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NEWS | Sept. 11, 2020

Feedback Fridays

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

Q. What are the current entry base rules during Health Protection Condition, or HPCON, Charlie?

A. During HPCON Charlie, Security Forces are conducting 100 percent ID card checks for all occupants aged 17 and older in all vehicles entering any JBSA installation.  Anyone that does not have a valid Department of Defense ID card or current pass will be refused entry. 

For any visitor aged 17 or older to gain entry while we are in HPCON Charlie and only allowing mission essential personnel, the sponsor’s commander must sign a form stating that the visitor is mission essential (links to the form are below). 

Commanders must use fair judgment in defining what constitutes mission essential. The sponsor will then email or take that form to the Visitor Control Center where the visitor will be vetted and issued a pass.  Without this form, all visitor requests will be denied.

For entry into Brooke Army Medical Center only, up to two occupants without visitor pass or valid DOD ID are allowed to be escorted by a valid DOD ID cardholder in the same vehicle in order to assist patients that require assistance. 

Q. As you know, this is an election year. Will civilian employees be given time off/administrative leave to vote at the polls in November?

An excused absence may be granted to permit an employee to report to work three hours after polls open or leave work three hours prior to polls closing.

Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisors to schedule the appropriate time off so they can vote.

Q. Since the COVID-19 issue began, has Civilian Personnel discussed the fact that civilian personnel annual leave will be authorized/waiver to go over the mandated 240 hours? 

Most people who take leave want to leave the local area and not take leave to stay in their house. Before we know it, the holiday season will be here.

A. Great question! This remains a major area of concern for civilians who may soon be faced with the possibility of having to "use or lose" significant amounts of annual leave during the latter part of the leave year. 

These past few months have greatly impacted employees' ability to take leave due to the vast mission demands brought forth as a result of COVID-19.  At this time, no waiver or exception to current annual leave laws has been granted by Congress.

While the DOD and Department of the Air Force continue to advocate on behalf of our civilian Airmen for changes to our current forfeiture rules, there is no guarantee that these will be granted.

Commanders and supervisors should assess their employees' leave balance and usage as would be done during any other leave year. 

Employees unable to exhaust their "use or lose" leave due to work-related requirement or other exigencies of service, sickness, or administrative error may have this leave restored if the leave was scheduled in writing before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year.

In the meantime, our Civilian Personnel team will continue to keep our mission partners apprised on the latest developments concerning leave use and forfeiture. 

Any questions or concerns may be directed to the Civilian Personnel Office, Employee Management Relations unit.