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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | April 26, 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.

Installation & Facilities

Q. Security Forces personnel are responsible for the defense of our installation and the safety of the personnel working and living throughout the Joint Base San Antonio community.

My question pertains to the issuing of tickets to personnel who are found not in compliance with federal, state, and military rules and regulations.

In particular, if a child is not safely buckled up in a car driving on the installation, JBSA Defenders can issue a ticket and a fine to government civilians or dependents to discourage future violations; however, they cannot issue a fine to military members. They can only issue points against their driving record. Why is there a disparity in consequences between civilians and military?

A. That's a great question! It is Air Force policy to not issue US District Court Violation Notices to active duty Air Force members. So, while the CVB Form 1805 cannot be issued to active duty members, the Armed Forces Traffic Ticket (DD Form 1408) can be issued to any individual who has committed a moving or non-moving traffic offense, including active duty members.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice and service-specific regulations allow for commanders to take a wide variety of actions involving military members under their command.

For example, a member could receive administrative paperwork or even Non-Judicial Punishment, or NJP, for receiving a DD Form 1408 Traffic Ticket, and/or by accumulating too many points against their driving record.

By issuing NJP, the range of options for discipline includes a reduction in grade, restriction to the installation, or forfeitures of pay. This mirrors potential punishment imposed against a civilian in US District Court for the same or similar offense. While the services differ in their policies allowing military members being tried by Federal Magistrate or U.S. District Court, military members can be tried by courts-martial for offenses, to include egregious traffic violations such as drunk or reckless operation of a vehicle.

Additionally, if a military member is cited for an offense either off-installation or on another service's installation, the military can seek to obtain jurisdiction to allow the military member's commander to take action. While the forum may be different, the potential consequences for both active duty and civilians who commit traffic violations on the installation are comparable.

Q. The Luke Boulevard Gateway gate on Military Highway at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is a very popular gate in the morning.

It has one right turn lane and two (left and right) entry lanes. Cars that are not in the right turn lane still turn into the gate, and it is very dangerous.

Cars that are using the appropriate right turn lane and going into the left entry lane have to be aware of these people cutting them off or rear ending them. Is there anything that the Security Forces can do to alleviate this traffic/safety issue?

A. Safety is so important … and we all need to work together to make our gates as safe as possible. So, thank you for this question.

The answer involves several pieces, all of which are already in motion. First, our Security Forces do not have jurisdiction on Military Highway. So, we have asked the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to increase their presence outside the gate, especially during high traffic periods.

Next, our Defenders are increasing monitoring of traffic from inside the base boundary, citing individuals for violations they observe.

And finally, they are working with the Texas Department of Transportation to paint directional arrows on Military Highway to better provide drivers with visual cues about where to turn and where not to turn. Hopefully, this team effort will help curb the unsafe behavior, but we’ll keep monitoring and be ready to make more adjustments as necessary.

Q. Why can't reasonable health and safety standards be maintained at the men's shower room facility of the JBSA-Randolph Fitness Center? I use the facility three times weekly and repeatedly observe below standard maintenance of the flooring and walls.

Also observed routinely is the absence of hot water from many of the shower heads and/or empty or inoperative soap dispensers.

Today's visit revealed the persistent problem of mold that has been allowed to accumulate along the grout lines of the bottom rows of the shower room tiles.

Additionally, as I raised my sight toward the upper half of the shower room near the ceiling I observed multiple small bugs (resembling newly hatched bed bugs) attached to the walls throughout the shower facility.

There have been complaints levied by other patrons regarding floor sanitizing issues at earlier junctions. Can you help resolve these sanitation concerns?

A. Thank you for your question. Our Civil Engineer team is working with our Fitness Center Facility managers and in the coordination with our custodial service contracts to address your concerns.

Showers are inspected and cleaned twice per day, and are deep cleaned in restroom areas once a month or as requested by facility managers.

There was a recently identified leak behind one of the shower walls which contributed to mold growth which has since been repaired, and staining should be resolved through regular cleaning cycles.

Additionally, our CE pest management shop will perform an assessment of the area you identified and implement the appropriate treatment method.

Regarding the hot water concern, CE will assess the mechanical system to determine if there are any issues with the existing boilers, or if it is a capacity issue driving the need for system upgrades, which would drive a need for design and funding.

Thank you for raising your concerns so that our FSS and CE teams can strive to provide the best services we can to our community. 

Q. When will JBSA-Fort Sam Houston have a 24/7, 360-day Customer Call Center similar to JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Rndolph?

In the last two months, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston had approximately 200 Emergency Service Calls which should support a Customer Call Center for better response time for the customer.

