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Coffee Talk with Airmen

FEBRUARY 2019

Action Items:

  • Commissary doesn’t process WIC: This has been known for a while, but wasn’t tracking.  We are putting a demand signal out to the Commissary and finding out the schedule for the upgrade.  (OPR:  CC)
  • Speeding: Spouses are pretty fed up with this.  Although, they are glad to hear about the increased patrols and inbound speed carts, they want a few more things.  One of those things is "Slow, Children" signs at the 15 MPH zones near playgrounds.  Our placement on base is inconsistent.  Some playgrounds have them; others don’t.  We’ll work those changes through ground safety through the Traffic Safety Board.  (OPR:  SE)
  • FCC Providers: We won't ever have enough, but we need to do a better job getting the requirements out to our base population.  Currently, FCC training is scheduled 4 times a year.  Spouses would like this to be conducted more often.  The 90th Force Support Squadron is willing to work with anyone on an individual basis to get requirements complete.  Need a PA campaign that periodically puts requirements up on social media.  Asking 90 FSS and 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs to research it. (OPR:  PA/FSS)
  • Off base access to BBC events: The Spouses would like to have access to Balfour Beatty Community’s neighborhood recreational programs.  We’ve mentioned this to BBC, and we'll continue to work this through the Military Housing Office. (OPR:  MSG)
  • Gym Equipment: Spouses would like more equipment and a bigger kid room in the gym.  Please submit put these comments into ICE.  We’re working on the missing functional fitness equipment.  (OPR:  CCC; OCR:  MSG)
  • CDC Outdoor Playtime: Sounds like we weren't allowing kids outside in pretty decent weather because we had some snow piles along the fences.  We should take a look at the Child Development Center snow/ice removal to see if we can facilitate outdoor playtime. (OPR:  FSS)

     

    Informational Items:

  • Airman in Pain:  One of our Airmen told us he was in pain for two weeks while waiting for what he described as an urgent dental appointment.  His first request was to extend sick call hours.  He didn't know what a patient advocate was and had only talked to the clinic about the appointment.  We put this back into his corner, and asked him to use his supervisor, first shirt, commander and the patient advocate to work this first before jumping up to us.
  • Off-Base Apartment Complex: Folks are excited about the apartment complex development off base.  We'll keep giving out the info on this.
  • Our Airmen asked if there's a plan to get a bigger indoor track.  Given our facilities and their current outstanding sustainment, I don't see this in the foreseeable future.  I suspect if and when we decided a new gym was needed, we'd look at that.
  • Dorm Garage: Our Airmen asked for a garage over at the dorms.  We have far too many mission requirements to pay for first so a parking lot isn't high on the list.  We’d be willing to look at a troop training project for a HESCO cover but I think that's going to provide minimal coverage.  Besides, we'd probably want to put that type of structure to protect the vehicles for those out in the field.
  • Risk-Based Response: We talked through thoughts on Risk-Based Response, both in the missile field and in the weapon storage area.  We need to be smart about the risks we are willing to take.
  • Rent CafĂ©: Every spouse who lived in Balfour Beatty was asked if they had and used the app.  All said yes.  That's a good news story.
  • Residents Council. Had a great chat with the spouses on the Residents Council and asked that they bring up their housing complaints there.  See you at the next one on March 4, 2020, at the BBC neighborhood center at 5:30 p.m.
  • Potholes: Folks are concerned this year will be a repeat of last year with the potholes.  The 90th Civil Engineer Squadron is working on a Pothole Patrol day after Mother's Day.  We are going to be proactive this year.

