NEWS | Dec. 20, 2019

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman 502d Air Base Wing Commander

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.

Personnel Issues

Q. Is 24 Dec 19 a Federal Holiday?

A. Yes! President Trump issued an executive order making Tues., 24 Dec a federal holiday - one that will apply to many of the more than 30,000 federal employees here at JBSA.

For pay and leave purposes, 24 Dec 19 will be treated as a Federal holiday. Employees previously scheduled to take leave on this day will not be charged annual leave or any other type of paid leave (previously earned compensatory time off, credit hours, time off award, etc.). Note: This policy does not apply to employees receiving annual premium pay for standby duty under 5 U.S.C. 5545(c)(1) or to firefighters who are covered by the special pay provisions of 5 U.S.C. 5545b.)  Employees required to work non-overtime hours on 24 Dec are entitled to holiday premium pay IAW 5 USC 5546.

Employees previously scheduled to take use or lose annual leave on 24 December 2019, should make arrangements to reschedule the leave between now and 4 January 2020 in order to avoid forfeiture. If not used, use or lose leave will be forfeited at the end of the leave year as there are no provisions in law that permit restoration of use/lose under these circumstances.

Attached OPM FAQs provide additional guidance on the Executive order's impact to pay and leave benefits.

Q.  My flight’s ATAAPS is all messed up.  I can't see my employees to certify their time.  Someone is certifying my employees without my knowledge, or knowledge of their hours worked.  Can we get ATAAPS fixed so we properly obligate government funds?

A.  Thank you very much for your question. Hopefully, the following information can resolve your concern.  The certifier and employee will need to be assigned to the same roster within ATAAPS to allow a certifier the ability view and certify Time and Attendance. If a certifier is unable to see an employee, then the employee will need to be moved under the same roster. This can be accomplished by summiting an ATAAPS Employee Processing Worksheet to update the employees Roster. The completed documentation will need to be sent to the 502 ABW Civilian Pay Office at 502CPTS.FMF.CivilianPay@us.af.mil. 

Installation & Facilities

Q. I have been using the JBSA-RND BX pharmacy since it opened. My wife and I each use 6 prescriptions monthly. No matter what time of the day I arrive at the pharmacy for a refill pickup, I have never waited longer than 20 minutes to be called. The retiree volunteers, whether there is one or two available, are very efficient and need to be commended. Additionally, the active duty and civilian employees there to support new prescriptions are also very efficient and they need to be commended. Due to their workload, I have never waited longer than an hour to have a new prescription filled even though there was standing room only for some of the time.

A. Thank you so much for your feedback!  We will definitely share your kind words and positive experience with our Mission Partners at the 59th Medical Wing.  They work hard to ensure a positive experience for everyone visiting their pharmacies and facilities. 

Q.  Randolph needs more street lights. At 0430 the base is in almost total darkness. Even the Taj is dark. This creates a dangerous situation for joggers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and motorists. It’s difficult to see both people and potholes in the dark. On a foggy day, it is even harder to follow the road.  Saving energy is important but has to be balanced with safety & security. The cops can’t protect us if they can’t see the criminals. 

A.  Thank you for sharing your concerns--safety and security across JBSA is a top priority.  Our CE team is in the process of repairing broken street lights, as well as reviewing light levels across the installation.  They’re also working closely with our privatized utility partner, CPS Energy, to coordinate resources to correct the light levels in order to meet code compliance.  Additionally, we will look into the potential energy savings to determine how we can improve our installation lighting, possibly through LED technology.  

Q.  Are there any future plans to build a gym that includes an indoor track on Lackland AFB?

A.  Thank you very much for your question.  I appreciate your interest in future Lackland fitness center improvements.  Our CE planning team shared that the Lackland West District Plan identifies the need for a “New Super Fitness Center” which would include an outdoor track and field as well as an indoor track.  The “New Super Fitness Center” proposal will be centrally located, and would replace/consolidate the outdated fitness facilities that are currently on Lackland.  The proposal is still in the early planning stages and the requirements need to be further developed.  Ultimately, this project is dependent on future MILCON funding.  We will continue to plan and posture to ensure we’re ready for future MILCON dollars!

Q.  The existing tennis court on H street on Randolph are in need of repair, and this would be a great time to reconfigure them into a Pickle Ball court and move the practice wall from H street to the courts on C street.  Pickle ball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn. If converting tennis courts, four pickle ball courts can fit in the same area at dimensions of 30 feet by 60 feet, The court shall be a rectangle 20 feet wide (6.10 m) and 44 feet long (13.41 m) for both singles and doubles matches.

A.  You are absolutely right! The tennis courts on H Street are in need of repair. Our 502 FSS team is working closely with our Civil Engineering team, and identifying all of the requirements so that we are prepared when funding becomes available to make the repairs.  In the meantime, the courts on C Street are in good shape, and I encourage all tennis players to utilize those courts.  Pickle Ball sounds like a great game, and our 502 FSS team will look into the best way to convert a tennis court on C Street to support it!

Q.  Who is responsible for the Lower Seguin Road that leads to the commercial back gate at Randolph? The large vehicles have made the road horrible to drive on and you can see that Converse repaired and stopped at their city limit. Is it Schertz or the base or a combination of both for repair?

