commander's corner, commanders corner, Altus AFB, questions, wing commander
A: I fully support all ideas on ways for us to safely come together as a team. If you have other ideas let’s hear them and come up with a plan.
A: This is an ongoing issue that our golf course ground maintenance continues to address. Over the summer we had a number of irrigation system breaks. Each time this happens the water must be turned off to the whole course which causes issues through out. Due to the high heats this summer, the impact of lack of watering is seen very quickly with a lengthy recovery time. The ground maintenance team has been inter-seeding the greens and has already seen great results. Additionally, the golf course has recently put in a new putting green and has an ongoing bunker project to revitalize the bunkers.
A: The decision to convert our maintenance group from Military to Civilian was done many years ago. Doing so enabled the Air Force to reallocate those active duty billets elsewhere in the enterprise. While our Nation’s economic cycle sometimes makes it harder to recruit civilians to come to Altus, I firmly believe in the benefit we gain from our civilian maintainers in terms of expertise and continuity on our aircraft. We will continue to work hard to recruit the civilian maintainers we need.
A: Recently, an MFR includes information about how the PT testing process has been modified. There are no official changes to the test itself in the AFI, just when the waist measurement is completed and the ability to do a mock/no-fail PT test within the testing window. I expect a change to the AFI coming soon.
A: I’m not aware of the requirement but this is certainly something we can look into.
A: AAFES gets first right of refusal for this. Requests for increased AAFES offerings can be sent to Ms. Lafaye Miller at Millerla@aafes.com. If they decline to pursue a food truck, a formal request can be made to the NAF contracting officer in FSS for concessionaire bids. The FSS attempted to get a food truck through the dining facility contract when we renovated Hangar 97 but they deemed it cost prohibitive.
A: Yes, if anyone calls Command post and ask to be transfer to me, Chief Kay, I will come get them in the local area.
A: All civilian positions at the 97 MDG are graded as required by AFPC guidelines, generally based on a standard core document for that type of position. It is possible that the US Army might grade a position with similar duties differently than the AF. As part of the transition of all CONUS medical treatment facilities to DHA, Air Force civilian employees at affected MTFs are expected to become DOD civilians. However, it is currently unclear if all AF civilians in MTFs will transfer to DOD or when that will happen, so it is difficult to say whether a specific employee will transfer to DOD. Additionally, DHA's current policy is that all civilians that transfer to DOD positions will remain in their current grade at their current pay. The best answer I can give at this time is that even though the 97 MDG transfers to DHA on 1 October 2019, I do not anticipate any changes in civilian pay or positions in the near future.
A: We are always looking to revamp and add new things to the lineup. In the past couple of months, we have added Trivia Nights, Open Mic Nights, and Game of Drones to name a few. Additionally, we have had an Air Force Entertainment Comedy Variety Show at the Theater and had our first ever Rocktoberfest on 28 Sep. If you have suggestions that you think people would be interested in please see the staff at the FCC.
A: Unfortunately, no. The primary deficiency with housing in Altus is the lack of multi-family type housing (town homes and apartments). Crash Pads are largely single family type houses. That said, the reduction of “Crash Pads” could potentially increase the number of three and four bedroom homes available, which could help slightly, but not solve the overall problem. The bulk of the solution will come with development of large multi-family housing complexes.
A: AADD operates Friday and Saturday nights from 1830-0300, number is 580-481-7433 and they will return you to your residence. They occasionally operate during other holidays or big sporting events like the Super Bowl. The Altus Drunk Bus is 580-482-5043 and will take you anywhere in Altus. Additionally, there is at least one Uber driver in Altus and he has base access.
A: Red River Inn will not be privatized. Many of the buildings and rooms have recently undergone a soft revamp which includes linens, curtains and two facilities are scheduled to undergo a full revamp which includes new linens, furniture, carpet and décor in FY 20. We are looking into various possibilities of what to do with some of our older and unused billeting. One idea is to convert them into some type of resident housing.
