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Coffee Talk with First Sergeants and Chiefs

SEPTEMBER 2020

Action Items:

  • Guernsey’s BAH: Could we add our GCTS folks to our BAH here in FE Warren? The answer is “yes, but are we sure we want to do this?” Chief Bettisworth is looking into the actual effects of this change. It appears that the majority of the unit would be negatively impacted by such a change but we will confirm this with data. OPEN. (OPR: CCC)
  • Safety Day to Refocus: Chiefs noted there’s a need to refocus. We’ve been running hard and fast. As a result, we are starting to see some folks take shortcuts or unnecessary risk. That’s not acceptable. 17 Sep 20 will be a Wing Safety Day. All units will be required to talk through the challenges they are facing and come up with a good way ahead. OPEN. (OPR: SE)
  • Refresh Flag Guidance: Chiefs asked for the PA Guidance on flags to be pushed again. CLOSED. (OPR: PA)
  • Need More MFLACs: Need more MFLCs. AFRC has the stick. OPEN. (OPR: CCR)
  • Civilian Weather and Safety Leave Policy: When can we expect changes to the Weather and Safety Leave Policy for civilians? AFGSC/JA provided some authoritative guidance on the Weather and Safety Leave Policy that allowed us to rescind the local policy and clarify who qualifies for the Weather and Safety Leave Policy. We also updated the requirements for folks to be on telework or their leave if they travel to a red location on personal leave. CLOSED
  • Loud Offensive Music Guidance: Is there any guidance or prohibition on loud offensive music in public areas?  One of our members noted there’s an issue with foul offensive language coming from vehicles at the shoppette. We are professionals held to a higher standards so, we can and should have some clarifying guidance out there. Safety to take this one on, in consultation with EO and JA. OPEN. (OPR: SE; OCR: JA and EO)
  • Sponsorship Program: How do we bring this to a new level? FSS, AFRC and LaunchWerx are already working this. We are combining best practice from all of the units for a new baseline.  OPEN
  • Change Gate 1 Hours: Yes we can but no we won’t. The physical vulnerabilities are too risky. Additionally, the manpower we use there takes away from our patrols who are responding to enforcement in our neighborhoods. CLOSED (OPR: CC)
  • Pharmacy Emergency Prescription Waiting Times: A family member mentioned that, during an emergency medical situation, the member was told to go downtown for meds if they couldn’t wait 72-96 hours. The medical group professionals are looking into this. OPEN (OPR: MDG)
  • Getting Base Pass Takes a Long Time: The system is fussy but folks aren’t taking advantage of the pre-info submission our defenders have in place. Go to WWW.WARREN.AF.MIL; select BASE INFORMATION, then BASE ACCESS. On the far right of the screen, follow the Visitor Pre-Note procedures!  CLOSED (OPR: SFS)
  • Are we doing Halloween?  DOES COL BONETTI HAVE COSTUMES? Heck yeah. So yes, the current plan is to execute Halloween as normal unless we have higher priorities. OPEN. (OPR: CC/CCC)
  • Spouses Right Start Attendance: Spouses want other spouses to go to Right Start. We did change some verbiage to encourage this and we’ll also as spouses to attend the Warren Welcome Center appointments. This is incredibly beneficial, especially since CCR and PA working this huge awareness campaign. CLOSED (OPR: CCR; OCR: PA)

Old Action Items:

  • Guernsey’s BAH: Could we add our GCTS folks to our BAH here in FE Warren? The answer is “yes, but are we sure we want to do this?” Chief Bettisworth is looking into the actual effects of this change. It appears that the majority of the unit would be negatively impacted by such a change but we will confirm this with data. OPEN. (OPR: CCC)
  • Diversity Council: There’s a whole host of events and activities headed our way to help us get after difficult times. (OPR:  CCC/CC) Well under way. Looking forward to this expanding in the future. CLOSED
  • eSports: We need a way to virtually connect. The Army is using a pretty active eSports campaign. (OPR: FSS) FSS has this up and running but we can improve
  • Poor Base Advertising: (OPR: PA) (OPR: PA) PA has formed a Communication Synchronization Group to work this issue CLOSED. PA Message Synch is up and running.
  • Commissary can’t Process WIC: (OPR: CC) UPDATE: Chief Bettisworth spoke with the Commissary folks to see if they could speed up the process. Got the software but no love on the install.  Still working.
  • Missile Field POS System for Kitchens: (OPR: MSG) The systems are up and working great. CLOSED.

