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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | Oct. 11, 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.

NOTE: On last week’s Feedback Friday, there was an error in Lt. Col. Rahsul Freeman’s contact information that was provided as part of the answer to the question regarding the JBSA-Camp Bullis Hunting Program. The corrected email address is rahsul.j.freeman.mil@mail.mil. Our apologies for the miscommunication and the inconvenience this may have caused.

Personnel Issues

Q. How can we report civilian personnel (without fear), including supervisors, who may not follow time and attendance requirements?

A. Thank you for the question. We have found that commanders and civilian leadership are the best people to go to with complaints because they have a quicker and more direct response capability to correct wrong-doing.

However, if you have been unable to resolve your complaint through your chain of command and you believe that inappropriate conduct has occurred, or a violation of law, policy, procedure, or Air Force Instruction has occurred, then you have the right to:
1. File an Inspector General (IG) complaint without going through your supervisory channel,
2. File an IG complaint without fear of reprisal, and
3. Submit IG complaints anonymously.

IGs at every level maintain a complaint hotline to assist anonymous filers. Please contact the Office of the Inspector General, 502 Air Base Wing at 210-808-7524, DSN 420-7524 or the IG Hotline at 210-808-1000 (DSN 420-1000) for further assistance.

Q. Would it be possible for the Department of Defense and/or Department of the Air Force to provide unlimited sick days?

A. Thank you for your question. In general, military “sick days” are categorized as convalescent leave, and are governed by AFI 36-3003, Military Leave Program. Convalescent leave is “an authorized absence normally for the minimal time essential to meet the medical needs for recuperation.” Convalescent leave can initially only be approved for 30 days, but that can be extended based on additional medical review and consent.

In theory, convalescent leave can be extended indefinitely, but extended absences may trigger medical board evaluation and/or potential discharge.

Sick days for civilian employees are governed by AFI 36-815, Absence and Leave. Full-time civilian employees earn 4 hours of sick leave for each full biweekly pay period. There is no limitation on the amount of sick leave that may be accumulated and carried forward from year to year.

Because Air Force guidance must comply with higher level guidance, it is not possible for the Department of the Air Force to provide “unlimited” sick days to civilian employees without proper higher-level authorization that changes the current accrual rate.

Although it is possible to change the current number of sick days allowed for civilian employees, since the requirements and limitations for sick days are delineated in the United States Code, the only way to have that changed is for Congress to enact legislation to that effect. The best way to work toward this change would be to petition your congressional representatives.

Installation & Facilities

Q. I noticed that some of our Security Forces personnel spend a lot of time at the JBSA-Lackland gates in the morning giving visitors directions to different places, which slows the flow of traffic.

Would it be possible to get huge signs (like at airports) that have directions to the JBSA-Lackland Parade Field and other areas that our weekly visitors can use for direction to places? This way, our Security Forces personnel can just tell visitors to follow the signs instead of having to spend time trying to give directions.

A. Thank you for your question and insightful solution to helping our visitors get to their destination.

We have actually tried the sign option in the early 1990’s by posting an 18-foot high information sign, along with eight other signs throughout the base. In 1992, we found that we had about a dozen rear-end car accidents in a three-month span because drivers would completely stop to read the sign.

Because of this, we limit our small brown and blue signs to only the most prominent and most traveled areas.

Thanks to today’s Internet-connected world, we’re able to get ever-changing information straight into your hands! These includes public listings of all our JBSA buildings in various map apps, such as Google Maps, and providing a wealth of information on the JBSA.mil public website (click the “Information” drop-down and you’ll see “Visitor Information”).

And, as always, visitors can contact our 24-hour Base Defense Operations Center, or BDOC at JBSA-Camp Bullis and JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, call 210-221-9331; JBSA-Lackland at 210-671-2018 and JBSA-Randolph at 210-652-5700.

Q. I am the superintendent at one of our Chapel Branches at JBSA-Lackland.

It was brought to my attention that one of our AiT Volunteers (White Rope) used an Uber to commute from JBSA-Camp Bullis to JBSA-Lackland in order to participate in a volunteer opportunity at the Refuge Ministry Center, and would be doing this again to participate in another volunteer event with the SARC.

Further investigation has revealed that not only are tech students not allowed to bring POVs onto JBSA-Camp Bullis (not sure who’s authority governs this), they also do not have a shuttle to and from JBSA-Lackland.

This severely limits options that these students have regarding stewardship opportunities and participation in morale events (community center, bowling, movies, etc.).

Are there better options to allow these students access to volunteer opportunities and morale building activities that are offered at JBSA-Lackland while honoring the commander’s intent to provide a robust training experience?

A. Thank you for bringing this concern forward. We definitely encourage servicemen and women to support these types of events and volunteer in the community when possible, but it should not come at their personal expense.

In researching your question, our team shared that we do have transportation services available to all JBSA locations, including JBSA-Camp Bullis, through several methods.

For technical school students, transportation requests must be submitted by unit approved schedulers familiar with DOD Authorized Use of Government Vehicles. Once a request is received, a determination is made on the most cost effective method to provide support based on the number of students.

Transportation to chapel-sponsored activities are requested by the Base Chaplain staff at each site. Additionally, if an Airman notifies their MTL of a volunteer event they’d like to participate in, like the one mentioned, the MTLs can facilitate transportation with the 502nd LRS or, if able, provide transportation (MTL GOV, graduate driver).

