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1. When will CAE no longer need military member augmentation to train simulators?
A: CAE has markedly increased its efforts to reduce the training backlog beginning in July 21. The AF has decided to augment with uniformed instructors to further speed the elimination of the training backlog and deliver Airmen currently in training to their home locations. We expect end of January 2022 for augmentation cessation.
2. Is CAE being held accountable for failing in the training contract?
A: The Air Force is examining the CAE contact to determine if and how CAE should be held accountable for training delays. For legal reasons, we are unable to discuss details at this time.
3. Will there be more opportunities for incentive flights in the future?
A: Yes – OGV is working to establish a rotational (quarterly) schedule for orientation flights across the three aircraft here at Altus. When finalized, orientation flight opportunities will be communicated through your supervisory/leadership chain of command.
4. Why do we not have as many TDYs as other bases?
A: Our mission is centered on pipeline training here at the FTU, and most of our mission is accomplished locally. As we begin to incorporate Adaptive Training concepts into our operations, we predict that there will be additional TDY opportunities.
5. With the airlines reaching above pre-pandemic hiring levels, what is the 97 AMW to stem the loss of experienced aviators reaching the end of their pilot commitment?
A: The Air Force has a strategic plan to retain aviators; this effort is spearheaded by the Aircrew Task Force. They are currently working on ways to increase retention across the enterprise. Initiatives include: revisiting/updating the aircrew bonus, connecting aviators to the mission (a sense of purpose), various spouse initiatives, and continued engagement with local communities to optimize base/community relations and rapport.
Historically, 40% of pilots elect to continue service beyond the end of their pilot training commitment, and 60% of pilots leave to pursue other opportunities. These percentages vary slightly due to external circumstances. For example, during 2020, an average of 50% stayed in beyond their initial commitments due to decreased airline hiring opportunities (COVID-driven). Before COVID (pre-2020), airline hiring was at record high levels, pushing retention down close to 30% (some variance according to platform). We believe that connecting Airmen and families to a thriving, fulfilling team and mission is one of the keys to retaining our incredible Airmen and families. We can and will continue to positively influence their decisions by continuously striving to improve their quality of life and connection to service.
6. In regards to displaced training do you have an area in mind and will you be sending an attachment to assist TDY to perform home station duties for the training.
A: Several locations are on the table and have been visited previously, both locally and regionally (Kelly Field, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, Roswell, New Mexico). We will select the best location to suit training needs at the time. We plan to use these opportunities to develop our Multi-Capable Airmen initiatives where we can operate from these locations with little to no reach back from home station. That said, we will not move away from the on-station, bulk-training mission here at Altus, and will conduct opportune off-station training at sustainable intervals or when inclement weather dictates.
7. In regards to the Multi-capable Airman opportunities, what are some ways that I can get my Airmen in? They're interested, but unsure of the available options.
A: We have several initiatives and working groups getting after this initiative. Please reach out to your section and command team, as well as Capt. Ryan Andrews, LRS/DO can share when they hold weekly MCA Working Group meetings to see how your team can be involved!
8. Has the discussion of slowing the amount of students coming through came up because we aren’t going to get manning?
A: Thanks for the input. We do not control the PFT requirement set forth between AETC and AMC. These are required bodies for combatant commanders so those numbers going down or slowing do not appear to be on the horizon. AFPC is prioritizing FTU manning and projects near 100% instructor manning based on upcoming assignment cycles. This is the case for the KC-135 folks, and FY24 is looking better for both the KC-46 and C-17, but it will take a full assignment cycle for both. In the mean time, the incredible recovery on the KC-135 side (amazing effort from the team!) resulted in the end of the spring surge. However, we are now into sustainment and we encourage commanders to make micro-recovery opportunities where they can to reduce the burden on the individual member, and we have been conscious from a wing-level to provide that time solely to units during training days.
1. When will the DFAC open?
A: Originally, the DAFC was going to re-open in January, but unfortunately the project continues to delay; this has the full attention and engagement of base leadership.
2. Why are the prices at Outdoor Rec higher here than at Fort Sill?
A: We are not currently tracking higher Outdoor Rec prices at Altus AFB vs. Fort sill. Please call Outdoor Rec during working hours, and they will be able to assist with specific pricing. Outdoor Rec is closed on Wednesdays.
3. Are there plans for a new gym, or will the base gym be updated/remodeled?
A: A Fitness Center Charrette for a “Design-Bid-Build” was accomplished in the summer of 2021. This charrette was accomplished with the new allotted space per guidance for all AD, Retiree, & family members that make up the AAFB community. We anticipate the funding for a complete design of a new facility will happen in 2022 with an established construction date of 2024.
4. Will the base gym get a boxing / martial arts area?
A: No, the Fitness Center is not getting a designated martial arts/boxing area. However, with the new facility design, there will be more classrooms where martial arts/boxing classes can be conducted. Currently, the Fitness center has items for such classes, and racquetball courts 2 & 3 can be reserved to conduct martial arts programs. There’s also a heavy punching bag currently located in the north gym.
5. Are there any plans to upgrade our sporting complex, such as turf football/soccer & softball fields?
A: The discussion has taken place regarding a turf football field. Wing leadership is an advocate for an artificial turf field and we’re hopeful of getting there in the near future.
6. Are there any plans to expand the library and programs through the library?
A: There are no plans to expand the library at this time. Our library staff is always looking for new and exciting ideas to enhance our already excellent programing. We are always willing to listen to customers’ ideas to improve. Customers are encouraged to come by and discuss their ideas with Mr. Brandon Gipson, our librarian.
7. Can we get an indoor track?
A: An indoor track was added to the new Fitness Center Charrette for design approval to accommodate fitness testing during critical weather months.
