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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | Nov. 15, 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. Are there plans to anytime soon to conduct growth management along the roadways around Joint Base San Antonio?

One particular place that is in dire need of attention is on Range Road going down the hill by the youth center. When coming up the hill towards housing, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain your lane and not scratch the side of your vehicle due to the growth that is encroaching on the road.

The growth, coupled with the ongoing construction project, also creates a hazard when there are vehicles pulling out from the road where the Civil Engineers plumbing shop is because of the limited visibility in that area.

A. Thank you for your question. Grounds maintenance across JBSA is divided into different categories based on location and mission impact. These categories drive how frequently respective areas are managed/mowed, and allows for prioritizing resource investments against other mission needs.

The Civil Engineer team oversees the JBSA grounds maintenance contract and strives to keep vegetation down along JBSA’s hundreds of miles of roads to help ensure safety standards are met.

For the area specifically cited in your question, CE recently directed the contractor to use a boom mower to push back the overgrowth along Range Road for approximately 1/4 mile. The branches and vegetation should no longer be a safety issue. CE will keep an eye on this area and have the contractor re-perform as necessary.  However, if you see any issues before we do, please let us know.

Q. I’m inquiring about the new spiked strips at the Joint Base San Antonio gates. Every time I exit the Growden Gate at JBSA-Lackland, I bottom out with my 2007 Saturn Sky. The actual spike strip is not the problem, it’s the speed bump located about a foot before the spikes that causes problems for me.

Regardless how I try to go over the spikes, either the speed bump hits my mud flaps (rigid plastic) or I bottom out on the raised spikes. If the speed bump were just a few feet before the spikes, that would probably be okay.

I was at JBSA-Randolph the other day and saw the same arrangement at the main gate. I just did a U-turn and went out another gate. Now I see the Medina Gate at JBSA-Lackland is having similar work done and I fear the Security Hill gate is in the queue.

I can’t be the only one having this problem. Is there something we can do about this?

A. I apologize you are experiencing troubles with the installed speed humps that are part of our entry control facility threat mitigation projects. These projects are designed by an engineering firm using established criteria in both the Unified Facilities Criteria and guidance published by the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command Transportation Engineering Agency.

For these specific projects, the speed humps installed are the “Seminole” style, which is what the Unified Facilities Criteria approves for installation at entry control facilities. The speed humps are four inches tall and are used to slow cars by 6.5 mph to 8 mph.

The placement in the outbound lanes is purposeful and positioned before the tiger teeth spikes that are installed to mitigate reverse entry onto the facility. The speed humps slow vehicles so they do not impact the tiger teeth at a high rate of speed and bend teeth, break springs, or damage the metal housing. The tiger teeth system has limited durability as a system, so slowing speeds of travel over them is designed to extend their life.

The characteristics of the requirements for the project were detailed to our Civil Engineering team when the contract was awarded. Before project acceptance, quality control inspectors ensured the installed equipment was within the contract specifications before government acceptance.

You are correct, the Medina Gate will follow a similar design based on approved criteria. In Fiscal Year 2020, we are working to secure funding for five more projects like the ones accomplished in FY19; however, I can assure you that Security Hill is not in the FY20 plan.

Since the projects began over a year ago, we have had only a single-digit number of damage claims filed with the Staff Judge Advocate office. These claims involved excessive speed or vehicles who had purposefully lowered their profile to the point where clearing the approved speed hump was not possible due to their aftermarket vehicle modifications.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we enhance our installation security, making JBSA a safer and better community to live and work.

Q. I have a concern regarding the dedication of Lt. Col. Frank E. Upson Park. This park is located near Fire Station No. 2.

This park is falling apart; trees are being removed and the barbecue area and bathrooms have been closed. I would like to know why we are not providing the proper respect and care of Lt. Col Upson’s historical career and dedication of what he provide to U.S. Air Force and MWR Services, by allowing the park to fall into disarray.

A. Thank you for your question regarding concerns for our parks and the recognition of our military heritage. Our Civil Engineer team is aware of the issue and is currently reviewing solutions.

When Upson Park was originally established, the required clearance distance from the runway was 750 feet. New regulations have pushed that requirement to 1,000 feet, making Upson Park a safety hazard to airfield operations.

The current configuration of Upson Park is only half the size it used to be, as all trees and roads that were in the new controlled surface of the runway were removed about 10 years ago. Most of the remaining trees violate the 7:1 clearance slope from surface of the runway, and also need to be removed.

Unfortunately, all of these changes and tree removals don’t leave much of a park left; however, our CE team has plans to work with our Force Support team to develop a prioritized investment plan for all JBSA parks.