A: There are roughly 850 DoD dependents in Altus Public schools and about 130 in Navajo schools. Exact numbers won’t be available till later this year.
A: Altus AFB and BBC have developed an excellent working partnership. For example, an AF representative is now involved in 100% of Move-In and Move-Out events and any expenses projected onto the resident will be validated by an Altus AFB representative. Additionally, an Altus AFB representative is monitoring all maintenance feedback that is being performed by the residents in an effort to identify issues or trends. BBC has recently made their “work order” program for unit maintenance web-based so that the resident can track the work order through its entire life-cycle. Furthermore, BBC has recently expanded the pool deck with the addition of sunshades, completed the replacement of multiple fire hydrants, and added plank flooring to many of the units which had not been previously renovated. Finally, BBC is currently in progress to perform repairs to streets, sidewalks, and curbs, and to bring four units back on-line that had previously been condemned.
A: That is a question that your Altus AFB leadership team has posed to the highest levels of AF leadership. It is our aim to ultimately rectify this situation. The primary issue is in regards to the data which BAH is calculated. The two cities share some data, but not all. In the end, they won’t be the exact same, but we’ve identified areas where we believe they should be much closer than they are. Again, this issue has the attention of your leadership and we will continue to pursue resolution.
A: Every offering at Club Altus is open to Airmen of all ages, UFC Fight Night, Open Mike, Trivia Night, NFL Sundays etc. The only restriction to those under 21 is the purchase and consumption of alcohol.
A: We looked at this hard and decided not to reopen it. For more info, please review the video I recently made that explains this subject in greater depth. It can be found on the Wing’s Facebook page and my Instagram (97AMW_CC). Click here: https://www.altus.af.mil/News/Video/videoid/716626/
A: Unfortunately the base population does not support a food court with the same options that are available within a five minute drive off base.
A: No MILCON money has been diverted away from Altus. In fact, last week we received the approval for the remaining funds to award a new 116-person permanent party dorm. After design is complete, we expect work to begin in the summer of 2020. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to pursue O&M funded construction projects across the base and anticipate some success in getting projects funded for FY21 and beyond.
A: The road has been scheduled, advocated, funded, and awarded. It is phase 7 of the current road project. Presently, the contractor has run into difficulties on phase 6 (Ordnance Road) and has not yet proceeded to phase 7. Once these issues are addressed, Phase 7 will move forward.
A: We are attacking this on several fronts and welcome any ideas you may have. On the political front, Oklahoma recently passed a new law that any other state license can be transferred into Oklahoma. We are also pursuing a venue that would enable spouses to telework to jobs. We will keep you updated on progress.
A: We have the Grow Your Own Maintainer program and we also attend trade shows for recruiting efforts. We are also working to get other Grow Your Own Maintainer programs at schools around Oklahoma to increase manning.
A: In 2017 we had Sundance Head in concert and in 2018 we had The Plain White T’s and We The Kings Concert. These concerts were brought in by Air Force Entertainment. Unfortunately, we were not on the concert circuit for 2019, but we reach out to them often in hopes to bring another concert here to Altus. In the meantime, the FSS brought a couple of bands to the stage for Rocktoberfest on 28 Sep!
A: There are no plans to expand the medical staff at the 97 MDG. There are several primary care providers, including female providers, at the 97 MDG who offer women's health services. However, none of those providers are an OB/GYN specialist, and if you require the services of a specialist, the 97 MDG has no choice but to refer you to the local network.
A: The 97 CS scans the network for issues and a few months back targeted issues that were slowing down the network. Otherwise there are close to 3 thousand or more users on the network which is the main reason the network is slow. We also recently tweaked the footprint some. But, remember, it’s a free service we provide that gives you a basic level of service. Very few installations provide this level of service and if you require more, there are several local providers that will provide you the required bandwidth at a cost.
A: The drinks at Club Altus are comparable to most places downtown. Here is the price range for alcohol at May’s Lounge.