A.  The City of Schertz is responsible for maintaining those roads, and their area of responsibility is from FM 1518 to Converse City limits.  For that road in particular, our biggest challenge right now is funding.  The city updates their Pavement Condition Index (PCI) every few years, which provides a score/rating for all of the city's streets.  The next update is in the next year or so, and those scores will help in developing the road capital improvements program.  Other factors that impact the repair plan include the amount of traffic on the road, whether new development is likely to occur that might impact the road, economies of scale/efficiencies in contracting repairs, and balancing different areas of the city.  The city is looking at more funding to be available in the next 3-4 years; however, they will stay focused and vigilant in the routine maintenance of the roads - potholes, cracksealing, etc.  We are grateful that Schertz works hand-in-hand with our team to improve the roads supporting JBSA.

Q.  Why does it to so long to have repairs in Fitness Facilities completed in a timely manner? This is in regards to the Sauna in the Men's' Locker room at the JBSA-FSH METC Gym. The sauna went down towards the end of Oct and supposedly parts weren't ordered until 19 Nov. First and foremost, the staff at the METC Gym do an outstanding job day in and day out. They are proud and passionate in the performance of their duties. They are always glad to see the numerous patrons that use the gym. My hats off to them!! That being said they have their hands tied and can only check on work-orders and this of course is due to the system that is in place throughout JBSA. Why can't they have an estimated date on when repairs will be began? There was a water fountain outside both the Female and Male locker room that took close to 6 months to be replaced. By the way, after the drinking fountain was replaced there are still holes and marks on the walls; this shows a blatantly an unfinished job.  When will the sauna will be repaired?  Again, the METC Fitness Center Staff is amazing, but they are at the mercy of a system that does not work and causes more discontent then it helps.

A. Thank you for your question regarding sauna operations and the drinking fountain at the METC gym.  We strive to provide well equipped and operating fitness facilities on JBSA to ensure the fitness and health of our community.  I am pleased to tell you the sauna was repaired on 13 December by replacing a faulty control board.  CE also repaired the holes in the walls next to the water fountain.  Regarding the length of time to do facility repairs, there are a couple of factors that play into the timeline.  First, CE follows a work order prioritization process, which is focused on expediting emergency and urgent requirements that impact mission or pose a risk to the Life/Health/Safety (LHS) of our personnel.  This prioritization is essential to ensure the right resources, specifically funds, materials, and manpower, are expended on the most critical needs first.  CE tries to balance routine work and preventive maintenance as well, as we recognize this cannot be ignored to provide the facilities and infrastructure our base populace deserves.  The other factor is timing and processes to order materials, and is not as simple as your or I can do through online purchasing.  CE can pay to expedite for emergencies, but that is not the practice for routine work.  Once the work comes up in the queue based on priority, CE identifies what materials are needs, follows the procurement process, and then conducts the work once materials are on hand.  This is the case for the fitness center sauna.  I apologize you were inconvenienced during this time, but assure you CE is working hard every day to keep our extensive facility inventory running at the standards we strive to maintain.

Q:  I attended the Housing Town Hall on Lackland and it was quite shocking to hear some of the horror stories from some of our youngest most vulnerable Airmen. I walked away from the 2 and a 1/2 hour meeting with very little confidence that leadership would be able to motivate Balfour Beatty into doing their job. With absolutely 0 accountability how can anyone expect them to do their job correctly? That said, I think the solution is in plain sight, but no one is talking about it. The solution is for servicemen and women to move off base and get out of privatized on base housing. From everything that I heard last night it seems like there is a lack of education for these young troops. They think that it is too expensive to buy a home or that the school districts outside of installation are somehow lacking especially with regards to special needs children and that is simply not the case. I think it would behoove the commander to sit down with me to discuss how we can educate our veterans on using their VA home loan benefit.

A. I appreciate you attending our town hall and your willingness to assist and educate our military members on their VA home loan benefits. Military members on JBSA have access to several financial programs that provide them opportunities to learn about the benefits you describe and it is great to know that there are members of the community ready to assist them.  In terms of privatized military housing, the health and safety of the JBSA community is my top priority.  My team is committed to increased oversight and accountability of the privatized project owners as well as increased support to our residents in terms of dispute resolutions, resident councils, and education on the housing bill of rights.  Every resident has a direct line to me through our Feedback Friday program and I encourage our residents to contact me or our Military Housing Office with their concerns.

Miscellaneous

Q.  Why does JBSA-Fort Sam Houston have such successful Saturdays community events (which is awesome), and JBSA-Lackland seems to only have “ok” events on Fridays with far less attendance than Fort Sam Houston Saturday events?

A.  Thank you very much for sharing your question about large community programs held on JBSA-Lackland.  After many years of Saturday events held on Lackland with low participation, we determined that many members who don't live on Lackland were not returning for Saturday events resulting in events that were not well attended.  The past few years, larger community events held on Friday night were more successful as many people came by after work prior to departing for the day, whether it was just dropping in for one hour or staying for the whole event.  That said, it’s likely time for us to reconsider what day we hold large community events on Lackland.  The 502 FSS will reevaluate and research the types of events/programs offered, and when they are hosted.  As far as advertising goes, we do our best to use every marketing mechanism at our disposal to get the word out about all of our events on JBSA.  We post flyers, signs, and posters at as many facilities as possible, send emails across the installation (i.e., bi-monthly eCIFs), and are active on social media and our JBSA website (www.jbsa.mil).  If you have specific inputs or feedback on what events you’d like to see hosted on Saturdays at Lackland, please reach out to our 502 FSS Deputy Director.

” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.