8. Does Altus AFB have an eSports team?
A: FSS is planning to have an e-sports event tentatively scheduled for 22 February. The goal is to gauge interest and see if we have enough to start our own league.
9. Has there been discussion for more recreational programs, such as paintball, airsoft, etc.?
A: We currently contract monthly through Crossfire Paintball to offer a paintball event nearly every month. We have invested in and had on-base paintball operations twice over the last 10-15yrs. There was not enough interest/participation to sustain on-base beyond the first several weeks of operation. If our Airmen want an ODR program we are not offering, please let us know at the Outdoor Rec office or on the Altus ODR Facebook and FSS Facebook page. We will research and, if feasible, work to bring it to our Airmen. We love the opportunity to bring new and better programs!
10. When can we expect the restroom at the turf playground to reopen?
A: The restrooms adjacent to Wing Of Freedom Children’s Park, at the Chimney Park picnic pavilion, were unlocked and available throughout the spring and summer as they are every year. The Picnic/event Pavilion with restrooms near playgrounds & Dog Park at Excellence Park is available for use by paid reservation only with a deposit made at ODR. The bathrooms and food prep area remain locked unless checked out with a cleaning deposit, as they have for many years. Both facilities’ restrooms are presently disconnected from water service (winterized) until spring. They are not climate controlled or insulated and would suffer damage if left connected during the winter season.
11. Could you please explain the CCCA/CCCD assignment process?
A: The PSDG includes the process and guidance for applying for a CCCA/CCCD assignment. It is a tedious process with specific requirements and multiple steps. Below is an overview of the process from page 39 of the PSDG, which summarizes all the steps. At the MPF, unfortunately, we have no control over the requirements of the process. Our only role is to ensure the member has completed all requirements, then submit the CMS case to AFPC. If the member submits an incomplete package, we send it back and let the member know what is missing or what needs to be corrected. Click here for the document.
12. Can we get bigger beds in the dormitory?
A: The new dormitory (Dorm 220) was designed under the current single-occupancy standard allowing less floor space per room, but allowing for the on-suite bathroom and washer/dryer in each quad. The floor space does not allow for beds larger than twin size currently in rooms due to egress and safety concerns.
13. Is there a guarantee that the rates for the new townhouses will be affordable to single airmen in the E4 to E6 range?
A: While the local community works closely with the base to build to housing price-point and need, ultimately these price points are set by the owners of the complex. While in close proximity to installation, this is a commercial development not owned by the military, but we are optimistic it will help meet the needs of our Airmen and families.
14. Is there going to be any progress on getting better computers base wide to better help or work progress?
A: If you have obsolescent computer systems I’d like to know more about it please. Can you share the age/type of obsolescent system you’re using so we can better understand what you’re working with? Typically, each squadron is responsible for tech refresh of their computer systems, but the 97th Communications Squadron requests end of year funding to purchase about 300-600 computers to assist in this effort. This should be sufficient to replace most user systems every 4 years, so you have my attention if we have obsolete computer systems that are impeding your mission. Please contact the Communications Focal Point at 481-5341 for IT support questions, but also work this through your squadron commander as a Wing Commander priority if you are in the above category; CC me on email if you cannot get tracking with this and thank you!
15. Can all parks in the neighborhood have a shade overhang?
A: There are currently plans for most parks to have sun shades added to them, expect that each year we’ll install more sun-shades to provide better protection and relief for our neighborhood parks.
16. With tax rate increasing in Altus, is there any talk of adjusting BAS?
A: BAS is controlled at the DoD level and are approved rates across the military. The Wing does not directly influence the rate provided. However if you are facing financial hardship, there are several resources on base that may help. Your FSS and Airmen and Family Readiness Center are equipped to help provide this information and your supervisors can help to utilize those services as well!
17. How can we get Altus AFB Homes to agree to renovate but not agree to charge airman what their BAH rate is so we don’t have to come out of pocket over $200?
A: The rates set by Altus Housing is contractually obligated and is part of the privatized housing construct on most DoD installations. For families living on base it should be IAW dependent BAH based on the rank, if single and utilizing on-base housing, you will pay the dependent rates because you are occupying a family home. If this is not the situation, please work closely with your unit to get this scenario highlighted so it can be fixed.
18. Are there any intentions to install "sun covers" in the 331/220 dorm lots similar to the ones for 333?
A: Believe it or not, it is fairly complicated to purchase and install parking lot sun-shades but the Mighty 97th MSG has cracked the code previously. That said, 97 CES is working plans going forward to switch to more resilient sun shades, for example, a corrugated sloped metal roof, and these designs are in progress but aren’t readily available just yet. We’re committed to increasing the sun-shades for as many dorm lots as we can design, fund, and install.
19. Is there going to be new work on facilities for any expeditionary training we may have for near peer threats? Mock villages in particular or urban settings?
A: While we are adapting our training to orient to the pacing challenge (intel briefings, training scenarios, increased off-station participation in pacing-challenge exercises), we currently do not have extensive plans for facilities that meet the above description. Pre-deployment, tactical ground training will occur in spin-up to deployments or taskings for 97 AMW personnel.
20. Can we get more electric vehicle charging points on base?
A: We currently do not have specific plans to add charging ports to the installation based on the drive distance for most base personnel. However, we can look into additional charging options for dorm residents. We can also look into an additional charging stations at lodging. There are charging stations at Golf, Outdoor Recreation, and Bowling.
21. Will dorm 333 get renovated like the new dorms?
A: Dorm 333 was last renovated in 2013 and is due for a major renovation in 2038. If you have concerns about your room or conditions in general, please inform your airmen dorm leaders to submit a work order.
