NEWS | Sept. 19, 2017

Responses to questions asked during the August 628 ABW Commander's Call

By 628th Air Base Wing

Q: What does "restore readiness" mean to you? Does it include more money for formal or technical training at the squadron level?

A: One of the areas the Air Force took risk in during the recent (and current) reduced budgets was readiness. These risks took various forms, one of which was reduced funding for enhanced training TDYs. Required training for specific jobs continued, but there was reduced training opportunities for other types of training.  In the effort to restore readiness, I anticipate funding for these training opportunities returning.

Q: Can people “tag along”/volunteer for mobility missions?   

A: Unfortunately, due to mission requirements, extra personnel are unable to “tag along” on actual mobility missions. There are incentive/orientation flight opportunities throughout the year for various reasons such as for award winners. We will ensure information for these flights is publicized when they occur.  

Q: Can we add a Field Grade Officer category for annual and quarterly awards?

A: Yes, we can. Based on the request, we plan to implement this category beginning with the current quarter.

Q: Is there a completion date for the DFAC renovation?   

A: The current project for ‘behind the scenes’ facility work continues, with an estimated completion date of January 31, 2018. Additionally, we are continuing to finalize plans to unveil the Food 2.0 dining transformation, which is a separate project. We are excited with the plans for the Dining Facility, and can’t wait to open the doors to show you!  If the current completion date changes, we will be sure to communicate the new date. Rest assured, we will ensure the BAS Type II for those who normally use the DFAC does not lapse.

Q: Is there a chance to have a motorcycle safety ride on the flight line?   

A: This is something we will look into. While coordinating an event like this is challenging, if there is a desire for such an event we will look into the feasibility.

Q: Can we do food truck rallies on base a few times per year?

A: AAFES is actively working to meet requirements to bring food trucks on to the base. They’re excited about the possibility of putting a food truck rally together.

Q: Can we get more family friendly movies at the JB Charleston - WS theater? Especially when school is out, on weekends and in the summer?

A: Film selections are authorized/provided by Navy Motion Picture Service -- A limited number of first run and older films are provided each month. All first run films are scheduled for viewing when first run offerings do not meet the required viewing periods, older films are substituted. Family films are an option and we'll continue to make an effort to accommodate the entire community.

Q: Is there any word or guidance on when Airmen EPRs are to be loaded into VMPF/PRDA?

A: IAW AFI 36-2406, signed EPRs must be submitted to the MPS within 30 days past the established Static Closeout Date (SCOD) and processed to AFPC within 60 days past the SCOD. The upload of Amn EPRs into the individual's records once signed by all parties is a two-step process. The first step is the local Military Personnel Section (MPS) here at JB Charleston inputs the EPR rating into the Military Personnel Data System (MilPDS) which reflects instantaneously in the member's vMPF record. The second step is the EPR is submitted to AFPC and AFPC is then responsible for loading the EPR into the member's PRDA record. This often creates a lag time in which the member's MilPDS/vMPF record will reflect the EPR well before the EPR appears in the member's PRDA record.

Q: There is rumor of military uniform changes again across all branches to become similar colors with different patterns. Is this true?   

A: There have been some recent attempts to push the military into adopting a joint camouflage uniform (e.g. provisions have been considered in recent years’ National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA] directing the Pentagon to stop fielding service-specific camouflage patterns and instead develop a common pattern). However, no specific guidance, expectations or implementation timeline has been released of a joint camouflage uniform. 

Q: Can we get shower curtains up between stalls in the gym? No more prison showers please.  

A: There is a shower project in the works to get partitions in the men's locker room expected to be funded with EOY dollars. Hopefully you’ll see upgrades soon!

Q: Is someone going to fix the JB Charleston fitness center door used for after hour usage?

A: We are working with a company to renovate the internal hardware within the door frame. We have requested a rush on delivery but have not received a date of repair. In the meantime, keep letting the front desk of the Fitness Center know when you are having problems with the door or any other facility issue.


Q: Can you explain the new course 14/15 requirements per the new directive?   

A: Course 14 (formally SNCO Distance Learning Course [DLC]) is a prerequisite to attend SNCOA in-residence.  SNCOA in-residence is a requirement for promotion to Chief Master Sgt. Course 15 (formally NCO DLC) is a prerequisite to attend NCOA in-residence; NCOA in-residence is a requirement for Master Sgt. Additionally, time-in-service restrictions no longer apply allowing increased flexibility for personnel to initiate NCO/SNCO DLC self-enrollment. Please note: personnel who have completed ALS may enroll in NCO DLC (AF expectation is SSgt-selects enroll) and personnel who have completed NCOA may enroll in SNCO DLC (AF expects MSgt-selects to enroll). Moreover, there is no longer a 12-month suspense for completion from AFPC, although Air University (AU) course expiration timeframes remain IAW current AU policy. Lastly, SNCO DLC is no longer a requirement to be considered for Senior Rater endorsement/stratification.

 Q: Why are we waiting so long to send SrA to ALS (i.e. 6+ yrs TIS) here on JB Charleston?   

A: There are seven ALS classes held each year with a maximum capacity of 36 students per class. Selection is based on SSgt selection not time in service. Typically, the high-year tenure (HYT) Airmen are enrolled in the E and F class, which occurs from May - Aug. 

 

 Per AFI 36-2301, SrA attend ALS based on Priority.  Priorities are as follows:

                Priority 1:  Regular Air Force SSgts and SrA selected for promotion to SSgt.

                Priority 2:  Regular Air Force SrA between 3-6 years TIS.

                Priority 3:  Air Force Reserve Component Airmen.

                Priority 4:  Eligible Air Force and DoD civilians, sister Service E-4s and approved international        students.