In addition, the 502nd LRS also operates a shuttle every Sunday which departs JBSA-Camp Bullis at 5:15 a.m., allowing all personnel to attend worship services at JBSA-Lackland. The shuttle does not depart from JBSA-Lackland until 6 p.m., allowing students ample time to participate in MWR activities, shop at the Commissary/Exchange, and dine at the numerous restaurants near JBSA-Lackland.

If you have any further questions, please reach out to the JBSA Ground Transportation office at 210-671-3318.

Q. I’m not sure how the parking on JBSA-Randolph works for GOVs, but there seems to not be enough parking spots.

My co-workers and I have jobs that require us to carry heavy items to and from our vehicles to the work area. With the lack of GOV parking and limited parking on JBSA-Randolph as a whole, we tend to have to walk extremely far or risk parking in spaces not intended for parking.

I am particularly concerned about Building 499, 494, etc., areas where they are paving a new parking lot. I would like to know if they have taken into account GOV parking and also why are there so many handicap parking spaces with wheelchair access in the front of the building.

The handicap spots with wheelchair access takes up a lot of space and simply could be repainted to consolidate for better usage.

A. Thank you for your concerns. Parking is a challenge across all of JBSA, but fortunately for us, our CE team has been working with our leadership team at JBSA-Randolph to help address specific parking issues in the area you’ve identified.

Reserve parking requests are coordinated through facility managers, so if you have specific concerns or requests, to include more GOV parking, please engage with them directly. Handicap parking design and quantity is regulated by Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, and adjusted based on base specific policies. With the construction of the new parking lot, CE is hopeful that some of the parking challenges in that area are alleviated.

Miscellaneous

Q. Why is there not an Air Force Museum here at JBSA-Randolph? JBSA-Lackland has an Airman Museum and a huge airplane static display. Don’t we have enough historical accomplishments here at JBSA-Randolph to merit having an Air Force Museum here?

A. Thank you for the excellent question! Without a doubt, JBSA-Randolph has great historical significance.

In order for an Air Force Heritage Center (similar to the one on JBSA-Lackland) to be established, a number of factors would have to be considered, including staffing a request for such a facility to be approved by the Air Force’s Historical Office.

Additional factors include the location of such a facility, the scope of a proposed collection, staffing and funding. In short, a lot of planning has to go into establishing a museum from gathering all of the data, to allocating the funds and manpower, and it must be brought up to the Air Force-level Historical Office for approval.

But that does not mean it is impossible! We can look into our future plans for JBSA and see where a museum would best fit at Randolph. Thank you again for your question, and please continue to give us feedback on how we can better serve JBSA!

Q. I arrived at work at approximately 5:45 p.m. and started to check my email.

As I scrolled through, I saw great opportunities for professional development and career advancement such as FTAC instructor slots, technical training instructor, and the SLECP-O program call for nominations. The latter of these was something I truly wanted to be considered for as I had worked hard to achieve my bachelor’s degree in the past 3 years, so I read the email chain and saw multiple forwards from various levels of leadership down in the past week.

After getting to the bottom, I read the package instructions and deadline; the deadline was the very day that I received the email. Because of this, I had no opportunity whatsoever to submit a package or be considered.

What can be done to better communicate these types of opportunities so that everyone has ample time to submit their packages for consideration?

A. Thank you very much for bringing this concern to my attention. First, I sincerely apologize that you missed an opportunity to participate in one of our great commissioning programs. I ask that you continue to work hard and when the opportunity comes around again and if you’re still eligible, please submit your package for consideration.

As far as communication is concerned, many of these opportunities are pushed to organizations via the Task Management Tool, or TMT.

Because TMT access is limited throughout groups and squadrons, the taskers are often removed from TMT and then routed via email. I will work with our group and squadron leadership to ensure that the taskers are distributed to all supervisors and eligible members in a timely manner.

Leadership is also briefed on the status of these programs during our weekly Wing Staff Meetings, with the expectation that they bring the information back to their respective units for distribution.

Again, my sincere apologies that you did not have the opportunity to submit a package for this round of the SLECP-O program, and I sincerely hope that this experience has not discouraged you from re-applying. If you have any further questions, please reach out to our enlisted matters exec team: Master Sgt. Kevin Soucy or Staff Sgt. Zhane Woodall.

Q. I have heard rumors that JBSA might separate and go back to the way it was prior to joint basing. Is there any truth to this?

A. Thank you for asking this important question! This is a great opportunity to share information about the service secretaries-directed joint base study.   

On July 23, 2018, during a Service Secretary breakfast, Joint Basing was a key topic. In order to align the services’ understanding and positions on current Joint Basing issues, the secretaries tasked the services to develop a joint proposal to address service issues at multiple joint basing locations.

At JBSA, the Center for Army Analysis conducted a deep-dive study from September 2018 to April 2019, which resulted in several recommended reforms.

On May 28, 2019, the Army and Air Force Secretaries signed a memo agreeing to address the Center of Army Analysis findings by developing a plan of action that incorporates and addresses the recommended reforms through the Joint Management Oversight Structure, or JMOS.

Currently, we are in the process of developing courses of action for each addressed reform. Once approved at our local JMOS level, COAs will be submitted to the Senior Installation Management Group to develop a proposed implementation plan to the Service Vice Chiefs of Staff for approval.

This has been made a priority, and we are all in to get after these reforms. We have already started working some these reforms and are making progress.

Ultimately, there is no plan to dissolve JBSA; we see this as a great opportunity for the 502nd ABW to partner with our Mission Partners in improving delivery of installation support and services across JBSA.