22. Can we help get funding for the irrigation system at the golf course?
A: We are adding this to the end of year, Unfunded Requirements List (UFR). We are also considering in-house options. We are proud of the golf course but also understand it is a challenge to keep up the irrigation and maintenance with the aging infrastructure. Thanks to the golf course team for keeping the course looking and playing as good as it is!
23. There is deli space at the BX. Can it be used in the near future to present more food options on base?
A: Numerous food options continue to try to establish themselves on base, however based on the financial income and the overhead to maintain, many locations have found it difficult to be successful. For example a smoothie establishment was planned in the BX, but fell through based on the corporation’s financial analysis. We continue to seek those options and have frequent engagements with the AAFES regional management.
24. I understand that certain housing has fences as part of home. Is there a different option for lower-tiered members to get a fence besides “renting” it for $300 per year?
A: Fences were installed during new homes constructed in 2008-2009 (Sequoia, Centennial, neighborhoods). However, they are required to maintain/mow their own lawns. Residents of other neighborhoods have the option to rent a fence, or they can install one IAW the community fencing guidelines. It sounds like this is your situation. We’re sensitive to the fact that it cost you money for a fence, and the resident advocacy team has worked hard to identify affordable options. We can see if there are other ways to crack this nut, but I’m not optimistic the market will support a cheaper option.
25. Why do we never seem to see help with enlisted manning? We only gain 3-level Airmen with no relief in sight. Add in multi-capable Airmen and it's just not sustainable.
A: I would love to hear more about your specific situation. Most of our manning is driven by UMD fill rates which can and do vary by function/AFSC. If your unit is below the appropriate manning, we may already be working to fix it. Please get us some more info by engaging with Chief Flores via your squadron leadership or directly if needed. As far as MCA, the intent is not to require or detract from your primary mission!
26. What happened to the DFAC? Closed for a year just to open and close again.
The DFAC experienced a fire suppression service line break under the building after and separate from construction which had the DFAC closed previously. The DFAC closed in April 2021 for repair of the facility HVAC and kitchen hood system. The fire suppression system was not part of the project, and was thought to be in a serviceable condition. The DFAC was open for to-go meals for approx. 24 hours and resumed full operation within 48 hours of the fire suppression line rupture.
27. How will the remodel of Capehart homes work with people living in them?
Remodeling will occur in a phased approach with the goal being no move out for residents during the remodel. Currently we are still finalizing those plans, but the goal is as little impact to the families as possible.
28. When are we going to see investment into our aging buildings (multiple buildings with leaking roofs/mold problems from wet drywall/moth and bee problems)?
A: We are currently undergoing a great deal of reno throughout the base and it is an ongoing process. New fire station, new dorms, new DFAC, remodel money for Capehart homes etc. However, we cannot simultaneously invest and repair all the buildings in need of work at once. Please pass along your concerns to unit leadership, especially if mold or animal/insect infestation…elevate to me and Chief Flores directly (with specifics) if you cannot get appropriate response otherwise.
29. With the Capehart housing renovation, is there an official start date for it and what will happen with Airman who currently live in it?
A: Official start date is TBD but the goal is minimal impact to Airmen. Details are still being finalized with a specific team working this issue. We have a working group made up of base experts and key resident council members who are building the renovation plan in coordination with our privatized housing management.
30. Is there anything in the works for base gym renovations? The weightlifting section is too small for both permanent party and trainees
A: In all of the Commander’s Calls sessions, the gym was a big topic and we hear you! We will begin to investigate what immediate things we can do to maximize space usage and then evaluate our long term plans for the gym with MILCON money and plans in the years to come. There is a plan to expand the fitness center to include an indoor track, however we are unlikely to receive funding for this project for several years, but we’ll keep advocating and optimizing in the mean time.
31. New floor plans are cool and all but what about energy upgrades to Capeheart? 80 degrees with fully-functional air conditioning is too much.
A: A big part of renovations is HVAC upgrade and repair, we have 70 Capehart units on-deck, with current-year funding to accomplish HVAC replacements; more to come as we lay in funding and renovation for the homes.
32. MyFSS…we were given a broken program with very little guidance on how to use it. When can we expect updates?
A: The AF has heard the tough roll-out of the program and is moving out to fix the issues ASAP. This has the attention of our AF leaders and they are moving to fix it. Please keep the specific feedback coming through your leadership to our FSS who can up-channel to drive progress.
33. Why did forgetting your CAC going through the main gate go from a quick name search to a hassle of having someone else to grab your CAC?
A: The security of the installation is something that I (and we all) take very seriously. Recent examples have shown that a name search via an alpha roster can result in unauthorized access to critical areas. The directive for AFI-compliant CAC access is something that we will continue to enforce to ensure the security of the installation and its mission.
34. Why not build more base housing?
A: There are many facets to this issue, but the short answer is that the privatized housing financial construct cannot support building more base housing in the near to mid term.
35. Certain jobs on base have alternate Altus AF ID's. Is that a good alternate for CAC at the gate?
A: While those exist the CAC will continue to remain the sole ID allowing base access (unless a visitor pass is given by SFS).
36. Are there any plans or options to keep the BX uniform clothing sales better stocked?
A: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will elevate and discuss with the regional BX leadership team. Can you provide what items were out of stock and for how long?
37. With most of these questions regarding CE projects or builds, how can CE keep up financially with base needs throughout inflation and budgeting?
A: We have both local squadrons dedicated solely to this question (Contracting Squadron) and also the Civil Engineering chain of command that extends all the way to the AF-level. However, the question of budget cost and inflation is something we are constantly dealing with to ensure we get what we need while protecting the taxpayer dollar.
38. Is there a possibility to get licensed barbers in the BX Exchange? Current style and ability of the barbers leaves limited type of haircuts they can perform.
A: We strive to get the highest quality personnel to serve the members of the 97th and for the Air Force. I’ll discuss this with AAFES leadership at our next meeting.