Informational Items:

  • Warren Welcome Center: We continue to get positive feedback on the Warren Welcome Center. It’s been a huge benefit to the wing!
  • No-Mask Offenders: The majority of “no-mask” offenders as they walk into work centers appears to be unit leadership. Set the example.
  • Telework Benefits: Telework remains a huge benefit. Units should continue to utilize as they see fit.
  • Discharge Packages: First sergeants are a little frustrated that discharge packages with mental health disorder diagnosis are being turned back to the unit. We don’t want to make disorders the easy button discharge from the Air Force so we’ve pushed back on a few. In all cases, once we’ve properly established a history of treatment, the wing commander has approved the discharges.
  • Leave Policy & Approval: Seems to be some confusion on taking leave. Unit commanders are the leave approval authority for the time being. Members are required to complete and submit the AFGSC Leave Risk Assessment Form. ROM restrictions are based on the travel and leave conditions each member faces and determined by the squadron commander, advised by public health. Folks, get back to approving leave when the mission permits.
  • Diversity Discussions: We are always open to discussions about diversity and inclusion but symbols of hate, demeaning terms, and exclusive behaviors don’t help us grow as a people. They only divide us into factions. We are the USAF…one team, one fight…anything less is not compatible with our way of life.
  • Military Supervisors of Civilians: Military supervisors are not taking the appropriate steps to address manpower shortfalls associated with deployments. When a UPC is deployed, groups are consolidating duties and not seeking assistance or rewarding performance. There are some awesome supervisors and some less experienced supervisors. We need to ensure folks are completing the required training for military supervisor of civilian personnel and correctly employing the current evaluation system. Our civilian evaluation system is designed to award exceptional performance year round; however, few do this. In addition, units that are working through deployments are not examining all manpower options that could mitigate the shortage.

JULY 2020

Action Items:

  • Shadow Program Restart: Airmen would like to restart the Shadow program for the command chief and the wing commander. We’ll continue to evaluate the environment and get this started once we are reasonably safe. (OPR: CCC/CC)
  • Diversity Council: There’s a whole host of events and activities headed our way to help us get after difficult times. (OPR: CCC/CC)
  • eSports: We need a way to virtually connect. The Army is using a pretty active eSports campaign. Seems awesome. Let’s try it! (OPR: FSS)

Old Action Items: Note: Updates are in red.

