Home : News : News
JBSA News

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Caroline M. Miller | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | Oct. 30, 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. It’s just my opinion, but I think it is about time to open the Selfridge East gate at JBSA-Lackland in order to reduce the congestion at the other gates.

This is especially true for the housing residents on the east side, as well as teachers and students to get to school, not to mention all of the employees who work at that side of the base. Then there is everyone who shops at all the facilities on that side of the base, such as the Base Exchange, commissary, gas station, etc.

There are a lot of people who don’t drive and are employed on base who would normally take the bus for a drop off in front of the gate and walk on. Now they can’t. All of these people have to go to the Luke East gate to drive on or off the installation.

In addition, walkers have a long walk to get to their jobs. Drivers have a long wait and those that don’t drive have to take a taxi or car service. This is more money that should not have to be spent in these trying times.

JBSA-Fort Sam Houston residents complained about a gate that should be opened, and it got opened. As for myself, I am a retired military member who does not drive. I am having to take a car service or taxi to get on base.

I respectfully request you take this matter under consideration.  I, and many others, sure would appreciate it if that gate was opened soon so I and those non-drivers could just walk on base, and those who do drive don’t have to drive all the way around to Luke East gate just to get on or off base.   Thank you.

A. Thank you for your observations on why the Selfridge East gate should re-open.

Gate availability is determined by balancing the health and safety of our JBSA community with meeting our mission partner and traffic volume demands.

The reason for little change to our gate posture since our return to HPCON BRAVO PLUS on Sept. 25 was that all 266 of our mission partners did not direct an immediate return of their entire teleworking workforce.  This means we reopened only those gates where the mission partner requested and increased traffic volume demands justified it. This doesn’t include the Selfridge gates, at this time. 

To date, our data shows wait times have decreased to minimal levels and there has been a limited increase in cars entering base.   

Thank you for your patience and understanding in this unprecedented time.

Q. First, thank you for opening the base fitness facilities for regular hours.

However, since I have been working out again I noticed that people were not wearing a mask while working out in the fitness center. There was a sign on the entrance door that mask wear was required to enter the facility, but once people were in the workout area they removed their masks. 

I, and one other person, were wearing masks, everyone else had removed theirs for the duration of their workout.  I am not a medical professional, however this does not seem to make any sense. 

One asymptomatic person not wearing a mask works out and infects the other people not wearing a mask and they all go to their workplace and home and spread it there, it just does not appear to be a smart policy.  Thank you.

A. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

As you have stated, the wearing of the mask is mandatory for all personnel who enter the fitness centers across JBSA.

While there are a few exceptions such as asthmatics, those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, etc. These exceptions are rare and are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. 

There should never be a situation like the one that you have described where the vast majority of patrons are in the facility without wearing their masks.

We have shared this information with the commanders and staff members of all JBSA fitness centers and have asked them to very closely monitor those entering the fitness centers and to continue observing in order to ensure adherence to the mandatory mask policy. 

Finally, if you observe anyone in the JBSA fitness centers not wearing a mask, please immediately bring this to the attention of the manager or a staff member and they will remind the person in question about the requirements. 

It is important for all of us to follow the guidelines and also to help ensure compliance with this very important safety measure.