39. Can we get a sidewalk leading up to the base? Always see people walking on and off base and seems hazardous with all the traffic.
A: Agreed the safety and security of the installation and its personnel is key. While we do not have immediate plans for a sidewalk leading to base, the new gate will vastly change the face and approach to the main gate. This will include changes to the road structure and paths leading to and from base.
40. Sounds like the Reno at Capehart works out to about 50 dollars a square foot per home…is this expensive?
A: No, it is at or below the industry standard. Inflation and therefore the price of construction/renovation has gone up over the past two years. Though we can’t do everything we’d like to do with the funds available, we can get a lot done to enhance the customer experience in our Capehart homes.
41. How will you make sure upgrades made are what we actually want need (the people)? Not what leadership wants?
A: The Resident Advocate, the Military Housing Office, and the local BBC office are partnering to gather info from Capehart residents. I encourage you to attend BBC’s community huddle on the 20th at 5:30 PM at the BBC Community Center to provide input…Or give your input to the Resident Council Member for your area, who will be providing input to the process…or there will also be a survey sent to all Capehart residents. Any of the three will get your inputs documented. The inputs will be consolidated and provided to BBC corporate who will be hiring an architectural firm to design the renovations. Base leadership will be able to review the designs and cross check them with resident’s inputs. Bottom line: the lens we are looking through is the quality-of-life lens from our Airmen and family’s perspective.
42. Helping Agencies in 116 took away religious education classroom space. What is the plan to replace/provide classroom space?
A: My understanding is that you are still able to use any classroom space at Building 116. That said, I am committed to making sure you have the space you need, even if allocating/sharing an existing classroom that’s underutilized. I can think of some classrooms that have bandwidth available so push your needs through head chaplain and DS and we’ll gladly accommodate.
43. Can you look into the equipment at the hobby shop? The drive on lifts have been down for an extended period of time. They are greatly needed. Thanks
A: Yes, thanks for bringing this too our attention. Currently planned to be evaluated by an expert coming from Texas area. More to follow, but we are tracking the issue, thanks!
44. Rental price increases at MWR in my opinion have out priced equipment for a vast number of families. Can someone in the command team look into this issue?
A: The Command Team is aware and tracking this issue. However, the national increase the minimum wage has greatly influenced our budgets and services provided. The FSS and MSG employs a large number of federal employees who were benefactors of this policy change. However with that, in order to provide the same level of service, prices in certain areas had to be increased the same way it would for a business. We are committed to providing the best facilities and equipment for our Airmen but acknowledge that price changes will always impact our families.
45. What’s the latest update on Hangar 285? It is getting worse by the day.
A: The overall refurbishment project is too large to fund out of local (AAFB) money, but we have done several projects such as temp heat during February and March to offset the building’s deficiencies. We anticipate AF funding end of year funding FY23. I have prioritized it as my #1 on the centralized funding list that we advocate to AETC. CE is hopeful that centralized funding will be guaranteed in FY24 if not funded in FY23 end of year.
46. Can we get morning swim hours?
A: Limiting factors are manning and the $15 minimum wage increase affecting funding. We have it in the afternoon as historically that was the most requested time slot. We’re looking closely at this to see if there is more demand for AM hours.
47.How early will housing improvement start?
A: The funds are slated for FY23 so we would expect renovations to start within the year. It will take some time for BBC to accomplish the design, get it approved and then request the funds from AFCEC, but I expect things to move expeditiously in FY23. Our team is currently working the roll-out date and plan but we can expect it within the next year to initially begin!
48. A few bases have exception to policy letters (waivers) to extend the 10 day TLF reimbursement. It’s hurting a lot of families financially can we look into this?
A: Please send me further details. I am assuming you mean an extension to allow them to stay in the TLF longer and be reimbursed for it? We need more information as this could involve BAH and CPTS. That said, I’m interested in pulling every possible lever to support where we can.
49. Can new windows be put into the plan for housing updates?
A: Thanks for the great suggestion! This will be passed along to our planning team for the planned renovations, and we will see how far we can stretch the funding.
50. Can we at least extend the pool season? The weather is likely warm enough to keep it open half the year.
A: Every year at the end of summer we assess our ability to extend the pool season. Part of the problem becomes keeping life guards on duty as they return to school, but thanks for the input!
51. I'm having issues with bugs in the dorm.
A: Pest infestations are of course not satisfactory. Please send your dorm issues to the Airmen Dorm Leaders and they will submit a work order for a visit from Pest Management. If you are not getting responsive support, please elevate, and come back to CC’s Corner if it persists. Aside from that, please do remember to help alleviate the bug situation by proper housekeeping, sanitation and keeping open food away from living spaces.
52. When is the pay scale going to match across the board for civilians?
Please send me some more specifics of this question. The pay scale for civilians is complex and driven the DoD level. It is based on experience, type of work being accomplished as well as salary type (hourly, salary, etc). The positions in your unit are driven by pay type as well. With some more specifics on your concern we can hopefully get you a better answer!
53. Any idea when the housing area pool will open?
A: Altus AFB Homes (BBC) has struggled to find a plumber/certified pool attendant willing to take on opening and maintaining their pool. They are working with a new vendor to try to get it open before mid-August. BBC is also working on options to avoid this situation next year. We are advocating strongly to provide this service for the Altus Homes families.
54. Can unaccompanied Airmen have a housemate in base housing to get the cost below BAH?
A: Yes, they just need to report to the 97 CES Housing Office in bldg 358 with their assignment orders to verify eligibility and complete referral paperwork. Then go to the AAFB Homes Community Office to be added to the lease.
1. What are the initiatives to give medical group personnel equal time to recharge and refresh, considering they are not afforded AETC family days?