  • Chief Out of Cycle Hires: Chief Bettisworth and wing commander are working to get out-of-cycle hires for vacant chief positions. She's looking into the upcoming Civil Engineer Squadron and Security Forces Squadron vacancies right now. Priority fills established! CLOSED (OPR: CCC)
  • ALS Graduation Fluctuates: We'll try a few different ideas and see which works well. Right now, an afternoon ceremony (UOD for attendees; service dress for participants), no dinner or guest speaker. ALS Commandant has process in place to try a variety of solutions. CLOSED (OPR: MSG)
  • LCC Seat Cushions: They are here. MXG will give them to OG for installation. All cushions installed. (OPR: MXG; OCR:  OG)
  • Running Blinking Red Light at Gate 1: People are running the blinking red light at Gate 1. Turned over to ground safety to look at but, this is an enforcement problem. Until we get a better manning level in SFS, we are going to be low on patrols. No additional issues during the past three months but we need to monitor now that we’ve re-opened that gate. (OPR: SE)
  • Relook at Wing Resource Advisor Structure: Need to relook at our Wing RA structure. When we redistributed the RAs from the wing levels back to the units, we may not have gotten this exactly right. CPTS and LaunchWERX are tackling as a continuing process improvement. Manpower took this on, and we are continuing to work this validation. (OPR: MSG; OCR: FM)
  • OCP Morale Patches: We see some other folks doing this so we need to figure out if this is going to be a new offering or do we need to proceed with our own policy? MSG has divided this into two tasks. First Functional Tabs...like the SF on the current OCP. Can we get one that says "ICBM"? Second, straight up morale patches. Corporate answer is still no but Col Ammons is wading through a murky fog to try to get us to yes. MXG led the functional tab charge. It’s at 20AF for review. Still holding fast on morale patches (OPR:  MSG)
  • Advertising: We need a comprehensive advertising campaign it needs to include APF, NAF, and Mission Partner advertising. We can’t figure out how to have a consolidated calendar of events. Form a stakeholders group to take this one. The solution will include text-casting. (OPR: PA) PA has formed a Communication Synchronization Working Group to work this issue and created a plan to combine advertising efforts for key events. First month went pretty well but we'll keep this one open till we see some more success with the app and with the community displays. Need to reinvigorate this effort. PA has lead. (OPR: PA)
  • 24/7 Pool Hours for Active Duty: Waiver is at 20 AF. 20 AF/A1 is working with FSS on queries. The struggle continues to be the risk to patrons with clean water. The waiver package was denied but we really aren’t seeing any expanded hours.
  • Welcome Center Development: AFGSC has directed wings to develop and open a welcome center (OPR: CC) AFRC has the lead on this. FSS and DoS have supplied tons of stuff. AFRC is scheduling a TDY to Whiteman to view the model. AFRC has pushed the space requirement to the Facilities Utilization Board for review. Plan is approved. We'll use building 210 as the Welcome Center. OPEN AND SUCCESSFUL. LOVE ACROSS THE WING TO EVERYONE INVOLVED. CLOSED!
  • Family Care Plans: The command chief and the shirts took on the family care plans. We’ve all seen this antiquated plan cause us unnecessary strife. The shirts are working with LaunchWerx on courses of actions. A brilliant interim solution was developed and implemented our team. There’s additional step to go but this is on the right path so we’ll take it off the radar. CLOSED.
  • Civilian Council Private Org: Our civilian Airmen are kicking around the idea of a private org for civilians. My thanks to Mr. Hunt for jumping on this. (OPR: EO) After some research and effort, looks like we are going to add a Civilian Council vice a private org.
  • How do we get Uber and Lyft on base? The 90 MW/CCE’s mission to help us get to yes on this. (OPR:  CCE) Got in touch with Uber and is getting them to distribute the Uber app with the MILITARY options in this region.
  • Missile Field POS System for Kitchens: FSS is working. (OPR:  MSG) Two POS systems will be installed this month at missile alert facilities to test. No inventory system though. We are researching what that costs.
  • Commissary can’t Process WIC: We asked the Commissary to find out. (OPR: CC) Chief Bettisworth spoke with the Commissary folks and they are checking to see if they can get this sped up but it looks like we’ll get this in August.
  • Speeding on Base: Folks 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. Sounds reasonable to me but I'd like to through that over to ground safety to work through the Traffic Safety Board. (OPR: SE) SFG had ordered the first speed cart. After delivery, expect another week for us to complete actions needed to start using it. Cart's finishing up calibration and we'll start random deployments this week. Oh, and if you haven't seen them, SFS is doing a phenomenal job cracking down on speeders! SLOW DOWN! Speed carts are functional and working well and we fixed the road by the SFG headquarters. We’ll keep this open to monitor for the SLOW, CHILDREN signs.
  • 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. Chief Bettisworth contacted FSS and found out FSS is willing to work with anyone on an individual basis to get requirements complete. Should conduct a rotational PA campaign. Asked FSS and PA to tell me what they think and we can go from there. (OPR: PA/FSS) FSS got this out there and on the website. We'll periodically refresh! CLOSED.
  • Gym Equipment & Bigger Kids Room in Gym: Spouses would like more equipment and a bigger kid room in the gym. Chief Bettisworth asked all of them to get these comments into ICE. Chief Bettisworth also worked with Chief Anderson on the missing functional fitness equipment. (OPR: CCC; OCR: MSG) Chief has a list of the missing functional fitness equipment and got this fixed. CLOSED
  • CDC Outdoor Playtime: Sounds like we weren't allowing kids outside in pretty decent weather because we had some snow piles along the fences. This is probably a moot point today, given the weather but we should take a look at the CDC snow/ice removal to see if we can facilitate outdoor playtime (OPR: FSS) Two days of 60 degree weather fixed this but Col Ammons and her MSG team are going to keep an eye on it. CLOSED.

Informational Items:

  • What’s knowledge management? Our CGOs are asking where we are going. Part of STRIKER culture is absolutely innovating how we infuse and use data. A large part of this effort is understanding and assessing what data is available. Knowledge Management is the organizational structure that will enable this!
  • Lead/mentor, understand your environment: As we spoke with the CGOs, we continue to mentor them to develop into leaders that are better, smarter and more lethal than we are. Part of that is understanding your own environment. Do this by asking: 1. What do we do? 2. What should we do? 3. How well are we doing it? 4. How do we know that?
  • Mental Health Myth: There’s a concern that going to Mental Health will get you kicked out. This is untrue. Literally, dozens of folks go every day to the clinic and get the time, space and help they need. If you still have a concern about that stigma, go see our military family and life counselors (MFLACs). They will keep you safe.
  • Airmen Deployments: Some Airmen are actively looking for the opportunity to deploy. They want to help make a difference. Please take care of your folks. Have a chat with them about their ideal deployment and help them get to yes.
  • Air Show Thanks: Everyone loved the Air Show! Our thanks to all the wing members who had a hand in making this so successful. WELL DONE!
  • Civilian Hires: In every forum, we were able to compliment the units for using the special qualifications pay to get bodies into civilian vacancies. Our CPO has done an amazing job providing a gentle but firm hand to guide our folks to success in civilian hiring. UPDATE: CPO continues to find ways to onboarding quickly and efficiently.
  • BAH Rates/Dorm Occupancy: Shirts remain vigilant on our dormitory occupancy rates as well as our base allowance for housing (BAH) rates. BAH re-look continues to go up but we’re not really hopeful. We do see a positive trend in the dormitories. There's a lot of folks who like the dorms. Knowing they are choosing to live in the dorms helps us get buy-in from residents. Units are doing a great job determining if an Airman is ready to head downtown. If a first sergeant and commander don't think someone's a candidate for BAH, that's in their lane to keep them in the dorms.

