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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | May 3, 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. There have already been six completed suicides in the Security Forces career field this year. Its only April and I believe the situation is at critical mass. The Ask Care Escort, Wingman Concept, Commander’s Calls, while all good tools, are not enough. This must be a deeper issue.

Are there any current and immediate actions being put into motion to stop this tragic epidemic?  Are things like manning, ability to take short notice leave, duty hours, comp time for long days being accounted for?

A.  Such an important question, thank you for asking.  Our Joint Base Defender leadership works diligently to remain engaged, provide targeted resiliency training, and consult with helping agencies on a continual basis to provide the best care for our most important asset. 

Our Security Forces mission here in San Antonio is robust which makes manning difficult.  Our team is getting after that with a major command manpower revalidation along with a full review of our civilian defender vacancies and hiring timeline.  These manpower adjustments will alleviate stress of over-tasking and help bring work life balance to the force. 

We care very much about all of our Big “A” Airmen.  If you or someone you know is struggling please share what you are carrying; do not be silent. 

If you are not comfortable sharing within your organization, there are options, such as Military One Source for active duty at 1-800-342-9647 or the Employee Assistance Program for civilians at 1-800-222-0364. Both hotlines are free and available 24/7.

Installation & Facilities

Q. I’m located at JBSA-Lackland and I arrive for duty accessing the Selfridge Visitor Gate each morning which has three inbound lanes. 

Is there a possibility of dedicating one of those lanes to visitors that do not have Common Access Cards when arriving to the gate?  There’s a possibility other gates are having similar issues because traffic around JBSA-Lackland is crazy in the morning.

A. JBSA-Lackland is an extremely busy place.  The day-to-day commute on and off the base, frequent special events, and BMT graduations create challenges to traffic management. 

And then this year, we’ve added several construction projects to the mix, making gate traffic more complicated…and sometimes creating longer delays than we are used to. 

Earlier in the year I asked our Security Forces to look hard at how the gates are operating, and to do everything they can to minimize delays.  To that end, they considered and implemented numerous changes, including manpower adjustments, contraflow lanes at the gates, and increased SAPD and Bexar County Sherriff’s Office support outside the gates. 

One potential change they decided not to make is dedicating lanes to specific groups (e.g. non-CAC holders).  A traffic study experts determined that the dynamics at our gates and high volume of visitors just don’t lend well to segregating traffic into specific lanes.

Though it would align customers with similar needs, it adds congestion as customers unfamiliar with the base slow to read lane signage and make last minute lane changes, and it removes critical flexibility for our Security Forces to handle and shift traffic based on evolving conditions.

While this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, if we work together we can improve traffic for everyone.  Employees should keep looking for ways to adjust arrival and departure times.

Consider using an alternate gates, even if it means driving a little further once on-base.  And consider riding with coworkers whenever practical.  Thank you for your continued patience as we work to make our bases safer for all our service members, civilian employees, retirees, and families!

Q.  Would it be possible to have a centrally located flag pole installed on the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston METC campus for everyone to see to display the current colored temperature flag?

We currently display them outside of the entrance to the fitness center but centrally located pole with the temperature color flag displayed would benefit more people than just the students and guests of the fitness center and would also be a reminder to training cadre and everyone in general of the dangers of working in the heat and taking precautions. 

A. Thank you for your question—great idea!  Safety is certainly paramount for all JBSA personnel, and we are constantly looking for ways to support that effort.

The first step in addressing your request would be to inquire with your respective facility manager and leadership to determine if they support the idea, if they are willing to establish a program to monitor and update the new flag based on changing conditions, and if they have a preferred site to locate the pole. 

The next step is to then submit the request to the Civil Engineer team for approval of the work and siting.  If the request is approved, CE will then install the new pole.  If the project can’t be completed for whatever reason, our CE team will work with your unit to develop other alternatives to meet the desired effect.

Miscellaneous

Q. As a Unit Deployment Manager at JBSA, I was wondering if it was possible to get one parent unit PASCODE for JBSA (all OLs) instead of what we currently have, which is PASCODES for each location. By having one PASCODE would allow a lot of flexibility regarding assigning personnel to UTCs as well as other areas within the Readiness program.   

A. Great question!  This is a topic that comes up frequently.  Each JBSA location must be assigned a separate PASCODE to align with its Installation Location Code, or ILC, and Duty Location Code, or DLOC. 

If we were to have one PASCODE, it would drive the need for one ILC/DLOC.  U.S. Transportation Command is responsible for creating all DLOCs.  In the past we requested a single DLOC and were denied.  The request was denied because when a DLOC is established an Installation Type Code (ITC) is added to the installation name. 

For example, AFB for Air Force Base, AIN for Army Installation, NAS for Navy Air Station, etc.  Creating a single ITC for JBSA would not allow war planners the visibility needed to pre-deploy assets: ships, planes, tanks, personnel, etc. Also, a single PASCODE would not allow us to comply with Joint Federal Travel Regulations which defines a Permanent Duty Station (PDS) by corporate limits in which a member is stationed (San Antonio and Universal City are examples).

In accordance with Air Force Instruction 36-2110, paragraph 5.41.1: “Designating metropolitan areas which are comprised of individual cities/towns as one duty station for the purpose of PCS allowances, called “clustering”, is prohibited by Comptroller General, or GAO, decision. 

We will continue advocating for one PASCODE as well as monitoring USTRANSCOM’s instructions and the AFIs to ensure we are aware if there are any changes that impact our JBSA community.