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Commander's suggestion box responses

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. -- Last month, the 919th Special Operations Wing installed Commander's Comments/Suggestion boxes at various locations around the base. The September unit training assembly was the first time they were checked. The vast majority of the comments came from the box at the fitness center, but there are a number of other boxes available throughout the base and in the 2nd Special Operations Squadron and 5th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field.

In the future, when the questions/comments are applicable wing-wide they will be published on our home page and members who provide their name and contact information will be contacted directly.

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

1. AC in the fitness center
Comment: The Fitness Center's air conditioner needs to be fixed.
Response: The issue with this is that when there are power spikes the A/C turns off and needs to be reset by CE. We will post the number for Command Post and the building managers, if the A/C is out contact them and they will call CE to have it reset.

2. Fans in fitness center
Comment: Please put fans in the shower areas and the aerobics room.
Response: Great idea. We'll purchase these fans as soon as funds become available.

3. No cold water in fitness center showers
Comment: There's no cold water in the showers; only hot.
Response: This problem was identified several weeks ago and as of this morning it is fixed.

4. New weights
Comment: The fitness center needs a free-weight squat rack, free-weight bench press and barbell benches
Response: With our limited space, this will mean we would have to lose some existing equipment. I'll see if there is anything that isn't used often to make way for new or different equipment as funds are available.

5. Power outlets
Comment: Can we get some outlets near the mirrors in the locker rooms?
Response: The request is already in to CE to have this done.

6. Mirrors
Comment: The gym could use some mirrors.
Response: We'll add them to the purchase list for new equipment and will get them as we have available funding.

7. Sign in
Comment: Get rid of the (fitness center) sign-in sheet. There's no value added.
Response: I disagree that there's no value added. That sheet allows me to see facility usage and peak times, so we can adjust the schedule of whoever is working in the facility, and to use in trying to get additional resources from higher headquarters. In the near future the sign-in sheet will be replaced by a swipe card system; more details will follow on this.

8. Cleanup?
Comment: The fitness center needs cleaning.
Response: This is something we all have to help with. I use the facility myself and want clean and sanitary conditions when I go in there. Please remember, this facility is owned and maintained by the wing; it's not part of the Health and Wellness Center system. The base cleaning contract only covers cleaning the restrooms, just like every other building on the base. During the previous UTA, the 919th Special Operations Force Support Squadron organized a clean-up that was very successful. We'll have more of them and there will be a rotating schedule showing which group on base is responsible to keep it clean. If you see a problem, please correct it or let me know then, instead of allowing it to worsen.

Obviously the fitness center is a hot issue. This is our facility, paid for and maintained by us with no support or manpower provided from outside of the wing. It is what we make of it. I'm dedicated to keeping it open, well-maintained and manned to as high a level as can be afforded. I want to keep the facility available to all of our wing members, active-duty Air Force members here at Duke Field, and our Army counterparts (with reciprocal right to their facility). In addition, construction has begun in the infield of the track on a new "combat fitness" pavilion. This is an open-sided building that will have cross fit-type equipment, and it should be open next spring. Thank you for the comments and suggestions. I hope to have several of the items addressed soon if they haven't been fixed already. Please keep the comments coming. If you're comfortable, provide your name and contact information in case we have follow-up questions for you or to let you know directly what is being done about the issue you bring up.