A. Great question! One of our Civil Engineer Group's top priorities is to meet or exceed our community’s needs through superior customer service. CE earns manpower to staff customer call centers during normal duty hours at JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Randolph.

The after-hours call centers are staffed by manpower earned for 24/7 Energy Management Controls System, or EMCS, operators. Presently, CE does not have an EMCS at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, but does have long-term plans to create that capability which will enable us to implement a 24/7 call desk.

There are multiple energy projects being executed today to build the infrastructure needed to accomplish this effort, but there is no definitive timeline on a fully operational EMCS at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. In the meantime, we would like to reassure our community that our two highly capable 24/7 after-hour call centers at JBSA-Randolph and JBSA-Lackland also support after hour calls at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston.

Q. While we all understand the need to repair/replace the gates and the roads leading to and getting off base, what I don't think most of us understand is the timing of the repairs.

Chiefly, the Valley Hi Gate at JBSA-Lackland won't be completed (allegedly) until June and considering that gate is down to one lane for inbound and outbound traffic, we can really just say it is closed with how much traffic still flows through there.

We also learned that the hospital gate off of the access road leading to Highway 90 will be closed. What that means to us over here is that the thousands of cars that use that access/egress point will now be funneled back to Military Highway, causing even more of a log jam, especially on Thursday and Friday.

Granted, the other gates on Military open up at 5:30 a.m. on those mornings; however, that still puts an enormous strain on the guards and honestly, our tempers.

My question is, why couldn't the side hospital gate closure be delayed until the Valley Hi work was complete? We were advised this was done in preparation for the hospital tear down, but that is not going to happen anytime soon, let alone by the summer.

Thank you for your question, and for your patience as I know waiting in traffic is frustrating. As you have experienced, our continuing efforts to improve force protection at our gates and replace aging facilities increases wait times at our installation entry points.

While all of us have enjoyed the new Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center facility at JBSA-Lackland since its opening in 2017, the last phase of that project, demolition of the old Wilford Hall Medical Center, is about to begin. In order to accomplish this, the Highway 90 gate became a construction-only entrance April 15.

While other options for construction traffic were considered, closure of the Highway 90 gate was the best option to ensure the safety of vehicles and pedestrians. Much of the early demolition work will not be visible since it involves areas not viewable from main roads, but please know that we held off on closing this gate until it was absolutely necessary for the contractor to establish their free-access construction zone as part of this demolition project. Due to contractual requirements, we could not wait any longer without significant cost and delay to the project.

We recognize the overlap between this demolition project and ongoing force protection work at the Valley Hi Gate will add to current congestion, especially on Thursdays and Fridays when families of graduating Airmen are visiting JBSA-Lackland.

Our Security Forces Defenders will continue to provide maximum manning at all gates to expedite the flow of traffic as much as we can. While traffic delays are frustrating, please bear with us and know that the Defenders at the gates are doing their best to expedite entry while maintaining a safe and secure installation for us to work and live.

We encourage visitors to use other gates such as Selfridge East and West, and when possible consider altering commute times on Thursday and Friday to avoid peak traffic congestion.

We appreciate your patience as we complete these projects that will make our installation safer and more enjoyable.

Miscellaneous

Q. Is there a scheduled JBSA Pride Week in May?

A. Thank you very much for your question. Pride Month is observed in the month of June and there will be many events in and around the San Antonio community. There is also a local JBSA event open to everyone and hosted by U.S. Army North at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston June 21.

More information regarding this event will be made public as the date gets closer. Please contact the JBSA-Lackland EO office at 210-671-4284, JBSA-Randolph EO office at 210-652-3705 or the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston EO office at 210-295-0552, if you have any other questions regarding Pride Month or any of the other special observances.

Q. Have we thought about establishing an airplane static display area at JBSA-Randolph like they have at JBSA-Lackland?

I am thinking about the old abandoned officer housing grassy area near the Lindsey main gate. It would be cool to see Air Force planes from the past and present put on static display stands as one leaves and enters JBSA-Randolph.

What better way to show off our Air Force heritage, pride, service and commitment to flying, especially since this is an installation where we do lots of flying.

A. Great question! While there are no plans to establish another static display area at JBSA-Randolph, we can always ask the question and see what is possible.

In the meantime, the aircraft on static display in front of the JBSA-Randolph lodging office supplement the larger display at JBSA-Lackland with several examples of aircraft types that were involved in the flying training mission on base.

When combined with the other static display aircraft throughout JBSA-Randolph, and the rotary wing medical aircraft displayed on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the aircraft displays across JBSA offer hours of worthwhile study and exploration.