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March/April responses to CC comments/suggestions

Col. James Phillips, 919th Special Operating Wing commander, has a direct line made available to all personnel through the use of suggestion boxes placed throughout the base such as the dining facility, gym, and customer service.  To receive a personal response when using the commander's suggestion box, leave your name, unit, and telephone number.  Responses regarding information of general interest to the community, submited anonymously, will be published on the 919th SOW SharePoint page. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jasmin Taylor)

Col. James Phillips, 919th Special Operating Wing commander, has a direct line made available to all personnel through the use of suggestion boxes placed throughout the base such as the dining facility, gym, and customer service. To receive a personal response when using the commander's suggestion box, leave your name, unit, and telephone number. Responses regarding information of general interest to the community, submited anonymously, will be published on the 919th SOW SharePoint page. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jasmin Taylor)

DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- The 919th Special Operations Wing commander installed commander's comments/suggestion boxes at various locations around the base. When the questions/comments are applicable wing-wide they will be published on the home page and members who provide their name and contact information will be contacted directly.

Here are the March and April comments/suggestions and the commander's responses:

MPF

Comment:  This MPF here at Duke Field is great.  I have never had any issues at this location as opposed to my servicing MPF at Hurlburt Field.

Response:  Thanks!  

Comment:  The wait time for an ID card is too long.  Maybe have two ID card machines? 

Response:  919th Special Operations Force Support Squadron has implemented a sign-in log/ appointment system to avoid long wait times.  The process is similar to what Eglin AFB has in place with their "Fast Pass" system.  Members can sign up for a time slot to get their ID card which will allow them to go back to their duty locations instead of waiting in the Customer Support section.  We currently have two machines, and will utilize them to the max extent possible during this time.

Comment:  The customer sign-in computer at the MPF waiting room needs to be fixed/operational. 

Response:   The customer sign-in computer was repaired, but since it relies on the R-drive, it will be available as soon as the drives are restored with proper access.
 
Fitness Center

Comment:  Exactly why can't retirees use the gym now?

Response:  The short answer is the 919th SOW does not receive the requisite funding to provide a facility that meets the requirements in order to operate the "gym" as a fitness and sport center allowing it to open the facility to dependents, retirees and others in the community who are allowed base access.

This answer needs further explanation.

The "gym" located on Duke Field is what is known as a Unit Physical Training Facility per AFI 34-266 and AFI 34-266_AFRC SUP.   The aforementioned AFIs, along with 919th SOWI 34-101 and a letter of agreement with the 96th Test Wing, govern the use, staffing and access to the UPTF. 

A UPTF differs significantly from what are known as Fitness and Sports Centers. FSCs are Category A activities per DoDD 1308.1 and DoDI 1015.10, Military Morale, Welfare And Recreation Programs.  FSCs are sized, funded, and staffed to meet the requirements for the entire population in the area, to include retirees and dependents.

The 919 SOW operates under a Joint Services Agreement with 96th TW and FSC criteria and obligations are met by the FSCs located on Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field.  The monies allocated to FSCs carry the requirement to provide, for example, all ball courts, group fitness, spin classes, etc. 

A UPTF, however, is a unit owned, funded and maintained facility NOT operated by a Force Support Squadron or services.  The purpose of a UPTF is unit fitness as opposed to military community to include retirees' fitness.  All UPTFs are funded by the individual units. In the case of the UPTF at Duke Field, the individual unit is at the 919th SOW.

This requires wing funds be used for wing personnel and others supporting the wing mission.  The 919th SOW does not receive the allocated funding required to support a FSC and all other requirements necessary to comply with regulations governing a FSC.  More importantly, safety is a central issue. FSCs are commonly staffed with services support, civilian hires, and on occasion volunteers. 

A UPTF has two limited options, staffing with a civilian hire or placing a military member on duty during normal hours of operation. Volunteers are not authorized. The UPTF is not designed or funded to support all needs of the community. Rather the 919th SOW UPTF is provided to fulfill the basic needs for improving and sustaining military fitness for the wing and those supporting the wing mission.

Comment:  Why did the gym hours change?

Response:  Per AFI 34-266, UPTFs require that the "Wingman system be used at all times," but we have no way to enforce that regulation if the fitness center is open.  In the interest of safety, more than one person needs to be in the facility at any given time. 

When establishing the current operating hours (0500-2200) I reviewed months of the old sign-in logs and determined that during those hours we designated were busy enough that I am comfortable that there is usually more than one person working out.  While there were scattered users between 2200 and 0500, they were few and far between. 

Roads

Comment:  Can the lines be repainted on all roads?  It is very hard to see at night especially when raining.

Response:  We have progressive plans to repave and stripe roads and parking lots on Duke, however the timing is dependent on funding availability

Awards

Comment:  Is there a designated writer for unit awards?  It has been a while since the unit earned an "outstanding unit" award.

Response:  There is no designated "writer" for unit awards; those awards are usually written by unit commanders and other unit leadership working with execs or others who are good writers or know the process.  At times it is hard to keep up with all the annual awards from AF, AFRC and AFSOC along with quarterly wing awards, PEP packages, PRFs, performance reports, etc.  It may simply be a case of not enough time to put together a package. 

I highly recommend that you get with your unit leadership and propose putting together a submission together and then assist with gathering the needed information and crafting the package.

Customer Service Offices

Comment:  Any office that has posted hours of operation and possible interaction with customers/members should also post something when the office is unmanned such as a "Be Back NLT----" , "Gone for the day", or "Out Sick".  If the posted hours only apply to UTA it should reflect that.  This would save time for customers to either wait or leave promptly and come back another day.

Response:  I agree.  Your time is valuable and shouldn't be wasted by repeated trips to an office just to find out that it is closed for the day instead of just for lunch.  We will work on getting signs or dry erase boards posted at offices that service customers. 

Bldg. 3076

Comment:  Can anything be done about the climate control issue in building 3076. 

Response:  We have an approved project to renovate Bldg. 3076, which will include major repairs to the HVAC system.  Design is scheduled to begin later this year, so work will not begin until FY16.  In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with Eglin CE to troubleshoot the current problems.

No Salute 

Comment:  The 7th SFG is a no-salute base.  We should make Duke Field a no-salute base.

Response:  I am not in favor of declaring Duke Field a no salute area.  The military salute is a time honored tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. It is a gesture of mutual trust and respect among those who wear the uniform.  I believe eliminating it would serve to create a loss of decorum across the base, and consequently we risk losing the high level of discipline that is expected of us. 

Our customs and courtesies are one of the many things that set us apart from other professionals.  When we don't value and uphold them, they lose their significance and eventually we lose them all together.  We should be proud of this tradition and welcome the opportunity to show respect among those we work and serve with.  In addition; only the installation commander (96 TW/CC) can designate no-salute areas.

Dining facility

Comment:  Could there be a way to provide/identify gluten-free food items at the DFAC? 

Response:  Currently, SODEXO, the contracted company for the DFAC, is working with their  culinary team to produce a listing of gluten free menu items.