A: The Med group exec team has created a staggered schedule for each holiday. This creates teams that satisfy DHA access requirements while ensuring members receive their 4 day holiday weekend. Speak to MDG leadership for more details.
2. What is the status of booster shots for the COVID-19 vaccine, and will it be mandatory?
A: Boosters are available for most individuals. Call the appointment line to schedule your booster if interested. There is no language or discussion at this time to make boosters mandatory. However, it would not be surprising if boosters eventually become a routine disease prophylactic like an annual flu shot.
3. Regarding COVID policy, is there a way to interpret when the mask is required rather than seeking to affect the mask mandate?
A: This is an ongoing discussion as federal employees are currently bound to CDC-based community daily positive rates. Knowing we have a much higher vaccinated profile than Jackson County, and will continue to be so, has driven dialog with higher headquarters which is the ultimate authority to decide when masks will no longer be required.
4. Why is civilian COVID leave not approved after 30 Sep 21?
A: It is very circumstantial based on the type of civilian, vaccination status, and how much leave/sick leave is in the member's balance. Recommend passing the concern up the civilian chain of command to properly address the concern of having leave without pay while on quarantine.
5. When can members who haven't received a vaccine be able to not wear their mask at work?
A. For all members, mask wear will continue to be based on CV-19 community spread, local hospital capacity, and the overall health and safety of base personnel as informed by CDC guidelines and DoD/Service policy.
6. With strict laws against abortion in Texas and Oklahoma, are there any plans to ensure military members and their spouses will have access, if needed?
A: Access to care will continue in accordance with federal law and DoD policy. Please see below information for current policies. If you have additional questions please see your First Sergeant for details on your specific situation.
7. How often can we donate blood? Is it part of the armed services blood program?
A: The Flight Medicine clinic does not have a policy prohibiting flyers from giving blood. Any questions regarding flyers giving blood should be directed to the Flight Medicine clinic at 481-5230. Per the Red Cross you must wait 8 weeks (56 days) between donations. The base hosts the Oklahoma Blood Institute quarterly.
8. Why can’t men get plan Bs from the clinic?
A: Males requesting emergency contraceptives must present their ID card along with the ID card of the female beneficiary who will consume the medication. With both ID’s present, males can receive contraceptives from the clinic.
9. Timeline on children under 5 years old getting COVID shots? How will this affect the quarantine procedures for children at the CDC/YC?
A: The MDG is currently unable to offer the vaccination for children under 5 years old. Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years may obtain a Covid-19 vaccination from the Jackson County Health Department on a walk-in basis between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The MDG cannot comment on what the CDC/YC process will be for their quarantine procedures post vaccination. Per the Center for Disease Control, persons who are fully vaccinated AND up to date on any recommended booster shots are not required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact but may be asked to wear a mask for up to 10 days.
1. What is the latest information regarding the potential transition to narrative format award packages, and do you foresee us implementing it locally?
A: While discussions are ongoing, there has not been a definitive decision made regarding a transition to narrative format awards packages. There will be additional Wing guidance regarding award packages published in the near future.
2. With growing threats from adversaries, are there plans to increase Wing exercises to increase/strengthen readiness?
A: The OG has taken the lead on exercises, and the Adaptive Training Initiative is a key component of the training initiative. This will increase TDYs so that we can train in a more dynamic environment. It is additive and will not detract from the overall mission around the airfield at Altus. he IG team is working with the OG to ensure our overall Wing exercises are increasing/strengthening readiness.
3. Will there be an opportunity to shadow the Wing CC for a day program?
A: I will discuss a potential Commander for a Day program with my leadership team, and we will further explore options for this opportunity.
4. My wife is a teacher and is having to work an hour away because there aren't jobs in Altus. Is this something the spouse jobs program can help with?
A: Yes! We partnered our Airmen and Family Readiness Center with the non-profit, Military Spouse Employment Initiative; these organizations can help with things such as job searches or use of base/community work space in downtown built for virtual work! Information through Airmen and Family Readiness Center or on FB under Altus Military Spouse Initiative or at www.skillsforlifefoundation.org/okmsei
5. What are the plans for narrative writing with EPRs and awards, when will we start, are we close to a new writing guide?
A: As the Air Force rolls out narrative writing, we will have to adjust and learn as the process evolves, though the concept of writing in narrative style is not new. In addition to forthcoming AFPC guidance, you can expect a writing guide from the Wing that encompasses standards and expectations for all correspondence and evals or awards.
6. Can we have a combatives lab, things for boxing and stuff like that?
A: While some defenders have course similar to this in order to perform their mission duties, there are no plans for future additions of on-base offerings such as this, however there are multiple locations within the town that offer these services. I personally like the idea, however we haven’t seen data that shows there is enough demand to meet the investment when off-base options are meeting our needs well.
7. Is the JFTR going to catchup with the spike in our gas prices? Are you aware of anything on the horizon?
A: Effective from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, the rates have changed. The rates are accessible by the link: https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/Mileage.cfm
8. Is there a way to ensure the new off-base housing will remain rank appropriate/ affordable (NCOs and JCGOs)?
A: The local community works closely with the base to build to housing price-point and need, there are several developments that are currently building to the NCO and JCGO categories which has been helpful. We are continuing to work with your community partners to build-to-need in the NCO and JCGO price point.
9. With the plan to go off station during inclement weather, what plan is in place to support family who are left behind at Altus during inclement weather?
A: As with our two full aircraft fly-offs last fall and spring, and our multiple off-station TDYs, we have robust support through your Squadron Command Teams, supervisors, Key Spouses, Airmen and Family Readiness, and leadership at all echelons. Please let us know if you have not received adequate support or have a need you anticipate won’t be met. There is no higher priority than support to our Airmen and families, particularly when the member is off station.
