Answering Your Questions

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Richard Devereaux
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
Last month I held six Commander's Calls to give you my assessment as to how we're doing as a wing and provide an avenue for you to ask questions and air concerns. We had great turnouts at each session. I know attendance wasn't an option for our military folks, but I certainly appreciate all the civilians who took time out of their day to hear my assessment of how we're doing in my three priority areas: Being Technically the Best at our training mission, providing Fantastic First Impressions for our trainees and newcomers, and ensuring a Safe, Secure, and Supportive environment for our people.

At the end of each session, I opened it up for questions and some of you took that opportunity to express your concerns. I was able to immediately answer some questions, but for others, we had to do some homework. Here are the answers I owed you.

Q1) Are there any studies or plans to improve hours of support agencies, to include AAFES, to accommodate mid-shift personnel?

If there is a specific activity you'd like to see open for expanded hours please let your squadron commander know so he/she can push that up the chain and we'll see what we can do. Our MSG and AAFFES have worked hard to make their hours as flexible and convenient as possible, but it's impossible to keep every service/activity open as much as we like, especially considering the level of deployments we're supporting with AEF 7/8. But in any case, please push up your specific request to your commander.

Q2) How can we provide our inputs regarding the new proposed service dress uniform (Heritage Jacket)?
For specifics on the new uniform you can go to the Air Force Uniform and Recognition Programs home page located on the Air Force Portal and at the following link: . In accordance with AFI 36-2903, proposals for new/changed uniform requirements are handled through the Air Force IDEA Program Data System at per AFI 38-401. However, coming soon is the eUniform database to facilitate the transition from the Air Force Uniform Board to the Virtual Uniform Board. eUniform will be a tool used by board members to receive, evaluate, and decide all AF uniform suggestions and issues without having to physically leave their workplace. Suggestions can be submitted from any member of the USAF through this database which will be located on the AF Portal. These suggestions will be forwarded to the Virtual Uniform Board for review. Projected initial operational status is later this year.

Q3) Safety concern for kids crossing 1st Ave walking from the Elementary School to the Youth Center. What is being done to ensure the safety of these children?

I had my Safety Office and Civil Engineering Squadron look into this one. We've determined an additional crosswalk must be installed on 1st Ave at Ave H on the East side of the road to ENCOURAGE kids from Wherry housing to use the appropriate crossing locations. This legal crosswalk will be painted and marked by 1 Aug 07. You can help too -- we encourage all parents to teach their children to not jaywalk and reinforce using the crosswalks.

Q4) Will the Levitow Fitness Center hours and/or days be extended to accommodate for the increase in fitness activity and overcrowding at peak times?

I wish I could say yes, but we simply don't have the funds/manning to extend the operating hours of the Levitow Fitness Center. Frankly, we're struggling just to maintain the hours we have. One way we could support this is through volunteer staffing. If you know a retiree or dependant who would like to donate their time to support our Fitness Centers, please call TSgt Milton Johnson, 82 MSG/SVMP, 676-0486.

Q5) Cell phone policy. What is the policy for cell phone use while walking on base for Permanent Party?

SAFB VA 36-1, governs military personnel dress while in civilian clothing. There are no restrictions on permanent party personnel walking and talking on cell phones while in civilian clothes. Non-prior service trainees are prohibited from talking on cell phones while walking due to safety concerns. Historically, we've experienced problems with Airmen in training talking on cell phones while crossing the street and not placing enough emphasis on their own safety.

Q6) Motorcycle Safety. Motorcycle riders feel that the responsibility of safety should not fall solely on them. Can we give vehicle drivers the same motorcycle safety education that our motorcycle riders are expected to have?

We already address motorcycle requirements for both riders AND vehicle operators during the Local Conditions Traffic Safety briefing for all newcomers. We will add a specific/separate slide discussing vehicle driver responsibilities in regards to motorcycles and their responsibility to be more aware of them. This is extremely important given the current environment where motorcycle rider numbers are increasing almost daily.

Q7) Cross walks. Vehicles are not yielding to pedestrians (mainly AiT). Is yielding to pedestrians a policy, and if so, how can we ensure everyone knows the policy?

Vehicle operators must yield to pedestrians only after they are already in the crosswalk. A pedestrian waiting at a crosswalk must yield to vehicle traffic. This is addressed in detail during the Local Conditions Traffic Safety briefing. In addition, we publish this topic in the Senator approximately three times a year. I've personally noticed many of our crosswalks could use some painting. Our CE squadron will have all these crosswalks repainted by 1 Oct 07.

Q8) Will the AETC Instructor Patch be allowed on the new ABU?

Current guidelines, as of 21 May 07, restrict the wear of duty badges on the ABU to the duty shields for Force Protection and Fire Protection. As on the BDUs, occupational badges are encouraged. Personally, I think a good case can be made for wear of the Instructor Badge on the ABUs and I'll be providing that as an input during our next AETC Commanders' Conference.

I hope I've answered some of your concerns as we try to keep the communication lines open. Once again, thank you for the great job you're doing supporting our tech training mission!