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NEWS | May 1, 2020

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

COVID-19

Q. When did it become standard practice to totally leave employees out in the front line ensuring that the JBSA mission is 100 percent taken care of, and not check to see how they are doing?

This is sad. I am a retired vet, and I never thought that the Wing leadership would not care about civilians working 150 percent covering people and agencies that are teleworking.

I do not understand why we are breaking our backs for the squadron and JBSA mission to be ignored by our leadership. This has made me think real hard about retiring and getting away from the 502d ABW all together. Civilians are working every day with no Leave or time off to take care of ourselves and our needs like getting food/lunch.

This is of no care or concern from the commanders because there is no problem because the civilians that are taking on the JBSA are alone.

A. Thank you very much for reaching out. This has been a very challenging time for our Nation, the State of Texas, the San Antonio region and the JBSA community.

As we respond to this crisis, the health and safety of JBSA personnel and their families is my top priority. As the COVID-19 response evolves, we continue to learn more about the virus and how to protect ourselves with proper cleaning protocols and personnel protective equipment (PPE).

While many functions in the JBSA community can be accomplished through teleworking, there are critical functions in our wing that we’re not able to authorize teleworking due to the type of customer service delivered and/or readiness requirements.

In these cases, supervisors will ensure our workforce has proper PPE as well as adequate work/rest cycles. I also asked them to authorize alternate shifts and work schedules to ensure the safety of our team.

I sincerely appreciate everything that you and our entire wing is doing to accomplish our mission during this challenging time. Please ensure your supervisor is aware of any unique circumstances or underlying health conditions that may drive changes to your work status or schedule.

Installation & Facilities

Q. I was wondering about the status of the new Popeye’s/Burger King at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. The building has appeared to be finished for some time.

My family and I are scheduled to PCS this summer and we were hoping that the restaurant would be open before we left.

A. Thank you for your question. I completely understand the excitement of seeing this new facility open up to the community.

Though the exterior looks near complete, there is still work that needs to occur inside the facility and with operations before the restaurant opens. At present, AAFES is projecting a grand opening in August. More details will be provided as the opening date approaches.

Q. I work in Building 1046, room 155. It may be seasonal and unrelated, but I have experienced upper respiratory infections more frequently lately – two since the New Year – and it seems that my infection is exacerbated during the week and abates over the weekend.

I sit directly under a vent that is covered with black specks. The evidence of water damage in the ceiling tile is old and has not changed in the last several years.

Would it be possible to check my work space’s air quality?

A. Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. Our CE team has responded to your inquiry and conducted a survey of your building and office area. They found that there were active leaks in the metal-seamed roof and those leaks were being patched by CE at the time of assessment.

They also found that multiple areas had water stains on the carpets as visual signs of previous leaks.

As far as remediation, the carpets have been cleaned and a project has been submitted for funding a carpet replacement after the roof leaks are fully repaired. There were no other visual signs of mold growth throughout the area.

If any additional leaks are seen prior to the roof repair, I encourage you to contact your facility manager to submit a work task request in the Tririga system and to immediately notify CEG Customer Service. Our CE team is hard at work to repair the damages in your building and appreciates the feedback.

Q. I am a federal officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I serve as a Special Response Team, or SRT, operator trained in a variety of unique skill sets similar to military special operations.

I’m inquiring about leasing a permanent training facility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in order to conduct training for current and future SRT candidates. This facility would serve as a home site that will be utilized throughout the year and years to come.

I am acting as the current liaison for the upper management based out of Washington D.C. I just wanted to touch base with anyone who I can get more information. Any advice would be appreciated.

A. Thank you for your inquiry. There is a formal process established for organizations requesting space use agreements, and that process is managed by our Real Property Office within the 502d Civil Engineer Group.  

At present, real property space is extremely limited across all JBSA locations; however, our Real Property Office has insights on leasing opportunities within the local area that might support your organizational needs. Please contact our Real Property Office at 210-671-5327 for further information.

Q. I can understand the morning gate congestion entering JBSA-Lackland through the Luke East Gate. However, why is the departing Luke east gate departure lanes always down to one lane at the end of the day at 4 p.m. backing up traffic?

Please have the security forces manning the Luke east gate open both lanes to relieve the traffic congestion departing JBSA-Lackland, especially on Thursday and Friday afternoons (3:45-5:15 p.m.).

A. Thank you for your concern and suggestion about the Luke East exit lanes. Both outbound lanes at Luke East are normally open from 3:30-5:30 p.m. each day to ensure the orderly flow of traffic. Previous construction at that gate necessitated the use of only one outbound lane, but normal use has now resumed, as that construction is now completed.

Q. I have a question about the current firearm policy for JBSA. I am a Federal Law Enforcement Officer.

I have no problem entering any of the bases here in San Antonio for official business, and in the past, I could enter any base off duty with my duty weapon to go shopping or attend a medical appointment as long as I checked my service weapon into the Security Force’s armory. Now I was informed at the front gate at JBSA-Randolph that this policy is no longer in effect and I was turned away.

I understand with the high number of active shootings on a military base lately you want to ensure the safety of the people who are working and living on JBSA, but I believe that the old policy of allowing off-duty Law Enforcement Officers on base and checking their service weapons into the Security Force’s armory does not jeopardize safety.

A. Thank you so much for sharing your concern as it applies to multiple personnel and agencies entering JBSA.

All of our Security Forces armory locations have and continue to honor courtesy storage for personal firearms for Law Enforcement Officers entering the base on unofficial business.

We are very sorry for being improperly turned away, and we have reminded all gate guards at all installations of this JBSA local policy so that it doesn’t happen again. 

Q. I currently hold a current Texas Retired Officer Firearms Proficiency as well as retired peace officer credentials from my home state.

If I decide to go onto the base when I am out and about, I have to go back home first to secure my firearm.

What is the current policy for Qualified Retired Peace Officers with current proficiency credentials? Is there any plan of revisiting the policy? I also work on one of the bases, but I leave my firearm home, secured on workdays.

A. Thank you so much for your question on firearms policy. All of our Security Forces armory locations have and continue to honor courtesy storage for personal firearms for Law Enforcement Officers entering the base on unofficial business. This is the policy per JBSA Instruction 31-1131.