DECEMBER 2019

Action items:

  • Welcome Center: As we consider the Welcome Center for in-processing, could we also use that same kind of system for out-processing?  (OPR:  A&FRC)  UPDATE:  Added 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.  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)
  • MFLCs: They would like to get more info about base happenings.  Proposed sponsoring our MFLCs on NIPR email but asked someone to take that one.  Mr. Hunt, our EOO, grabbed hold of this one.  (OPR: EOO; OCR: AFRC)
  • Advertising…OK, we’ve held off as long as we could hoping this would be self-healing.  We need a comprehensive advertising campaign…it needs to include APF, NAF, and Mission Partner advertising.  Not interested in continuing down a path of dispirit efforts.  It’s unanimous.  We can’t figure out how to have a consolidated calendar of events.  The solution will include text-casting.  (OPR: PA)

Informational items: 

  • Welcome Center: We discussed the welcome center concept.  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 in-processing 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.
  • 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 working this.
  • 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.  This was addressed during the Residence Council. Recommend families download the RentCafe app and put in a routine work order request.
  • Thanksgiving Meal: Folks were incredibly impressed by the Thanksgiving meal spread at the DFAC.  Additionally, the chefs at the MAFs again, our compliments to our fielded forces.  Had a chance to see a few dinners out there and it was awesome!
  • Squadron UAs: The lack of monitors issue has been resolved and squadron UAs can be conducted at the SQ/CC direction.
  • MAF/LCC tours: They have been a huge success.  Heard we may have inspired a youngster to consider a career as a missileer!
  • Bay Orderly following FTAC: All group Airmen (except SFG) will conduct Bay Orderly duty the week after FTAC.
  • Fitness and PME waivers: Waiving Fitness Assessments and PME waivers are now at the unit level.

 

OCTOBER 2019

Action Items:

  • Separation Delays:  Some packages are taking extremely long to process. The Judge Advocate General discussed this topic during the last Status of Discipline meeting. The data does not support that our process is slow, but we did see some outliers. The time was generally increased because of the time between discovery and offering which is controlled by the unit. (OPR: JA…CLOSED)
  • No Hat/No Salute Policy Changes:  We discussed the issue, but no consensus was reached. The 90th Missile Wing Command Chief will discuss with first shirts and chiefs to provide a recommendation. (OPR: CCC)
  • Youth Center Capacity Issues:  Are the Youth Center capacity issues rooted in building limitations or because of staff limitations? The 90th Force Support Squadron will research the answer. (OPR: MSG)
  • AAFES Stocking Women’s Clothing:  AAFES was not properly stocking women’s clothing items, particularly mess and maternity uniforms. Here is the updated from AAFES:
  • First Maternity Uniforms. The F.E. Warren AFB military clothing Sales is only authorized to stock try-ons, given the small population. The manager always tries to get an extra for emergencies, but, the fact of the matter is that, we can forecast this clothing item. Good news, operational camouflage pattern maternity try-ons should be here in a month.
  • Women’s Mess Dress Uniforms. The MCS manager told us that the main accounting system failed to add women’s mess dress uniforms and blues jackets as automatic replacement items after the annual inventory. The manager took some leave and came back to empty shelves. She is custom ordering anything she can to expedite the process but expects the replenishment to occur in a few weeks. The computer error has been corrected. (OPR: CC…CLOSED)
  • Dorm Ghosting:  Discussed issue with the first shirts. The crux of the matter is two-fold. First, do we need to have basic allowance for housing for ranks from E1 to E4 approved at the O-6 level or can we get that down to the squadron? Second, if our Airmen are already taking the financial plunge by living on the economy, should we just start paying them BAH and move the rooms to those incoming bodies that need them. Maybe our concept of dormitory living is not right anymore. During the conversation with the chiefs, our amazing chiefs asked to take this one on. (OPR: CCC)
  • Exercise Child Care:  The chiefs asked during next two-week exercise, what is the child care situation looking like? The 90th Missions Support Group will answer. (OPR: MSG)
  • AFSC Cross Pollination:  The Chiefs also brought up an Air Force Specialty Code cross pollination program. The 90th Civil Engineer Squadron does an effective exchange program across workcenters with senior noncommissioned officers. The chiefs would like to make this a wing-level program. (OPR: CCC)
  • ALS Deferment:  The chiefs also took on deferments for professional military education, particularly Airman Leadership School. The command chief mentioned the waiver and deferment authority rests with the wing commander. We all think it belongs at the squadron level. (OPR:  CCC)