Bottled beer: $2.75-$3.75
Draft beer: $2.50-$4.50
Beer pitchers: $7.50-14.50
Mixed drinks: $4.00-$6.50
A: This is a question that Altus AFB leadership has been asking for many years. The sad truth is that the finances of the AETC Group 1 project were not viable enough to provide replacement of the units pre-hurricane. Now with the situation at Tyndall, it is likely that the project will have to be “restructured” financially. What this means is not known at this time; all we know is that the AF and BBC are both committed to trying to make the project viable for the future.
A: My approach is to look at every case individually against the current and projected manning health of the FTU. I do not have any hard and fast rules.
A: We are actively working to increase housing opportunities for all younger Airmen. Altus AFB will be constructing a new 116-person dorm (estimated completion, Dec 2021). This will alleviate the need to push single Airmen out of the dorms prior to their 3rd year of service. This will also will reduce the average number of additional single Airmen seeking housing by 80 members, thereby providing additional opportunity to those who are over 3 years of service. Altus AFB is also working with the community to initiate development of additional multi-family housing (townhouses, condos). This will provide more opportunities for younger Airmen with dependents, thereby again increasing availability of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for single Airmen. As to the statement of BBC charging dependent rate even if you are single, this unfortunately will not change. The “Transaction Documents” that governed the transition to privatized housing (developed by the AF) require that BBC always charge “Dependent Rate” for rent.
A: You’ve correctly identified why the housing challenge is so hard. There are no easy answers. Civilian pay is governed by the DoD depending on the wage scale. In general, it goes up with inflation every year and is not locally controlled. Unfortunately off base housing is not controlled by any governmental agency.
A: According to staffers in AETC/A4 the e-SSS is with AETC/CC for signature to formalize the process of uniforms for civilians (something that should have been in place long ago). The suspense was 11 Oct. Once that is complete AETC/FM will authorize the clothing allowance.
A: Yes it will. The “Transaction Documents” require that civilian residents pay rent equivalent plus $1 for the BAH rate for the highest rank of that designated neighborhood. Therefore, if you live in an area designated for O-3 thru O-5, as a civilian you will pay O-5 with dependent BAH plus $1. If the corresponding BAH goes up then your rent will increase respectively.
A: Let me dig into this. My intent is that you are current for your PCS or deployment. If you previously completed annual training, it may not meet the timing requirements for the PCS or deployment. However, if you have a known PCS or deployment coming, I see no need for you to complete non-deployment requirements (i.e. conducting CBRNE or CATM training twice).
A: Yes, it is allowable under the new UFC 3-260-04. The new restricted areas line will be a 6” red retroreflective line and will be accomplished on the repaint this upcoming spring.
A: The warehouse is likely too large of a space to be effectively cooled by an air conditioning unit. However, 5 large ceiling fans and 23 large floor fans have been purchased to increase air circulation and help cool the warehouse. The office spaces within the warehouse however do have air conditioning. What we can do is look into what it would take to run HVAC into that space. No promises but let us look.
A: It has been looked at in the past, but the cost to move and start a new Fam Camp was around $5 million, and the base does not have the extra funding for that project.
A: Yes, this change was made 23 September. Speed limit is now 20mph.
A: No it will not, the current Installation Defense Plan does not allow for concealed carry on base.
A: The Army Corps of Engineers is the contracting agent for this project and they are still holding money and working with the contractor on repairs to the newly placed roads.
A: Yes, but it costs around $2.5 million per aircraft. Unfortunately the base does not have extra funds available. I will find an opportunity to present this topic in the KC-135 MAF Council.
A: We could mandate use of base lodging which could decrease some of the crash pad usage but it would not solve the problem and I am not willing to go that far yet. We are in discussions with the town about some options to reduce the inventory.
A: A local tail art program is being developed at this time, standby for details. If you have specific ideas, please share them.
A: Concealed carry on base is not being consider at this time. However, we are having a discussion about short term vehicle storage on base. If approved, it would only apply to DOD ID card holders, i.e., military and civilian employees and dependents.