 

SEPTEMBER 2019

Action Items:

  • Mental Health Provider Availability:  Families are having difficulties getting appointments with mental health providers and asked for more info to go out on who is in the network downtown. (OPR: MDG)
  • Youth Center Holiday/Family Day Care:  Family members would like to have Youth Center sign-ups for holidays and family days. Specifically, they’d like to “sub-let” their slots out to others and avoid having to pay for a week of daycare (during spring break, for instance) while someone else could take advantage of the opening. There is a survey regarding childcare during family days at this point. Most said they hadn’t seen it. This is another signal that we haven’t quite figured out what our family care customers want. (OPR: MSG)
  • Dorm Roommate Personality Match:  Airmen asked if we could put a “personality questionnaire” in place to better match roommates. The Command Chief explained this was a pretty tough thing to do given the timing of dorm arrivals and our occupancy rate but said she’d look into it. (OPR: CCC)
  • Bouncy Castle:  Bouncy castle at First Friday…it was a hit! Thanks Izzy!
  • TLE extensions:  The Judge Advocate and the 90th Comptroller Squadron are researching the issues. (OPR: CPTS / JA)
  • Pets and lodging during PCS seasons:  We will bring up the issue during the next Military Affairs Committee. (OPR:  CC)
  • Housing Clause:  The wait for on-base housing and lack of pet-friendly options are causing Airmen to enter into leases beyond the month-to-month scope, forcing them to fulfill the terms of their contract before moving on base. (OPR: CC)
  • Christmas Tree Lighting:  Last year’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony was underwhelming. Good news, there is a volunteer who is going to take this one on – Senior Airman Thomas from the emergency management shop! Thanks Civil Engineer Squadron! (OPR: CE, SrA Thomas)

Informational Items:

  • BAH rates update:  Currently in initial stages of base allowance for housing re-evaluation, along with a recap of what has been discovered so far.
  • Resident’s Council:  Unveiled proposal for a resident’s council to provide transparency to the partnership with Balfour Beatty and their performance here. This would be part of the Key Spouse Program.
  • Lack of Moving Companies:  It was asked if it is possible to increase the number of moving providers during the permanent change of station season. The answer is no, but both the 90th Force Support Squadron Stop Loss initiative during Cheyenne Frontier Days season, as well as the Air Force initiative designed to spread out PCS season to avoid these issues in the future were explained. Return no later than dates are negotiable. There is an effort to alleviate this issue in the future.
  • Gate 2 Safety:  Family members remain concerned about the lack of traffic signals on Missile Drive. Provided an update that covered the lights, speeding and the location of the future apartment complex.
  • Around the World Potluck:  This is a new event to bring F.E. Warren families together. See you there!
  • Then There Were Only 6:  Only six Airmen were at the coffee. This engagement is to facilitate open communication. Interestingly enough, several Airmen complained about a lack of participation from other Airmen in events they have planned. There was a pretty robust conversation about leadership expectations and event planning.
  • Optometrist:  It was explained having a lack of an optometrist is only a temporary problem.
  • Fitness Acclimation:  An Airmen asked to extend the acclimation period. It was recommend to see a medical provider if it is a medical issue.
  • Moving Tactical Response Force Stage Location:  One Airmen asked if it is possible to stage the TRF vehicles in a different location because it temporarily restricts parking. There will be no compromise to security for parking spaces.
  • New Security Forces Schedule:  SF Airmen are really looking forward to the proposed scheduling changes in January.

 

JUNE 2019

Action Items:

  • Interim Security Clearances (OPR: DOS / IP): Much like all new AF personnel, clearances can take quite a while. Waivers for some clearances (like Secret) are surprisingly not being used. IP will remind commanders when interim clearances can and should be used. It was explained why clearances are taking so long and what we are doing to prioritize clearances and mitigate gaps.  WAY FORWARD:  Awaiting IP action. OPEN.
  • Training Days (SFG / MSG): Both SFG and FSS folks would like more structure and substance to their training days. They are hungry for more! SFG and FSS should take a look at their training days and ensure they are being productive.

    BLUF:  Although both SFG and MSG have training programs in place, there is continuous work to refine the structure. Specific to FSS, as requested, there are three different “training days”: 1. FSS Warrior/Training Day (first Thursday), 2. MSG Warrior Day (third Thursday), and 3. MAFFO Day (occurs on a schedule specific to MAFFO). Good info for all of us to know.