Informational Items:

  • Open Housing for Unaccompanied Airmen:  We shared the idea to open up the Doll Houses for unaccompanied housing, maybe roommates. We are not ready to pull the trigger with Balfour Beauty Communities yet to ensure we give ample opportunity to incoming families. More to follow on this one.
  • Gate 2 Update:  Nothing new here. Temporary lights will be up within a few months, then permanent ones the following year.
  • Failure to Adapt Time:  The request to change the criteria for discharging Amn that are not adapting to military service within 6 months was not going to be considered. Essentially, U.S. Air Force feels the failure to adapt rationale as the easy button, particularly after our Airmen arrive at their duty station. We should be vested in our Airmen’s wellbeing and looking to address issues as quickly as possible. This may be difficult at times, even if the individual is on the glide slope out of the Air Force but remember we also build better citizens.
  • Open Communication Model:  The chiefs and first shirts said they like the new open communication model. It seems to have filtered down to the squadrons and, at the unit level, the Airmen appreciate your leadership and interactions. We are counting on you to make a difference for our Airmen.
  • LRS Rocks:  We talked about our AWESOME 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron shop during a discussion on the vehicle fleet. It was unanimous…LRS rocks.
  • Dorm Quarterly Inspections:  The command chief reminded first sergeants to get into the dorms and ensure we are conducting quarterly unannounced inspections.
  • Rude Additional Duty Requirements:  The command chief is working on reducing out of hide positions in the wing.  90 FSS will reduce the number active duty honor guard requirement by 13 and use National Guard augmentation. Smart and well done, 90 FSS. Please keep these ideas coming.
  • DFAC Thanksgiving Meal:  We discussed the difficulties getting our population to the dining facility when they have a shift work We all need to put some brain power behind, “How do we get our Airmen engaged?” We would love to hear your thoughts.

 

AUGUST 2019

Action Items:

  • Failure to Adapt: Can we extend the time frame for “Failure to Adapt” to either 180 days from arrival on station or one year?  Great question…Let’s take this on from two fronts.  JA will look into this, and it will be discussed at the Wing Commanders’ Conference with CSAF.
  • Dorm 838.  There was a suggestion to switch MSG and SFG dorms to ensure defenders had more than one kitchen to cook on, but there may be another way to address the problem.  Dorm 838 was brought up during the Airmen’s Coffee, so this suggestion will be added to those concerns.
  • OG structure: OG would like a project to house all things OG under one roof.  The OG Superintendent and CE can get together on this one and see what kind of design has potential.
  • SFG would like a parking structure.  Parking garages are low on the MILCON list, but there may be potential with HESCOs as troop training projects with RHS units to get after some of this.  SFG can work with CE on this.
  • Urinalysis Monitors.  Every unit is going to have folks trained to do monitor duty.  A tasker has been sent out to put together a group of certified personnel who can assist with unit-wide urinalysis sweeps.

Informational Items:

  • Resiliency Day. Check out the Facebook Live from 14 Aug to hear Colonel Bonetti’s and Chief Bettisworth’s thoughts on this important topic.
  • The Experimental Wing Concept. No major changes to the missile wing structure per AFGSC.
  • Professional Organizations within groups. It has been brought up that Airmen are not joining wing-wide groups because they are already involved within their Groups and Squadrons. It's all about the name.  Consider calling it a booster club vs “Top 3" / "Top 4".  The result is promotion of wing professional development organizations to inspire cross talk.
  • Balfour Beatty: There were more complaints about Balfour Beatty to include an absence of maintenance for housing, multiple people responding multiple times to fix issues. More information about the Military Housing Organization and the Complaint Resolution Process will be pushed out by Public Affairs. Also, a letter is heading to residents soon.  Folks should not be signing that they are satisfied with tasks if the task isn’t complete.  Own that.  AF-wide, we all need to be demanding customers to our contractors, but we have some responsibilities here to communicate what’s wrong and our level of satisfaction. Download the housing maintenance app located here.