 

Q: Are we going to be able to conceal carry on base?

A:  Concealed carry is restricted to Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) credentialed personnel, credentialed Civilian Law Enforcement on Official Duties and credentialed members of Defense Criminal Investigative Organizations as stated in AFI 31-101 IC3, para. 8.4.2.4.1.1. South Carolina Concealed Carry permit holders are not authorized to carry concealed weapons on any AMC installation including Joint Base Charleston.

Q: Can we shorten the traffic light at Dorchester gate around 1600?

A: Unfortunately, we are not able to shorten the light at the Dorchester Gate. The light timing on Dorchester Rd. is set to optimize overall traffic flow. It takes longer to get on to Dorchester Rd. due to the longer light. However, once you get on Dorchester Rd., traffic continues flowing.

Q: The road heading past outdoor recreation is overgrown with brush and has mud puddles. Any way we could fix the road and trees?

A: Yes, eventually. Base maintenance is limited by manning and funding constraints and work is accomplished based on priorities. This area has a lower priority so it does not get repaired/trimmed as often as other area due to manning and funding constraints. We will diligently work toward fixing this area.

Q: The flight line building T80 has some specific problems. There is insulation falling from the ceiling and there are flooding issues with heavy rain storms.

A:  We are aware that B80 is in bad shape and has flooding problems. There are two projects in the Facilities Program to address it. The ultimate solution is a MILCON project to replace it. However, MILCON funding has been directed towards new mission requirements so this is an out-year solution for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we’ve also programmed a repair project to bridge us to the MILCON. However, this repair project is also subject to a competitive funding process. We don’t project it to receive funding until FY20.  

Q: How do we get a cross walk on Dorchester Rd. for those in Hunley Park who want to walk to work or ride bikes? It's currently unsafe to do so.

A:  The base can request it through the South Carolina Department of Transportation. However, Dorchester is a main traffic artery to Summerville, and it is unlikely that there would be enough use to merit the traffic delays necessary to allow safe pedestrian crossing.

Q: Will there be any changes to the Child Development Center? There have been multiple issues with the infrastructure.  

A: Yes, we are working to award a Maintenance Access Study for this facility this September. A follow on project next year will implement the recommendations of the study.

Q: Will base housing provide pet waste bags and disposal containers. 

A: Unfortunately, pet ownership is the individual owner’s responsibility and housing does not currently have the funding to provide for this service.

Q: There is a sitting area intersection off roads Michigan and Maryland in Hunley Park and the trash hasn't been picked up in over two weeks. Animal waste bags etc. are on the ground.

A: Maintenance personnel missed this location when emptying the trash containers but it has been brought to their attention for future pickup.

Q: Do you see resources being shut down that are duplicated on the ABW and Navy?

 

A: Some resources which may seem duplicative on the Air Base and the Weapons Station are not really duplicative due to the different populations and the needs of the activities service. Every person should strive to eliminate waste and streamline processes (CPI - Continuous Process Improvement). Leadership at all levels welcomes feedback/input to eliminate duplication of effort so we can use our resources in the most productive/efficient manner.

 

Q: Chief, who can I talk to participate in the JSOP?

 

A: To participate in the Joint Service Orientation Program (JSOP), Airmen need to engage with their supervisors and/or flight chiefs for more information. The Group Superintendents pushed out the information on this program/initiative through their organizations. We are in the process of putting the pieces together on JSOP and believe it will be a very rewarding program to boost professional/personal career development.

 

Q: In The EPR system, many Airman are left with questions on why they were given the rating they were given. How can we give the Airmen more one on one time for explanations by their squadron leadership on the reasons why they received their rating?

 

A: EPR ratings should not come as a surprise to anyone. We have mandatory ACAs (Airman Comprehensive Assessments) to assist supervisors and subordinates assess duty performance. This tool also helps the supervisor tailor the feedback session to an Airman's specific needs. Proper feedback throughout the rating period should help all Airmen understand how they are performing and what areas they need to improve on. If Airmen feel they are not receiving enough feedback or one on one time with their supervisor, they have every opportunity to formally request feedback which is required to be provided within 30 days of the request (if at least 60 days have passed since the last feedback session). Additionally, the supervisor/rater must conduct an end of reporting period feedback session when an evaluation has been accomplished. This session must be conducted within 60 days of the close out date of the evaluation and serves two distinct purposes. The first is to review and discuss the previous reporting period and resulting EPR. The second is to establish expectations for the new reporting period.  

 

Q: What does resiliency mean to you?

 

A: The ability to recover or rebound quickly from adversity or life's challenges/obstacles. We will all face life's inevitable difficulties and we want to bounce back stronger, smarter and with more self-esteem. It's very important to me as a Wingman to help others grow stronger when they are facing tough times.  

 

Q: I'm new to stateside duty so I’m not sure what leave radius is. I've heard there is no radius in the states? Is this true? What is Wing leave policy?  

 

A: AFI 36-3003 (military leave program) recommends not putting mileage restrictions on leave. Therefore, we do not have a Wing policy limiting where someone can go on leave. However, unit commanders may require Airmen to be able to return to duty within a reasonable time in the event of an operational mission requirement such as a recall, unit alert, or unit emergency. It's also important to keep safety factors in mind in regards to driving (a good rule of thumb is no more than 8 hours of driving per day). There are other factors to consider as well, a good night's sleep, weather, driving at night, etc.     

 

Q: How do we get information on the 5/6 group?

 

A: The 5/6 meets the second Thursday of every month at 1130 at the Air Base Club. You can also contact the Wing 5/6 President (TSgt Christian Hubbard) or Vice President (SSgt Brian Corbin) for more information.