    DISCUSSION:  Airmen assigned to MAFFO are in 1 of 4 status’ at any given time (1. Tripped Out, 2. Protected Days Off, 3. MAFFO Day (training/office work), 4. Official Leave.)  The intent for MAFFO day is more than just “training,” it is for dedicated white space on the Airmen’s schedule to accomplish a multitude of requirements which include: training, medical appointments, general housekeeping tasks at MAFFO, and other appointments/tasks that cannot be accomplished while in the field/tripped-out; and these include items that is preferred for them not to accomplish on their protected days off. Training includes: CDC studying/training, executing MAF inventories, accounting, storeroom ops, food handlers training, ServSafe, physical fitness, MAF site inspections and basic housekeeping. Additionally, FSS incorporate SABC, CPR/AED and Home Station Readiness training because the Airmen assigned to MAFFO may not be able to participate in the FSS or MSG Warrior/Training Days. Reference cross-sharing across sections, training days are also used to assist members in CDCs, based on the volume they are studying, to rotate to another section to gain more hands-on experience within that volume (i.e. if they are studying fitness, the intent is for the Airmen to go to the Fitness center).

    WAY FORWARD:  It can be done better. Both SFG and MSG are developing more detailed training plans and will engage with the CEM reference finalization and implementation. Flight leadership will reemphasize the importance of properly utilizing MAFFO days for their intended purpose. This will, however, include tasks/duties outside of the scope of ‘training,’ but must be accomplished to keep the mission going.  Additionally, across the squadrons, MSG has an integrated “MSG Warrior Day.” Warrior Day is planned in conjunction with leads from all MSG units, with leads planning training for the group and/or squadron specific training. We have to try to minimize class time and PowerPoint during Warrior Days. The majority of the training is hands on items such as land navigation, use of force, Warrior Ethos Challenge, etc. training will continue to be ramped up as it moves towards Phase I & II type exercises in the MSG this fall. This will be revisited later this quarter. OPEN.

  • Chef rotations (MSG): Chefs would like to be considered for rotation to other FSS jobs. Many have been in the field for years. They asked if they could do rotations to other FSS sections on their training days to learn more about their jobs…holy cow…they really want to grow! Airmen deserve to be deliberately developed. Services Airmen rotation plan and challenges will be looked at closer. This can be discussed concurrently with the training day discussion.

    BLUF:  This is a numbers problem that has to be managed. The majority of Services Airmen positions are at MAFFO, and unfortunately there are not enough billets in the other FSS sections for one-for-one duty rotations. Recently, there has been high turnover in MAFFO duty positions for various reasons. In that same time, only 3-4 personnel have rotated back to MAFFO who have already completed tours in order to fill the gap. Additionally, based on inbounds, there are approximately 16-19 personnel assigned to main base who have never been assigned to MAFFO. The rotation planning will continue to be carefully worked.

    DISCUSSION:  There are 100 3F1 billets in the FSS (MAFFO: 61, DFAC: 21, Fitness: 15, Lodging: 3, Community Services Flight: 3). In FY20, the squadron will lose the three billets assigned to lodging and should move under the Community Services Flight. Within the Sustainment Flight (FSV), 82 of 100 billets are food service related. Ideally, it is preferred to have Airmen assigned to MAFFO no greater than two years. The high turnover, however, has resulted in some Airmen needing to stay at MAFFO longer, or having to rotate Airmen back to MAFFO after already completing a tour.  Previously, FSS engaged with AFGSC and AFSVC regarding the possibility of Missile Chefs being a controlled tour. However, based on how personnel have to be rotated between main-base and MAFFO, it was concluded this was not the right way forward. It was considered if 3F1 positions should be a code 50 to force a mandatory move at a certain point of time, but this only impacts their total time on station. This still could potentially mean an Airman may be at MAFFO longer than two years, or will rotate back if required. Additionally, the core lengths (12 months and 18 months) make it more difficult to rotate Airmen in/out of sections. It is projected the career field will reduce the 18 month requirement to 12 months, just waiting on final guidance. This will help with some of the issues, but not all.  