10. We should push spouse employment to fill positions on base. What are leadership's thoughts?
A: We highly encourage spouses to fill positions on-base based on their own desires and family circumstances. Our very own Command Chief Flores’ spouse works in the FSS and our incredible front office secretary is also a military spouse. I encourage spouses to look and apply for jobs via USAJobs.com and in some cases may qualify for specialized hiring based on being a military family. Our, Civilian Personnel Office (CPO, Bldg 52) sponsors the Military Spouse Preference Program. Military spouses are encouraged to contact CPO to find out if they are eligible for the program.
11. Are we doing a fly off for all the aircraft in preparation for the air show?
A: The details of parking locations and where we will place aircraft during the airshow is still being finalized. Between local airfields (Clinton-Sherman) and the space on the base, we are confident at this point a fly-off would be minimal if necessary at all.
12. Can we open up the ramp to come on base?
A: The ramp was closed as a force protection measure due to the number of individuals without base access inadvertently using that road. They would then realize it is an AF base, have to go through the gate and turn around to go back off. SFS dealt with 50+ cases of this PER DAY. As a result, we closed it to move traffic down the main artery, force a decision to turn left versus inadvertent funneling with the ramp, and we also increased signage to reduce these cases. As a result, it will remain closed to reduce the work load on our Defenders in dealing with non-base populace, until we get a proper front gate remodel.
13. Are we going to pay for motorcycle safety training off base for people that don't have a bike to take the on base course?
A: Wing Safety is working on a plan to get a qualified MSF trainer here to train more Rider Coaches. Please contact the safety office to see if there is an option for off-base courses that could be compensated to the member.
14. Question on birth control is similar to abortion rights but a standalone issue because there is med faculty who don't prescribe out of religious beliefs
A: Medical staff are allowed to refrain from participating in certain medical practices they believe go against their religious/spiritual beliefs however, these providers should be referring patients to a provider or facility, on or off base, who is able/willing to provide the requested services. If this is not happening, please notify the MDG via a comment card/JOES survey or by speaking with one of our Patient Advocates. Please elevate via email to MDG leadership if you do not think the above is working.
15. With manning being a challenge across the installation, what are the plans to try and keep the experienced people we already have?
A: Keeping and developing experience is always a concern in any organization both government and private. While we are committed to doing what it takes to keep talent, we face unique issues here in Altus. On the military side, we will continue to recruit and gain experience according to UMDs and the established military system to PCS members. On the civilian side we have multiple retention tools, bonuses and relocation allowances in order to get talent to get to Altus. We have seen some recent success with these tools, particularly on the MXG side. For civilian hiring, please reach out to CPO to see if your civilian positions qualify for some of these benefits.
16. When are 5k runs, volunteer opportunities, events with the city of Altus?
A: There are multiple resources within the unit, via advertising on-base and through Social Media to highlight events both on and off base. I encourage you to download the FSS app for more news on the happenings around Altus. Also look out for the splash pages on computer login as well as PA updates via e-mail and the official Altus AFB page for news on events!
17. Are you going to fund more motorcycle MSF rider Coaches for the base?
A: Wing Safety is working on a plan to get a qualified MSF trainer here to train more rider coaches.
18. I know other bases in sequential “hot” weather are allowed to wear PT gear because of the weather. Could we possibly look into this problem and find a solution?
A: This is a difficult question to give a specific answer without knowing your situation. The uniforms we are issues are utility uniforms meant for work in all environments and allow for removing blouse etc, if permitted by AFI and the operational environment. The PT uniform is specifically for physical training. Please send me the specifics of your situation and how you feel the PT uniform would help without sacrificing the mission or your safety and we can look at it!
19. What are ways to hopefully increase BAH or BAS for us stationed here? We are not immune to current inflation.
A: Agreed, we are all feeling the pinch of inflation currently in particular our younger Airmen and families. However BAH and BAS is set by DoD policy and not locally but our MSG has been historically very good at providing data and has had BAH increases almost every year for the last 5 years. In fact, our Amn and NCO demographics have seen significant increases year-on-year; I expect our MSG will continue to provide this data to DoD, and we’ll see increases if/where warranted.
20. What is the pulse on paying back BAS 2? Will the Amn have to pay back incrementally? Does convalescent leave and different types of leave have to be paid?
A: Once the BAS II debts have been established each member should receive a debt letter with the amount of the debt as well as their options for repayment. They will be able to pay the debts incrementally. Any type of leave/TDY period was not an authorized time period to receive BAS II, which is why the debts are being established.
21. Has a monthly rental rate been projected for The Trails at Veterans Court townhomes? If so, what are the ranges?
A: The final rent cost has not been decided and will of course be based on home type and size but its target is the E4-E6 range as well as O-1 and O-2.
22. Is there a way we can create on base housing that is deemed “single housing”? Although desired, there is a lack of rental properties off base under single BAH.
A: While I wish we could do something like this, we cannot. We are contractually obligated for family housing, single Airmen can live in dorms (if eligible). The market while not robust in Altus, single members have more opportunity than single family dwellings for occupancy so we cannot give up family homes to single Airmen. However, we do understand that the rental cost causes hardship for some single members and families. We are working through the city and where we can on-base to get more opportunities for you!
23. If there is a hail storm will the Air Force pay for the damage of my car?
A “non-household goods” claim can be submitted to the Air Force Claims Service Center website (https://claims.jag.af.mil/) for damage caused by extreme weather to a vehicle parked on base. However, members are still required to file with their insurance first. Make sure to gather evidence of the damage such as photos, repair estimates, etc. Contact the legal office if you need assistance with the process.
1. After all the recent rain the Mosquitoes are terrible. I’m staying at the FAMCAMP and have to walk my dog every morning and evening and we get a attacked. Does Altus AFB spray for mosquitoes or is that something that can be arranged?
