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Wing Commander Q&A: Additional Duties, Beards and the Command Post

  • Published
  • By Col. Laura Lenderman
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander

Here is the next round of Q&As from my most recent Commander’s Call.

I posted these responses and previous Q&A to our wing Sharepoint site and our public website,, for future access and review.

Please keep the questions coming!



The AF is reducing additional duties and consolidating some duties in the Commander Support Staff, or CSS, to give back time. What about 3A (CSS personnel) time? They already manage 20+ programs?

Our Wing—in fact, our Air Force—relies on 3A personnel to conduct a wide variety of critical functions. Although we call some of those jobs “additional duties,” we still require them because they are a key part of conducting our daily mission and taking care of our Airmen. Depending on how your unit manages these roles, some of these functions may be assigned to 3A personnel, as they often provide continuity and expertise that ensures these important duties will continue to be performed correctly.

Going forward, 3A personnel will continue to play a central role in implementing CSAF guidance regarding additional duty reduction and CSS realignment. Air Force-wide manpower studies were conducted in an effort to ensure the proper manning will be implemented in the CSS to shoulder the additional workload and avoid oversaturation of personnel; the results of these studies will be released within the next few months followed by immediate implementation and movement of personnel to properly align with AF directives. As we make that transition, we will continue to rely on 3A’s as well as other Airmen filling vital additional-duty roles to perform key UDM, UTM, Security Manager, and many other functions.

In the meantime, please make the most of feedback sessions with your supervisor to discuss the duties you have been assigned, as well as any resources you need to get those jobs done. As we work to reduce the impact of additional duties, if you are still having difficulty performing your primary duties due to the additional workload, I encourage you to have that discussion with your leadership to develop more efficient ways of getting everything done, or to identify what we can stop doing without affecting our primary mission. The CSAF has empowered us to restructure how we perform those additional duties, so as experts in understanding what those requirements are, now is the time to share with your leadership team your own ideas on how we can improve!


Why can’t we grow beards in a non-CBRNE environment?

Thanks for the question! The Air Force dress and appearance standards are governed under Air Force Instruction 36-2903, Dress and Appearance of Air Force Personnel, and currently prohibit beards except under certain specific conditions. The policy prohibiting beards does have its roots in CBRNE mask fit requirements; however, uniform personal appearance and grooming contribute to discipline and a sense of camaraderie and ensure our Airmen present a professional image.

According to AFI 36-2903, beards will not be worn except for health reasons when authorized by a commander on the advice of a medical officer. If authorized by the commander, members must keep facial hair trimmed not to exceed 1/4 inch in length. If granted a shaving waiver, members will not shave any facial hair. Commanders and supervisors will monitor progress in treatment to control these waivers. Additionally, there may be theater of operation exemptions for Special Forces or supporting personnel operating in exceptional conditions, such as in Afghanistan.

Mustaches, if worn, will not extend downward beyond the upper lip or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corner of the mouth. NOTE: This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.

Sideburns, if worn, will be neatly trimmed and tapered in the same manner as the haircut. They will be straight and of even width (not flared) and end in a clean-shaven horizontal line. They will not extend below the lowest part of the exterior ear opening. NOTE: This does not apply to individuals with shaving waivers.

If you feel strongly about wanting to change published Air Force guidance on this or any other issue, you should consult AFI 33-360, Publications and Forms Management, to learn how you can submit a recommended change.



What is the status of the lead clean-up in the swamp area between Scott AFB and Mid-America?

We did have a project to remediate lead contamination at the old skeet range on the east side of the base, and it was completed in 2012. The lead-contaminated berms and surrounding soil that tested above the limits for lead contamination were excavated, treated with stabilizing chemicals, and placed in an engineered landfill built for that purpose.


Do we evaluate Hunt Housing’s performance? What happens if they mistreat their “customers”?

Yes, we do evaluate Hunt’s performance in accordance with the Property Operations and Management Plan. The Air Force Civil Engineering Center performs annual analysis and evaluation of Hunt’s performance, the installation commander provides a quarterly documented evaluation, and our Housing Management Office overseas daily operations and evaluations of Hunt’s performance. If you believe you have been mistreated, please contact the Resident Specialist for your neighborhood. If you are unable to resolve at that level, please contact the Housing Management Office at 256-4284 or please contact me at 256-3751.



Is it possible to have WiFi installed in the theater so everyone can access this without using their data or for those that cannot get service?

Thanks for the question. Due to the low frequency of usage of the Library Auditorium (base theater) for events outside of showing movies, it’s not prudent at this time to expend limited resources on WiFi. We will continue to assess our event schedule throughout the year and determine if the cost may be justified in the future.



How important is the Command Post to the Wing’s mission?

Our Airmen in the Command Post play a vital role in our mission of enabling Rapid Global Mobility! The Scott Command Post serves as the nerve center and allows me and our leadership team to monitor and manage the readiness and response of the wing, coordinate the use of personnel and resources, and control wing operations. The Command Post is co-located and consolidated with 932nd Airlift Wing (Reserve) personnel, operating 24 hours a day. It provides direct command and control support for the 932nd’s and 375th’s Distinguished Visitor airlift missions and is the centralized agency through which the 618th AOC (TACC) manages Air Mobility Command missions transiting Scott AFB. The Scott Command Post is a wing staff agency and is also responsible for emergency actions, operational reporting and mission monitoring. It is provides reports to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff assessing the wing’s mission readiness. If you get a chance, stop by and meet some of the Showcase Airmen assigned to the Command Post.


How do I request a tour of the KC-135?

Great question! The 126 Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Illinois Air National Guard, operates eight KC-135 aircraft executing Air Mobility Command’s global air refueling mission from Scott Air Force Base. While the aircraft and crews maintain a very high operations tempo and are deployed around the world, tours of static aircraft displays are possible. The 126 ARW conducts quarterly static tours and requests can be made through the 126 ARW at 618-222-5777.


Is it possible to equip the stake bed trucks in the vehicle ops fleet with lift gates?

Lift gates can be very helpful and may also improve the safety of moving operations. Please contact your Vehicle Control Officer and squadron leadership to assess the vehicle(s) assigned to your unit and determine what possibilities exist to potentially rotate vehicles or acquire that capability through a replacement vehicle or modification.