    WAY FORWARD:  The rotation planning will continue to be carefully worked. The MAFFO mission must be filled 100% and is the one area within the FSS/FSV flight that cannot be risked. Unfortunately, due to high turnover, Airmen will have to remain at MAFFO longer or rotate back in order to execute the mission. The command is dedicated to continuing its best efforts to maintain a fair and equitable rotation plan to limit the number of Airmen who may stay at MAFFO past the 2-year point. MSG will better communicate with Airmen to ensure everyone understands the current situation and the expectations. CLOSED.

  • Dorm 838 (CCC / SFG / MSG / MDG): Dorm residents brought up concerns about the conditions in Bldg. 838. Command will reach out to the groups and get the right folks together to check this out and walk through the hallways this weekend and report what is found.

    BLUF: Dorm Management walked through each room in Bldg. 838 to assess the living conditions and the report of possible mold. They found that there was not a visible case of mold in any of the dorm rooms. In addition, the CE team made contact with 12 individuals and asked if they had any concerns. Nobody reported any issues to the team, but some mildew from damp conditions was noticed.

    WAY FORWARD: Dorm Management will send an email to all of the residents in Dorm 838 informing them to have their A/C constantly running between 68-72 degrees. This will aid in dehumidifying the rooms to eliminate mildew. There were quite a few A/C units with filters that had not been cleaned and were clogged. The dirty filters inhibit airflow throughout the room. Dorm Management will ensure Airmen are educated on how to accomplish the filter cleaning. MSG also contacted Bioenvironmental on the concern, but after the site visit no issues were noted. Dorm 838 is far from an ideal dorm. However, dorm requirements drive the use of this facility.  Conditions will continue to be monitored.  OPEN.

  • AGE (MXG): MXG troops believe we should turn our AGE over to the Guard or contract it out. This has been brought up before, but there have been no solutions reached. Looking for MXG’s thoughts on this. Awaiting MXG recommendation.  OPEN.
  • Loan Repayment Program (MSG): It was asked if it is possible to bring back the loan repayment program. The education office might be able to help explain what that program was and why it went away. Looking to get more information on the status of the program.

    BLUF: Participation in the program is determined during the initial enlistment. Enrollment in the Enlisted College Loan Repayment Program (ECLRP) must be annotated as part of the enlistment contract on the AF Form 3008, Supplement to Enlistment Agreement. If not annotated on their enlistment contract, there’s no provision that would allow an Airmen to ‘opt-in’ to the program after signing their enlistment contract with their Recruiter. 

    DISCUSSION:  The program is only available for non-prior service active-duty enlisted Airmen. Airmen must have entered AD on/or after 5 May 2000 (no exceptions). The ECLRP statement must be clearly annotated on the AF Form 3008.  Program pays up to $10,000 over 3-year period, minus taxes.  As of 1 Oct 2013, Airmen are awarded one of the seven eligible AFSCs (listed below).  The remaining pool of eligible Airmen would be very small and limited to those who haven’t used the program, but based on above guidance would still need annotation on the AF Form 3008.

    • 1W0X1 Weather
    • 3D032 Cyber Systems Operations
    • 3D033 Cyber Surety
    • 3D034 Computer Systems Programming
    • 3D131 Client Systems
    • 3D132 Cyber Transport Systems
    • 4H031 Cardiopulmonary Laboratory

WAY FORWARD:  The education team is looking into all the programs similar in nature to offset student loans that can be shared with supervisors. Additionally, if Airmen need assistance with financial planning, financial advisors at the A&FRC stand ready to assist Airmen with their financial literacy and help create budgets/research avenues in repaying debts. CLOSED.