A: Unfortunately, due to federal law drones are not allowed to be flown outside on a military installation. The FAA UAS Data on a Map shows the allowable altitude restrictions on a map for all of the USA at https://uas-faa.opendata.arcgis.com . If you have an idea that you are looking for help on, please talk to our Spark Cell. While it may not be possible to fly drones on base, I’m sure we can find an alternate location.
A: Unfortunately no.
A: OCPs are on the individual member to buy. For flight specific 2PFDUs, the unit will have to buy those unique items for the squadron personnel.
A: The base pool was open through the end of September on the weekends at the request of numerous personnel.
A: Multiple squadrons are undergoing renovations currently. Base infrastructure is updated when possible based on funding available.
A: Yes, we can have our AT program manager clarify and address.
A: We aren't attempting to bring any additional eateries at this time. The most recent addition to the BX, The Food Stop, will have to prove profitable before we are able to entice other eateries.
A: Over the last month, Ordnance Road has had numerous repairs made to allow drainage from the paved surface. The contractor is working with the designer of record to determine the way forward for the repair.
A: When the POC for the next airshow in 2021 is decided, they will need to work with the different groups/acts to request participation at the Open House.
A: The benefit of performing the exercise outweighs the downsides. The wing inspection team is dedicated to making sure that all aspects of the exercise are coordinated properly.
A: Drones are prohibited by the FAA to be flown outside on a military installation. See https://uas-faa.opendata.arcgis.com for details. DoD guidance continues to evolve. If it becomes permissible to do, I would support it.
A: We have been working this very hard. Hoping to hear something very soon.
A: The hours for May’s Lounge are:
Sun (during Football Season): 1200-2200
The club will close early, though, if there are no customers for an extended period of time.
We are planning to revamp the inside of May’s in 2020. The plans include a new front and back bar area not only to improve aesthetics, but also in increase efficiencies for our bartenders.
A: We are dedicated to this issue, if there are any suggestions to improving the process we would love to hear them. We are actively working through the plan for next year and acknowledge that there are no easy answers or one size fits all solutions.
A: Due to manning constraints and lack of attendance, it was decided to switch from a full midnight meal to the POD which is currently open until 0200.
A: The CDC and school age Youth Center program is currently open for 11 hours a day to which meets a majority of our primary customer base needs. We do not have the staffing ability to be open for 24 hours to cover all shifts. Additionally, Family Child Care opportunities could meet this need, but we have had trouble recruiting home care providers. If an on base family would like to be a part of this program and offer day care in their home please contact Ms. Jennifer Elliot at 481-5090 for more information.
A: Leadership has been engaging with AAFES to try and make that happen.
A: Let me take a look at it. As I understand it, this is an OG practice that is currently being used as a force management tool to ensure a manageable flow of personnel through the FTUs. Let me talk with the OG team and see if it’s still needed and what the impacts are.
A: We are reattacking it now.
A: The Installation Defense Plan is currently in its final staffing stage. Below is the excerpt from the Installation Defense Plan and Trusted Transport. Trusted Transportation: Properly credentialed personnel will be authorized to retain/transport privately owned firearms in privately owned vehicles (POV) and will not be required to load/unload handguns prior to entering/exiting the jurisdictional boundary of AAFB under the following conditions:
(1) Holders of Federal credentials, Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) credentials, Oklahoma handgun license, Oklahoma’s driver’s license/resident ID card with their military ID card (IAW OK SB35) or holders of reciprocating state concealed carry license (CCL) equivalents.
(a) When contact is made with law enforcement in performance of official duties, individuals in possession of a concealed firearm will present their CCL and disclose if additional firearms are being transported to include location and ammunition. This includes entering through any Installation Access Control Points (VCCP).
(b) Firearms will not be open carried or removed outside of an individual’s POV. The only exception will be during an emergency situation where loss of life is imminent and LEOs are not present to assist.
(c) Firearms will not be open or concealed carried within facilities on AAFB.
