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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | July 31, 2020

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 jbsapublicaffairs@gmail.com using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q. I’m a certified firearms and hunting safety instructor who will soon be working on new qualifications.

Presently, to go to the private range – which is about 5-10 minutes from the JBSA-Camp Bullis gate – I have to drive from work to my house to pick up my firearms and ammunition and then return to the range.

This trip can take anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on traffic. Is there an approval process I can work through that would allow me to bring my firearms and ammunition with me to work?

I would greatly appreciate the time and money saved, as well as, the extra practice time I will have without the drive home. Thank you for your time and consideration.

We understand this is not convenient and appreciate your patience and willingness to reach out to ask this important question. With JBSA-Camp Bullis being a satellite location, our Defenders don’t have the capacity to provide temporary storage to the general public.

In addition, the only authorized storage areas for privately-owned firearms and ammunition are military family housing and the Security Forces armories at each main JBSA location on a space-available basis, per JBSA policy (Instruction 31-1131). 

Should you be interested in storage at one of our three main locations, please contact their armory ahead of time to verify space availability. At JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, call 210-221-9165; at JBSA-Lackland, call 210-671-1492; and at JBSA-Randolph, please call 210-652-4365.

Q. One of my troops was stopped at the gate and restricted from getting on base due to an expired registration.

When I called the 502d Security Forces Squadron to get clarity on their policy, I was told that "per the governor's executive order" people have 60 days from their expiration date to renew their registration.

This executive order can be found at https://gov.texas.gov/. The SFS interpretation of this state policy is incorrect. The 60-day grace period does not begin on the expiration date, it begins when the Texas DMV's return to "normal operations" which has yet to happen.

Per the DMV website, Texas residents are still not required to have an updated registration. The bottom line, the SFS should not be citing the state policy to back the base policy because they are inconsistent. If the base wants to enforce this policy, they should acknowledge that they are deviating from the state policy and make that abundantly clear to all military personnel at JBSA.

A. We do apologize for your experience at the gate, as you are correct about the current state exemption policy. All JBSA gate guards have since been reminded of this policy.

Expired Texas vehicle registrations are accepted from March 16 until 60 days after DMVs resume normal operations. Expired Texas drivers licenses are accepted from March 13 until that same exemption end date.

Q. I wanted to know why there aren’t three lanes set up for morning inbound traffic at the JBSA-Lackland Luke East Gate? 

What I have noticed is that at around 6:30 a.m., Security Forces only has two lanes open, then opens up the third lane closer to 7 a.m. Most people have to be at work at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center and other parts of the base at 7 a.m.

We are told to leave earlier and plan accordingly. We have done that, but we still have the same issue about the gate. Security Forces have a tough job and I get that, but when the personnel are sometimes talking to each other at the gate at one lane, that person could man that third lane earlier to ease the traffic. 

What can be done to fix this?  If you look at the traffic patterns on Military Drive, the lanes get backed up on Military Drive, and this is a big safety violation for traffic as well as personnel. 

Is there any way to get the Luke West Gate open, as it helps ease the traffic going to the Luke East Gate?

We understand traffic is a challenge here in San Antonio, and our Defenders do their best to help limit delays when practical. For times when the third lane is not manned, it’s because that gate guard needs a restroom break or to render assistance, such as with vehicle turnarounds or to help a customer at the Visitor Control Center. 

Regarding the safety of Military Drive, we have had a long-standing partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation. While we have no jurisdiction over the traffic patterns and light timing, we will continue to offer recommendations and address concerns to improve and make those traffic patterns safer.

For Luke West Gate, it is one of several gates temporarily closed as a result of Health Protection Condition CHARLIE to minimize the risk and spread to our Defenders and base personnel.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation as the Lackland Defenders must take all this into account when balancing safety and security with expedient access to our installation.