

A. Thank you for the question. Non-appropriated fund, or NAF, and Appropriated fund, or APF-GS, are two different employment systems that exist in support of Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, which includes Child and Youth Programs.  

APF personnel have a standardized pay table set by OPM with benefits and funding sourced from Congressional appropriations. NAF consists of pay band positions, where there are minimum and maximum hourly rates. Hiring officials set the salary within the pay range based on the activity, budget and job requirements.

For further information on NAF jobs, visit the JBSA NAF HR Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JBSANAFHR/ .

Installation & Facilities

Q. Many of us get to work at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston before 6 a.m. I get to the Walters Gate on most days around 6 a.m. There are four gates at that entrance, but all four gates are NOT open that early in the morning. Usually there are only two gates open, which causes traffic to back up and it wastes time sitting in line.

I suggest opening all four gates at Walters Gate by 5:45 a.m., if not earlier. By allowing more people to arrive on base and be at their desks, the Department of Defense benefits by obtaining extra hours of work (10 minutes a day extra, times 5 on average week, times 10 days is 100 minutes of free additional work per pay period.)

A. Thank you for your question about the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Walters Gate. The 502d Air Base Wing strives to meet as many mission partner needs as possible at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

The 502d Security Forces Squadron recently extended some of its installation gate hours at the South New Braunfels Gate and the Wilson Gate to support senior mission partners’ requests, but because of manpower limitations, we are unable to open all four lanes at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Walters Gate before 6 a.m. hours Monday through Friday.

The reason for this is the midnight shift, which works from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., has fewer assigned personnel because traffic throughput during those hours is lower. However, there are occasions when the midnight shift has additional personnel and we are able to open a third lane at Walters Gate.

All four lanes are opened after 6 a.m. because the day shift begins at that time and has more manpower assigned to ensure the squadron can meet the greater daytime entry requirements. Thank you again for your feedback.

Q. Was wondering if the Texas Department of Transportation could reprogram the left turn light into the JBSA-Randolph West Gate to a blinking yellow arrow like the one at main gate to allow westbound traffic to enter base when traffic allows. This would keep traffic from backing up on FM 78 and sometimes on Pat Booker Road.

A. Thank you for your suggestion, we are always looking for ways to improve traffic flow at our busy gates. Our Security Forces works closely with the Texas Department of Transportation to determine the best practices that ensure the convenience and safety of the motorists on JBSA and the surrounding communities.

We will work with TEXDOT and local law enforcement to address a possible change to the traffic light at the West Gate. Continue to drive safe and thank you again for your efforts to make JBSA better!

Q. There hasn't been an Auto Hobby Shop at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston since the shop we had was demolished to accommodate the Candlewood Suites Hotel. Is there any plans in the future to have an Auto Hobby Shop built on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston? This facility is a real asset to those of us who do mechanical work on our vehicles and is financially helpful.

A. Thank you for your question. The 502d ABW is committed to providing the best community service support we can to our massive population. Current investment strategies use market research to identify which functions are in highest demand while also taking into account services available in the local community off base or surrounding installations.

For now, we ask our JBSA service members and their families to utilize the Auto Hobby Shop on JBSA-Lackland as there are currently minimal funds to allocate for the construction of an Auto Hobby Shop on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. We will continue to assess funding each year to hopefully add this resource to JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

Q. I just recently PCS’d here and went to fill my truck up on JBSA-Lackland, only to realize that there are no diesel pumps on base. What is the chance of talking with AAFES to see if they could install a diesel pump? Two thirds of my vehicles run on diesel and all of my previous bases had diesel pumps on base.

A. This is another great community support question. Similar to NAF-provided operations, AAFES conducts market research to determine the population's need when determining which services to provide.

There are currently plans to construct a new AAFES fuel station at JBSA-Randolph, as well as expand the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston main service station. As these projects are developed, AAFES will employ market research to determine if diesel pumps are cost effective to be added, or if the off-base community provides adequate support to meet the demand.

We will also work with AAFES to reassess the current fuel options at Lackland to explore the possibility of adding diesel pumps.