A: I share your concerns regarding the current mosquito situation on base and in the Altus area. I too have been swatting mosquitoes every time I’m outside and my 5 and 8 year olds are going stir crazy. Bottom line, I want our families and children to be able to safely enjoy the outdoors and we are assertively working to get this under control. As of 7 July, our 97th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Pest Management shop started fogging for mosquitoes and will continue to do so through 30 July, or until mosquito populations are under control. Fogging operations on main base, to include the Fam Camp and the golf course, will be from 1900-2100 and in base housing from 2100-2300. It is important that personnel remain indoors during those times and for 30 to 45 minutes after the fogging truck has left your area. We are also abating the larvae in standing water throughout the housing areas. Outside of the base, the City of Altus conducted mosquito fogging operations in town on 7 and 8 July so that should also help. If you need any more information, you can contact our Pest Management office at (580) 481-7098.
2. The CDC is hanging on by a thread because they can't keep workers. What can we do to support the workers there so it can stay open?
A: The CDC employees will get a pay bump starting in October. This will apply to all current and future employees, and should stabilize our employment at this critical resource for our families.
3. What will be done to address our BAH being lower than the current cost of housing?
A: Altus has been fortunate to receive two BAH increases in the past three years, however, there is still more work to be done. The Command Team fully supports a re-evaluation of the BAH rates at Altus and is engaging through the appropriate channels to address our housing rates.
4. Can we start a nose art program similar to Mildenhall?
A: While heritage is something we fully support, at this time there is not sufficient appetite at the HAF level to pursue a nose-art program.
5. How would an E4 or lower ranking member be able to have a sit down discussion with you?
A: Our goal is always that Chief and I will be out and about enough to where it is likely that we will find you before you find us. That said, if you would like a sit down discussion, you can always ask the front office for time with myself or Chief just please give your chain a courtesy heads-up.
6. Will there be officer and enlisted and civilian mentoring sessions?
A: Absolutely! One of the keys to the vision of growing inspired, proficient and adaptive Airmen is a very deliberate and dedicated mentoring schedule. More to follow on this but it’s in works.
7. When will crash pads be able to operate normally again?
A: Currently, the City of Altus is limiting crash pads to single occupancy. There are no current Wing policy restrictions on crash pads.
8. What are you hoping to change during your tenure?
A: The short term plan is to align the base vision. As a command team, we are in observe and learn mode until the new vision is established.
9. Can we have a base car wash?
A: The Auto Hobby shop has a manual car wash bay for this purpose. There are also many nearby car washes available off base. It is not cost effective to construct an automated car wash on base.
10. Is there a way to update the elementary school or have a new one built?
A: We have highlighted the current facility challenges Rivers Elementary faces to our congressional leadership and will continue to pursue improvements to this vital part of our installation.
11. Will you bring back the festivals and air show?
A: The command team is supportive of pursuing an air show, let’s see what we can get done in this area!
12. Do you have a rough estimate on when the new dorms will be done?
A: The current new dorm under construction is scheduled to be completed in February of 2022. Construction of the second dorm will begin after the completion of the first.
13. What intramural sports will you participate in?
A: I will definitely play softball and volleyball when my schedule allows and perhaps some soccer too since I just came from the U.K. ;-)
14. What intramural sports are going to be authorized in the coming seasons? I know most were canceled due to COVID.
A: All intramural sports will be authorized.
15. Is there any possibility of the Jasmine Gate opening in the future?
A: Jasmine Gate is not in consideration to be opened at this time. The force protection impacts and manning requirements outweigh the convenience benefits of opening the gate.
16. When can we expect to get more popular food options on base?
A: There are several food options on Altus AFB. In addition to the Club, bowling alley and DFAC, AAFES contracted for Meat Head Ed’s Food truck (weekly) and a Cajun food truck (intermittent). AAFES is also working the contract for a food vendor inside the building. This vendor (Bun-D) is expected to start operating around December and will serve smoothies, rice bowls, wraps and salads.
17. What do y’all, as wing leaders, plan to do to attack airman suicide rates on/off base?
A: Simply put, everything possible. This is an issue that deeply affects all of us and we plan to address it from every angle. I have asked for a Campfire Meeting with all the helping agencies to discuss a collective approach to making a positive difference. I believe we can make progress through sincere engagement and support at all levels.
18. What is your focus/priorities as the commander?
A: The focus and priorities will be developed by the command team after a short term of vision alignment. The command team will be holding an off-site meeting in August to address this.
19. With COVID calming down, will you push for the Demo teams to come back? What about Space-A?
A: There is not much appetite for Demo teams at the NAF level. This will not likely change in the near future. I think Space-A is a tremendous opportunity for our Airmen, and the Command Team will look into how we can make this happen.
20. Why do the FTUs have to take deployments when coast AMC bases are overmanned?
A: In order to maintain operational credibility, the MAJCOM has deemed it important that AETC bases still maintain their share of deployments.
21. Would you be willing to investigate the IG and EO’s effectiveness of their services?
A: Like all base agencies, the IG and EO are inspected and evaluated by higher-headquarters programs and the MAJCOM IG/EO. If there is evidence of unlawful, immoral, or unethical actions from any organization please provide those details and we will look into it. If you are not getting the answers and services you need from these offices, please elevate through your chain of command. If you cannot go through your chain, then please get your concern to me. I expect our IG and EO to provide the highest level of service to our Airmen.
22. Can we get more activities on base for Airmen since there isn’t anything to do in Altus?
A: The command team will strive to make Altus AFB a premier base. If you have ideas for improvement please share and we will work to make them a reality.
