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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | Oct. 4, 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 am a mobility-impaired person. I have to walk with a stroller very day. I am not the only person experiencing this problem – many others have the same impairment and are in the same predicament I am in.

However, I've noticed that people who do not have such problems continue to use the handicap showers; they look to me to be very agile, strong and without any handicap(s).  Can one of the handicap showers in the male side be dedicated solely to mobility impaired persons?

A. Thank you for this question. At JBSA, we strive to be as accessible as possible for all members of the community, especially at our fitness centers. Generally, American Disability Act-accessible showers and restrooms are not restricted to only handicap members; however, even when stalls are limited, patrons are encouraged to abide by military core values and do the right thing to provide appropriate accommodations.

The best way to address this situation would be to bring it up to the building's facility manager to submit an official request for modifications and/or renovations. In addition, if possible, we'd like to hear additional details in order to better address your specific request.

Please feel free to reach back out to the JBSA-Randolph Public Affairs Office to provide your information (if willing) so we can contact you directly regarding the facility of concern. Thank you for your feedback, keep it coming!

Q. Ma'am, I would like to discuss with you regarding GS employees and their level of responsibility as documented on their respective Air Force Standard Core Personnel Document, or SCPD.

The level of responsibility and pay grades for GS employees in a Joint Base enterprise is lower here at JBSA compared to other Joint Base installations. There are different levels of responsibilities commensurate with pay grades and different career fields, but why is the JBSA Installation Fire Chief only a GS-13 compared to other non-joint base installation fire chiefs, considering his level of responsibility within the JBSA enterprise and the U.S. Air Force?

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFMC) is a non-joint base and their fire chief is a GS-14 to include Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFSPC) also is a non-joint base and their fire chief is a GS-14.

A. Thank you for asking this question. Our civilian Airmen are the backbone of the 502nd ABW team, and the service they provide is greatly appreciated by the leaders of this installation and all 266 Mission Partners.

Regarding your concern about the current classified grade for the installation fire chief, the 502nd Civil Engineer Group team has been working closely with Air Force Personnel Center on this specific topic as well as many others.

To date, no change to the grade of the installation fire chief has been made or approved; however, it is still under review as we continue to structure our Wing to best support JBSA's diverse missions. The CEG team remains engaged on this subject, and should you have specific questions or concerns please feel free to contact the 902nd CES Commander, Lt. Col. Tortella, at 210-652-2401.

Installation & Facilities

Q. I understand that on Thursday and Friday, JBSA-Lackland has serious gate traffic.

I have been in JBSA for some time, but this morning was the absolute worst. The Growden gate was backed up all the way to Highway 90 and Military Drive was a parking lot.

Something needs to be done. I am seriously considering contacting my congressman and the local news to report on this issue to highlight the problem. It is only getting worse. I would like to give the base a chance to mitigate it as much as they can first.

A. Thank you for your observation of the traffic levels, as we factor in permanent party feedback such as yours in adjusting our gate hours to minimize the congestion as best we can.

Thursdays and Fridays are extremely busy days at JBSA-Lackland due to Basic Military Training graduation. Our Defenders work closely local law enforcement to mitigate traffic congestion outside the installation.

In addition, we recommend staggering report times, using alternate gates (such as Selfridge and Security Hill gates having under 3-minute wait times on Thursdays and Fridays) and offering alternate routes to access Military Drive from the south to head northbound.

The public JBSA website (https://www.jbsa.mil/Information/Visitor-Information/) has more information on the latest installation gate hours – including holidays – you can also call the JBSA-Lackland Base Defense Operations Center at any time with your questions or issues at 210-671-2018.

Q. I am inquiring about protocol when entering JBSA-Randolph security gates. I am unsure and I could not find a definitive regulation or protocol about security police saluting a retired officer when driving through the security gates. Is it a relaxed standard or courtesy to salute retired officers of the Armed Forces while entering security gates?

A. Thank you for your question regarding due respect of our retired officers of all services. It is Air Force policy that retired officers be rendered a warrior's salute at our entry control points. Per Air Force Instruction 1-1, paragraph 1.6.3., "Retirees are entitled to the same respect and courtesies as active military members." We will ensure this message is shared with to our Defenders who work hard to protect and defend our installation and render proper customs and courtesies to all our teammates.

Q. Is there anything that can be done outside the JBSA-Lackland Commissary to provide air conditioning (during warm/hot times) and heat (during the not-hot times) for the older folks who sit outside waiting for transportation? There is some seating inside the commissary, but I believe some of our retirees sit outside to make sure they do not miss the bus back to their living facility. I have observed people sitting out more than an hour.

A. Thank you for raising this concern. We understand the strain placed on our populace by San Antonio's high temperatures, especially for retirees. This concern was recently raised at the JBSA-Lackland Traffic Safety Working Group, which has developed several potential courses of action. We are coordinating with our engineers as well as the shuttle company that transports retirees to determine which proposed options are best. We hope come to an agreement soon to improve shaded seating areas for shuttle riders.

Q. Why are there very few if any underground shelters here at JBSA-Randolph, in case of a hurricane or tornado? 

A. Thank you for your question as safety is one of my top priorities, especially when considering some of the weather events we experience here in San Antonio.

Regarding your concern for underground shelters, there are several reasons why this is not a measure we pursue. First, the ground in the San Antonio area is largely made up of bedrock making it difficult to construct underground shelters.

In addition, underground shelters for natural disasters are more common in regions of the United States that are less prone to flooding; and given the concern we have for flooding in this area, an underground bunker could create unwanted hazards.

In the event of severe weather where flooding is anticipated, my Emergency Management office recommends you proceed to higher ground. In the event of tornado warning conditions, we recommend you to go to the innermost room(s) of a facility or home until the warning has been lifted.

If at any time you have questions or concerns, please engage with your unit's Emergency Management representative, or feel free to contact the 902nd Civil Engineer Squadron's Readiness and Emergency Management Flight at 210-652-3567.

Q. The roads at JBSA-Randolph & JBSA-Fort Sam Houston need significant repairs (e.g., new stripes, pothole mitigation, etc.). That said, can Civil Engineers work this?

A. CE maintains a JBSA-wide pavement assessment and maintenance priority list. CE has executed a variety of paving, striping and road repair efforts in fiscal year 2019, including both in-house and by contract projects.

In FY20, we will be making repairs to Corporal Johnson Road and Stanley Road at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and Kenly Avenue and Truemper Road at JBSA-Lackland.

At JBSA-Randolph, we are targeting repairs to B Street West between the BX and Commissary. We are also working to improve our roadways out at JBSA-Camp Bullis and will begin work on Malabang Road and Wilderness Road. Motorist safety is of top concern to us, and we will continue putting every effort to making our streets safer and look forward to hearing your future feedback!

Miscellaneous

Q. I was hoping that you could please take a look into the JBSA-Camp Bullis hunting program. What used to be an amazing program has been poorly and carelessly run for the past few years. Each year, it's getting worse and worse. There have been plenty of ICE complaints that I feel have been ignored.

A. Thank you for sharing your concerns. We are always striving to ensure that all of our programs are servicing our JBSA community in the best way possible.

We apologize for your poor experience with the hunting program, and are more than happy to take a look at the program and address your concerns. If possible, we'd like to hear additional details. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Lt. Col. Rashul Freeman, our Force Support Group Deputy Commander at rashul.j.freeman.mil@mail.mil.