(d) Properly registered firearms will be transported from identified storage location (residence or 97 SFS armory), to recreational location and from recreational location to storage location. Additional stops will not be authorized during transport.
(2) Personnel arriving at AAFB during non-duty hours must store POFs in the 97 SFS Armory until the registration process for base housing is completed.
A: The commissary currently has early bird hours for handicap members (I hear that others might be able to shop then also).
A: Red River Inn will not be privatized. Many of the buildings and rooms have recently undergone a soft revamp which includes linens, curtains and two facilities are scheduled to undergo a full revamp which includes new linens, furniture, carpet and décor in FY 20.
A: Yes! We will have one very soon!
A: The ARC has limited hours for two primary reasons: Low interest and Historic Chapel staff manning
- Interest: Initially, when they attempted to provide ARC coverage, there was simply no apparent interest. They would have 1-2 folks trickle through occasionally, but the trend was for airmen to find activities elsewhere. Airmen were able to procure games for their dorm rooms on their own instead of using the ARC’s Gaming Room, and they simply didn’t come for the other activities (pool/ping pong room, movie room, board games, etc).
- Manning: Up until the recent arrival of the two new chaplains and one SSgt returning from deployment, they didn’t have the manning to cover continued ARC ops.
A: A: The ARC formerly had one that has now been committed to the innovation lab. However, we are in the process of finding a new space in the ARC for gaming.
A: ATHOC messages can be controlled in the user interface for most items. Emergency notifications in certain areas are required by AFI.
A: There is a plan to build better lodging. The plan isn’t for it to happen soon and I’m not confident it will meet the needs of long-term student housing.
A: A recent change in the law paves the way for this to happen. For those with base access, please ensure you are enrolled in the Veterans Health Identification Card with the VA system. The VHIC is issued only to veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system, according to the VA website. You can complete an application by telephone by calling 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern. You can also apply for VA health care benefits online at www.va.gov/healthbenefits/enroll, or in person at your local VA medical facility. Read more here: https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2019/08/19/millions-more-will-be-soon-be-allowed-to-shop-on-military-bases-but-some-veterans-wonder-how-theyll-get-access/
For those without base access, the team here is working on a way forward to get you access.
A: The base will push out the information once it becomes available.
A: Dorm 333 was recently renovated in 2014 and has not been experiencing any issues that CE is aware of. Meanwhile, Dorm 331 still operates on the original designed system that was installed in 1983 causing numerous challenges. CES has been working diligently to keep the system running for our Airmen to include classifying every dorm-related HVAC call as an emergency. Additionally, Altus AFB is advocating for an FY23 project to completely renovate and update the facility’s HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, and upgrade the interior finishes. This project cannot take place until the new 116-person dorm is complete, due to not having any swing space to house Airmen.
A: Currently there is a project designed and ready for funding to renovate the Auto hobby shop to include a makeover for the shop area with new walls, floors and lights. A new 2 post lift will be installed, along with provisions for a waiting room for customers. The stall door heights will be raised and new stall doors installed. In the Outdoor Rec and Airman’s Attic areas new flooring will be installed. A companion project is in the works that will replace the ceiling, create some storage and refresh the dated bathroom in those areas. We anticipate all of this to take place in 2020.
New shop mechanic services are also available now.
Hours Thur 1700-2000; Fri 1500-2000; Sat 0800-1600
Shop Labor Rate $55/hr
Rotor Resurfacing $10 ea
Drum Resurfacing $10 ea
Battery Change $5 (battery not included)
2 Wheel Alignment $54.95
4 Wheel Alignment $74.95
Oil Changes $20 plus oil cost
Cooling System Drain/Refill $Labor Rate + fluids cost
Front and Rear Brake Replacement $Labor Rate + parts cost
Tire balancing $8
Tire Rotation $19.95
Tire Mounting $6.50 ea
Tire Repair $10 (plug or patch)
General Maintenance Stall $4 hr
Lift Stalls $5 hr
Wash Stall $4 hr
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 email@example.com.