In regards to Upson Park, the best and most likely strategy would be to relocate and rededicate the park. We take pride in our JBSA parks, facilities and especially dedications and memorials of our military heritage, so I appreciate you bringing this concern forward. Thank you and keep sending in feedback!

Q. Can something be done about the disrepair exiting the Luke Gate at JBSA-Lackland? It’s like the surface of the moon.

A. Thank you for your question and feedback. Unfortunately, JBSA’s pavement repair program has been underfunded for a number of years, and is an area where we have had to take some risk.

For the Luke East Gate, our CE team is actively scheduling short term repairs to address what they can do internally to repair pot-holes and uneven surfaces. Weather permitting, these will be completed by early December. CE is also looking into the ability to fund shorter term and more permanent repairs, and will target to get something awarded later this fiscal year.

Fortunately, we have been aggressively pursuing and prioritizing the long term solution, which is a MILCON construction project to completely replace and upgrade the Luke East Gate in order to vastly improve traffic flow, pavements, facilities and installation security.

This is JBSA’s #1 MILCON request, and we should know in a few months whether it is selected for future year funding.

Q. I have a concern about the traffic lights just before entering JBSA-Fort Sam Houston at Wurzbach Road, near the senior living apartments and the U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence.

The traffic lights halt traffic to and from JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and turn green for a visitor center that is closed.

Would it be possible have the lights reset, so that no green light is given to the closed visitor center? Also, could the lights change for the apartments only if a vehicle is present? These small changes would greatly increase traffic flow and morale of gate drivers.

A. Thank you for sharing your recommendations for improving traffic flow into our busy gates. CE will engage with Texas Department of Transportation, or TXDoT, to look into removing the controlled green turn signal into the closed visitor center. They will also need to coordinate with the adjacent apartments to ensure no significant impact to them as well. If the change is feasible, CE will request it be completed as soon as possible. Thanks again!

Miscellaneous

Q. Whatever happened to the JBSA-Randolph Recycling program? There used to be recycling containers for plastic bottles, plastic bags and paper at the Exchange and Commissary entrance. These containers are gone.

There used to be trailers for recycling cardboard boxes locates at various parking lots, to include the Commissary and Bowling Center parking lots. These trailers are gone as well.

Recently, office containers were locked and warning labels placed prohibiting items other than office paper. At the recycling center there is only on trailer for cardboard boxes. I would like to continue recycling, but where do I take recyclables?

A. Thank you for your questions about JBSA’s Qualified Recycling Program, or QRP. Regarding the JBSA-Randolph Recycling Program and former recycling containers for plastic bottles/bags and paper at the Exchange and Commissary entrance, Air Force Instruction 32-7042, no longer allows for use of appropriated funded QRP to support AAFES or DECA facilities, and as such, those organizations have to provide containers using their own programs.

That said, the JBSA QRP does provide other recycling bins and trailers, throughout JBSA-Randolph, that are available for use by the base populace. The JBSA QRP operations team will be happy to provide you with the exact locations of containers most convenient for you.

Regarding to your second question on trailers for recycling cardboard boxes previously located in the Commissary and Bowling Center parking lots; unfortunately, these trailers had to be removed due to widespread contamination of the cardboard.

Some members of the base populace were throwing non-recyclable materials, hazardous waste, and basic garbage into the trailers. This type of contamination disrupts the entire recycling process and causes a whole batch of otherwise good recyclable commodities to be unusable, which then must be transported to the local landfill.

To address your concerns about cardboard recycling, the trailer at the JBSA-Randolph Bowling Center has been returned! Our CE team will closely monitor the trailer in order to try and keep this as a successful service.

In regards to your third question on locked paper recycling containers with warning labels, these locked containers (usually 95-gallon recycling bins) are to be used only for office paper, specifically Privacy Act/PII documents. Privacy Act/PII documents requires special handling for disposal and must be secured until processed; users should avoid mixing with other documents that do not require the special handling.

Locked Privacy Act/PII bins are the color blue at JBSA Randolph and are usually grey at both JBSA-Lackland and JBSA Sam Houston.

For your last question regarding additional support for cardboard box recycling beyond the recycling center’s capacity, there are numerous cardboard trailers located throughout JBSA.

On JBSA-Randolph, there are also metal dumpster-type receptacles specifically for cardboard. They are a tannish color, resemble small dumpsters and have a slot in the front of them in which you can insert flattened cardboard.

For assistance with locating these additional cardboard receptacles and trailers, please do not hesitate to contact the JBSA recycling team at 210-71-4800.

Also, in the future, if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding the JBSA Qualified Recycling Program, please do not hesitate to contact the QRP team or feel free to call the JBSA QRP Manager, Alvin Brown, at 210-671-5499.