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Coffee Talk with Families

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.

 

 

DECEMBER 2019

Action items:

  • Welcome Center: As we consider the Welcome Center for inprocessing, could we also use that same kind of system for outprocessing?  (OPR:  A&FRC)  UPDATE:  We’ll add this to the welcome center task for the group.
  • Youth and Teen Centers: Because there’s no before school program at the teen center, parents are paying twice for child care to ensure their children can have the activities at the teen center and the before school program at the youth center.  Is there a possibility that we could have only one payment for both the youth and teen centers or perhaps we could enhance the youth center activities with things like educational learning classes.  Beale AFB was used as the example.  There’s a lot of activities at the youth center like the robotics class, the lego class, etc that keep our folks engaged.  This might be confusing so I’m happy to talk through it.  Thoughts?  (OPR:  MSG)
  • Coffee Talks with Spouses: Spouses are asking for the Coffee not to be scheduled on the first Tuesday of each month and to alternate between day and evening sessions.  (OPR:  CCCE and CCS)
  • Right Start: The spouses would like to work with AFRC (Becki Burke) on what the Right Start program looks like for spouses.  This could form into a “Spouse Power Hour” that starts in the afternoon session of Right Start.  It could involve a Key Spouse mentor panel.  It could involve elements of HeartLink.  It may need to be supported by day care options.  Regardless of the options, I reminded the spouses I can’t place demands on their time.  If they want to do this, we need their buy-in.  Becki took for action.  (OPR:  AFRC)

Informational items: 

  • Welcome Center: We discussed the welcome center concept with both the Chiefs and Spouses.  I know there’s trepidation in the units as many probably see this as a manpower draw.  Here’s my take.  Since 1 Jan 19, we have given $96,000 to 138 families in Air Force Aid Society funds because we don’t have a process to guide incoming members through the inprocessing paperwork necessary for reimbursement.  Between rent, mortgage down payments, and unforeseen vehicle repairs, many are struggling.  We can and should be able to do better for our Airmen.  We need to try. 
  • LRS Town Hall: There’s a need for a town hall in February or March sponsored by LRS to try and get in front of the PCS season.  Chiefs are already working this so there’s no need for a task.
  • Pronghorn Droppings: The Chiefs had a lively debate about the Pronghorn Droppings.  Specifically, are we marginalizing the effects of good order and discipline as we capture the attention of our Airmen with humor?  This is a really good nuanced discussion.  On the one hand, a person might see JA’s product as mocking the military system; on the other hand, we’re reaching a greater audience and people are actually discussing the consequences of misbehavior and criminal activity.  In the end, the Chiefs elected to keep this on their radar but believe it is actually helping supervisors, shirts, and commanders start those difficult discussions.
  • Snow plowing: There were complaints from the spouses about roads and side walk plowing in housing.  I reminded them that we had the Residents Council two days before and they could have addressed directly to BBC.  I recommend they download the RentCafe app and put in a routine work order request.  Several did not know about the RentCafe app.  We’ll have to be more vocal about the app and how we create a demand signal for BBC.
  • Advertising: Had more complaints about advertising from the spouses who are in our private orgs.  I know PA has this one started but want you all to recognize this is a pretty consistent complaint.

 

SEPTEMBER 2019

Action Items:

  • Future Spouse Coffee Times:  Future coffee with spouses will be moved to 6 p.m. to help families with child care and job schedules. (OPR:  CC)
  • Automotive Boot Camp:  Spouses asked if there’s an opportunity to get an automotive “boot camp” event scheduled to help folks prepare for winter.  (OPR:  MSG)
  • Mental Health Provider Availability:  Families are also having difficulties getting appointments with MH providers and asked for more info to go out on who’s 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)
  • Lower Fall Hall Age:  There was a suggestion to lower the age for unaccompanied minors in Fall Hall from 16 to 12. We put the question to our spouses and was happy to learn most folks agree this is a bad idea. That said, we do have an inconsistency between our 90MW instruction on age limits for unaccompanied minors and what we are currently doing at Fall Hall so we need to fix this. (OPR: MSG)
  • Shadow the Command Chief:  Chief opened up her schedule to have spouses accompany her. (OPR: CCC)
  • Commissary Issues:  Two issues regarding the commissary. (OPR: MSG) Low Stock Levels:  A DECA employee told one of the spouses the commissary is going to lower stock levels. Is this true? If so, why? Online Order Service:  Spouses overwhelmingly would like to see if we can get an online order service at the commissary. Apparently Davis-Monthan AFB has one in place.
  • Dorm Roommate Personality Match:  Our 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, we have a volunteer who is going to take this one on – Senior Airman Thomas from our own emergency management shop! Thanks Civil Engineer Squadron (OPR: CE, SrA Thomas)

Informational Items:

  • BAH rates update:  We are in the initial stages of our base allowance for housing re-evaluation, along with a recap of what has been discovered so far.
  • OG Temperature:  One family member is unhappy her spouse is subjected to extremely hot temps in the operations group building as we continue our HVAC project there. We are almost finished. We advised she keeps engaging with unit leadership.
  • Resident’s Council:  We unveiled a proposal for a resident’s council to provide transparency to our partnership with Balfour Beatty and their performance here. This would be part of the Key Spouse Program.
  • Lack of Moving Companies:  We were asked if we were able to increase the number of moving providers during the permanent change of station season. The answer is no, but we did explain 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. Return no later than dates are negotiable. We will use what we can to alleviate this issue in the future.
  • Gate 2 Safety:  Family members remain concerned about the lack of traffic signals on Missile Drive. We 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. We had a pretty robust conversation about leadership expectations and event planning.
  • Optometrist:  We explained having a lack of an optometrist is only a temporary problem.
  • Fitness Acclimation:  An Airmen asked to extend the acclimation period. We recommend seeing a medical provider if it is a medical issue.
  • Moving Tactical Response Force Stage Location:  One Airmen asked if we could stage the TRF vehicles in a different location because it temporarily restricts parking. We will not compromise security for parking spaces.
  • New Security Forces Schedule:  SF Airmen are really looking forward to the proposed scheduling changes in January.