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NEWS | May 8, 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.

Installation & Facilities

Q. Would you please address when/if Stanley Road at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston will be repaved? As a retiree, I access post facilities via Stanley Road. It has been a disgrace for a number of years.

A. Thank you very much for your question. Currently, there are eight significant road repair projects scheduled to occur at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston between April 2020 and February 2021.

The Stanley Road Repair Project has been awarded and is estimated to start on/about June 1, 2020 through December 2020. Our CE team will coordinate any necessary detours with impacted Mission Partners, as well as notify the community at large through Public Affairs well in advance of the phased construction efforts.

Q. I have 3 questions for you.

1) Can we get a new HVAC unit for building 7487 at JBSA-Lackland? The current unit blows hot air in summer and cold air winter. We work outside in the elements year-round and it would be nice to have AC/heat when we’re on our lunch breaks.

2) We have trees that needed to be cut down/trimmed six years ago. Currently, there are branches hanging over sidewalks and are a safety issue to personnel.

3) Is it possible to get a commander suggestion box installed at JBSA-Lackland. The previous unit commander had a Quarterly Commander’s Call for us caretakers to express our concerns/suggestions. Our current commander will have been here two years in June and hasn’t talked to caretakers. We cannot go to Commander’s Calls because of our work schedules.

A. I greatly appreciate your questions and feedback. Regarding your first concern, CE has been working diligently, despite the COVID-19 impacts, to switch facilities back from Heat to Cool season configurations. The team visited your facility and made the switch from winter to summer and it should now be cooling.

Regarding the trees, our CE team funded a tree trimming task order to our current service contract vehicle, and they estimate the work to be complete before this response is published.

Regarding your last question, I recommend contacting the senior enlisted leader in your unit who can work to install a suggestion box and also help your commander schedule a Commander’s Call. If you would like to discuss more, please reach out to our PA team at RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil so that we can better assist you. Thank you again!

Miscellaneous

Q. Is it possible to waive Air Force Instruction 36-2903 on cold-weather accessories? Currently, you can only wear cold-weather accessories (gloves/watch cap) with an outer garment (jacket).

A. Thank you for your question! The Air Force uniform and standards are meant to present a neat, clean, safe, and professional military image.

Normally, cold weather accessories like gloves and watch caps are authorized only when wearing authorized outer garments. However, current AFI 36-2903 guidance allows for gloves to be worn with ABUs, service dress, or OCPs outdoors as an exception to the normal rule (see AFI 36-2903, p. 7.3.8).

However, the same exception does not apply to watch caps. Watch caps are authorized cold weather gear when wearing authorized outer garments outdoors only if the installation commander authorizes their use (see AFI p. 7.2.7).

When colder weather sets in, please work with your immediate chain of command to make the request so they can route the request for review and, if appropriate, approval.

Q. I am inquiring as to current official status of JBSA on its “federal enclave” status – as in, has JBSA been ceded by the State of Texas to the federal government and was such cessation accepted by the federal government?

A. Thank you for your question. JBSA is routinely recognized in United States District Court for the Western District of Texas as being under the exclusive federal jurisdiction of the United States.

A cursory overview of the Texas State Archives provides that the State of Texas ceded jurisdiction to the United States on a number of occasions.

For instance, as early as 1881, Texas ceded jurisdiction to the United States with regard to Fort Sam Houston. However, it appears that additional cession of jurisdiction occurred as time progressed and, presumably, as Fort Sam Houston expanded its territorial boundaries.

As a starting place, some information may be found here: https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/30070/tsl-30070.html#series2. I would also encourage everyone to visit the state archives for more information.

Q. It would be great if we could get regular updates in the newspaper on construction projects, particularly large ones like the new Exchange at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. I heard a year ago that a movie theater was planned to be included in the new PX, but have no idea if that is true. I understand dates may move, but it would also be great to have estimated opening dates.

The same goes for the recent Popeye’s and Burger King project at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. I found out it was open because a neighbor drove by and let me know. In addition, the Giant Voice is so hard to understand that every time there is an announcement, my entire neighborhood spends the next 10 - 15 minutes texting back and forth to try to figure out what it said and even then it’s normally a guess.

I know my military spouse gets emails but that doesn’t help since he is often TDY or in a meeting and can’t let me know. Is there a way to let military dependents sign up to receive text alerts for Giant Voice announcements? If it’s important enough to be announced on the Giant Voice, then it isn’t helpful if no one understands the announcement.

A. Thank you very much for your suggestion! You are absolutely correct … keeping everyone updated on major construction projects across JBSA is important.

I will ask my public affairs team to work with the Civil Engineer Group and the Executive Agents at each location to develop a construction information page for our website, JBSA.mil. This new section of the site will be located under the Information tab at the top of the main page, and will contain an overview of the construction, any impacts to services, as well as estimated completion dates. You can expect to see this page become available sometime in the next few weeks.

Regarding the Giant Voice system, an unfortunate drawback is that you typically have to be outside in order to hear it. All individuals with network access (many contractors and dependents) have the ability to update their AtHoc profile with their contact information to include home phone, personal cell phone and personal email where they can opt to receive notifications.

One recommendation we would like to share is the Blackberry AtHoc app on mobile devices. Once the app is downloaded, you are able to access the system using the email address that was updated in your profile. Once you’ve verified your email address your will need to enter the Mobile App Code: AFEMNSAETC. This will update your location for JBSA and ensure that you will receive pertinent information, such as lockdown or weather warnings. You can also add up to 10 devices to your account which allows your dependents to have access to AtHoc notifications.