NEWS | Nov. 27, 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 using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Q. With the gym opening, as many other businesses are, wouldn't there be a lot more space between those who are eligible to use the facility if the hours were somewhat as before COVID, or if it were closed later?

We have noticed that since the gym closes at 7 p.m., more participants rush to the gym before closing. This is causing the work out areas to become a lot more congested, defeating the spacing purpose. Thank you.

A. Thank you for the suggestion!  As you can imagine, the COVID-19 virus, or rather the possibility of spreading the virus, is the driving force behind our fitness centers' specific hours of operation and numbers of patrons allowed in specific areas, etc. 

It is a difficult process to manage for two reasons: first of all, in order to avoid the spread of the virus, we need to practice safe social distancing measures. However, in order for our military force to remain the strongest in the world – we need to ensure that our members are strong and therefore it is essential to allow them access to the fitness centers as often as possible.  We have to add additional staffing to make sure facilities and equipment are being cleaned thoroughly. Adding more staff to ensure facility cleanliness decreases the hours that we can stay open.

To ascertain the most effective schedule possible requires the careful examination and balance of both of these points. We would truly like to add more hours, but that runs the risk of additional exposure.

As we move forward and learn more about the virus, I am hopeful that we will once again be able to provide the services and the hours of operation that give the greatest benefit to our customers. 

We ask everyone to remain patient and to stay safe until we are able to get back to our normal operations or as close to normal as possible.

Q. As an active duty member and a parent of children in the Randolph Child Development Center, I would appreciate 502d ABW consideration/approval of a “No-Hat, No-Salute” designation for JBSA CDCs. 

With a four-year-old and a two-year-old, I constantly find myself chasing toddlers in the CDC parking lot and forgetting my hat or face mask with my hands full. Often I am unable to render proper courtesies, such as a salute, to my fellow teammates. 

I transferred to JBSA-Randolph in May this year and am unaware of previous efforts on a no-hat, no-salute designation for CDCs, but I do believe this would be a huge win for families and CDCs across JBSA. 

In August 2020, Air Combat Command held SWORD Athena, a forum for rising leaders to focus on female and family-centric issues. One of the outcomes of this forum was approved designation of “No-Hat, No-Salute” for ACC Child Development Centers.

The protocol Air Force Instruction 34-1201 leaves designating an area as no-hat, no-salute at the discretion of the installation company commander, so in this case, the 502d ABW/CC.  I believe the request meets the intent of the AFI regarding an installation CC designating areas at a place where saluting is “highly repetitious or otherwise unfeasible.”

A. Welcome to JBSA and thank you for your suggestion.

You are correct. The authority to approve NH/NS lies with the 502d ABW/CC. The good news is that the package was previously submitted and is in coordination! We apologize as there was a delay in the process due to review and implementation of the JBSA supplement to AFI 36-2903, Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel.

We believe the hurdle has been cleared and are in the final stages of review and approval.

Q. Last year, we moved to a little white farmhouse about a mile south of the St. John Catholic Church, about eight miles south of Schulenburg.  We watch in amazement as the fighter jets fly over at low altitudes on training runs.

For a while there, we didn't see them, but things seem to be back to normal. We're seeing the jets again now, maybe a couple of times per week.

I just wanted to let you know how proud we are of our military, and how it inspires us so to see you guys come by.

Thanks for taking care of our country!  And thanks for the fly-overs, we really enjoy seeing you guys!

A. Thank you for the kind words. The 12th Flying Training Wing’s mission is to train the Air Force's overall pilot efforts and produce all Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training instructors through our instructor training program.

We train the best instructor pilots in the world. Thank you for your continued support.