23. Why isn’t grass getting cut?
A: The grounds maintenance in base housing is provided by a contractor that works for BBC. Heavy rain this month has made it more difficult to keep up with given growth rate and inability to mow when wet; however, BBC has issued a letter of non-conformance to the contractor requiring them to provide a “get well plan”. If standards are not met in a timely manner, then BBC will initiate action to replace the existing contractor.
24. Is there any chance Balfour Beatty will be replaced?
A: Unfortunately, the command team has no input over the privatized housing contract on base. However, we will absolutely work to hold Balfour Beatty accountable to the contract standard to ensure our Airmen are taken care of.
25. For the upcoming PT test, are the new running options available?
A: As HAF guidance on PT tests are changed, the base will ensure all PT test options are available.
26. How does someone deal with homophobic and/or racist coworkers? Who do we report that to?
A: These behaviors are not in line with the AF 1-1 and will absolutely not be tolerated on this installation. If observed, please report these behaviors to your chain of command and the Equal Opportunity office.
27. Will civilian personnel be held accountable for their actions?
A: All Airmen, military and civilian, will be held accountable to the standards.
28. Is confidentiality going away in the military? Members don’t feel comfortable coming forward to OSI, IG, etc. due to their name being released to the ‘accused’.
A: From my view, confidentiality is not going away through I need to know more context to better answer your question. Are you referring to EO, SARC, or other agencies so I can get you a more specific answer?
29. Do you think the vaccine will ever become mandatory?
A: Yes, it is likely that once emergency use authorization is upgraded to full approval that the DoD will pursue mandatory vaccination.
30. How will our enlisted be empowered when civilian personnel sit in key positions?
A: Our frontline supervisors should still be supervising. Our civilian teammates will be more than willing help frontline supervisors spread their wings and grow. If there is a situation where a member is intentionally stifling subordinate growth then please let us know.
31. What is your plan to help boost Airman morale around the base?
A: The Command Team’s goal is to make Altus a premier installation. That includes taking a hard look at our existing facilities and morale offerings and making continual improvements on the incredible work of prior administrations.
32. Since it got rained out; can we redo the base championship tournament (golf)?
A: The rescheduled tournament will be held on July 26.
33. Why is it mission first and Airmen second? Don’t Airmen complete the mission?
A: You are correct, it is absolutely Airmen that complete the mission! Note that the priorities are not in order and don’t have numbers so there is no intent to prioritize one over the over. Most times we put mission first in the lineup because that’s the reason we are all here so it’s good to start there to connect to our purpose.
34. What are your thoughts on environmental efforts for this base and making the base more eco friendly? For example: Recycling for housing, recycling personal electronics, etc.
A: Recycling is offered for all base personnel. Any person with access to Altus AFB is welcome to drop-off recycling at the Altus AFB Recycling Center, building 400. The list of recycling capabilities is plastics (1&2), paper (bagged shredded, and whole paper), cardboard, metals and household hazardous waste. Personal electronics and glass do not have a solicited buyer and therefore are not collected. However, the environmental office is working with the City of Altus on an electronics recycling opportunity. The environmental effort is very robust on Altus AFB and we encourage you to “Like” the Altus AFB Environmental Facebook page and please read the attached “Green Gazette for additional information.
35. Any way to upgrade living in dorms? Mini fridges aren’t nice with no DFAC.
A: The electrical infrastructure for dorm 331 will not support full sized fridges in each room. Upon completion of our new dorm (Dorm 220, in Feb 2022), dorm 331 will be renovated. Amongst many other upgrades this will include the electrical infrastructure to support full size fridges. Dorm Airmen are currently receiving double-rate BAS while the DFAC is under repair to compensate for the fact they do not have adequate food storage.
36. How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
A: It’s important to recognize and accept that leadership is a human endeavor and conflicts and obstacles are part of the experience. Most teams thrive when they are able to overcome conflicts and obstacles, it’s what makes teamwork fun!
37. How would you suggest we fix the “us/them” mentality that exists between military and civilian Airmen?
A: When we put the mission into focus there is no “us/them”. I don’t see any difference between military and civilian so it’s just “we”. If we continue to communicate with each other and recognize that we’re teammates committed to the same mission, all will be well.
38. Is there any possibility of getting additional civilian positions in the flying squadrons to take some responsibilities such as resource advisor, facility manager, deployment manager, etc. off of Aircrew so that we can focus on our mission?
A: We are looking into this. If there is a way to resource and support all units, both flying and non-flying, in this shared problem set then that would be a win.
39. How do we modernize our sections when the Unionized civilians have full bargaining power over the operational capability of our squadrons?
A: There is a lot behind this question. Can you paint the picture of how a Unionized employee can affect “operational capability”? Can you provide an example so I can better understand what you are asking?
40. Oklahoma is a Constitutional Carry state, I’d feel a lot safer if I was able to keep my handgun in my vehicle for travelling to/from work. Is it possible to get permission to keep a handgun in our vehicles?
A: There is an option for individuals to have their firearm while in transit on base called Trusted Transport. Under this program, your commander or equivalent can grant you permission to carry a firearm on base for purposes of traveling from the gate to an authorized storage location on the installation. The designated storage locations on Altus Air Force Base are the Security Forces Armory in Building 130 or, if you live on base, your base residence. Firearms can also be transported from an authorized storage location to a recreational facility. Additional stops apart from these locations are not authorized.
For further information and a more detailed description of what the commander approval process looks like, I encourage you to read the Altus AFB Integrated Defense Plan (IDP) 31-101, specifically Tab H to Appendix 2 to Annex B, paragraph 3.c. and paragraph 4. If you have any additional questions, you can contact our Security Forces Police Services at (580) 481-6124. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your question!
Do you have a question for the commander? If you have a problem or concern, he wants to hear about it. Please submit your question anonymously or with your name to firstname.lastname@example.org.