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Wing Commander Q&A: Airman's Attic, Texting while driving, and AtHoc notifications

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

375th Air Mobility Wing Commander

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

Please keep the questions coming!



Is it possible to expand access to the Thrift Shop/Airman’s Attic by extending duty hours and opening it up to all ranks? Can we encourage base residents to donate more frequently by making donation drop off areas/times more convenient? Perhaps by placing large metal donation “bins” at the Exchange for instance.

Thank you so much for your question. To provide some background information for awareness, the Airman’s Attic is managed by the Scott Chiefs’ Group and is run solely by retired civilian spouses and military volunteers from SAFB units.

The hours are based on the availability of our civilian volunteers and is off-set by our military volunteers. The Airman’s Attic is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with the exception of holidays) from 9-11 a.m. and the first Saturday of each month (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Many of our volunteers come in on “closed” days to catch up on the amount of donations and to sort/put away donations received throughout the week. The Airman’s Attic would require a significant increase in dedicated military volunteers in order to extend hours any further than currently established.

Last year, the Airman’s Attic changed its authorized patrons from E-4 and below to E-5 and below. In addition, they host an all-ranks day each quarter (March, June, September, and December). The next all-ranks day is scheduled for June 3.

In addition, any rank “in need” may obtain an authorization letter for a temporary period of time (one visit, monthly, etc.) from their first sergeant or commander to authorize temporary access to the Airman’s Attic for any financial hardship or an emergency situation. In addition, if there is an emergency (flood, house fire, etc.), and we have a family in need, the Command Post or the service member’s first sergeant can contact the Chiefs’ Group Airman’s Attic Chairperson, and they will open the Airman’s Attic for the service member to obtain items to assist them in getting their family back on their feet.

The Airman’s Attic has an active Facebook page managed by several of our permanent volunteers. This site provides details on access, reminders on upcoming all-ranks days, and volunteer opportunities.

The Thrift Store is a private organization and is also run solely by volunteers. It is open to all ranks to shop. Consignment hours are 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and the first Saturday of each month. Sales hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and the first Saturday of the month. The shop is closed on federal holidays. They also maintain a Facebook page to advertise their events and programs. Search for “Scott Consignor Thrift Shop.”

The Thrift Store is open for donations Tuesday through Friday and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Thrift Store has many volunteers who “work” on closed days and even weekends. Proceeds from the Thrift Store are provided to the Scott Spouses Club charitable opportunities and the Airman & Family Readiness Center’s “Hearts Apart” program.

Unfortunately, at this time, neither organization is able to undertake the significant cost and effort required to manage donation bins or collection points. We thank you for your interest and ask for your continued support of both organizations and please encourage your friends, family, and coworkers to volunteer with either (or both!) organizations.


Is there any way to emphasize to drivers to stop texting at stop lights and stop signs?

Your concerns of the dangers associated with texting and driving are mine as well. Recently, we briefed the First Term Airman’s Course the pitfalls and potential life altering effects of an ill-timed text while driving.

While that’s one small group, we message to everyone assigned to Scott AFB through our Newcomer’s briefings as well as marquee messaging. One of the briefings our safety office provides is a local area safety brief. In this brief we cover topics like Scott AFB traffic safety, cell phone usage on base (texting/driving), running track safety, and emphasis key areas of concern like the train track crossing.

You may know the base holds a quarterly Traffic Safety Working Group meeting. During this meeting we discuss various topics and concerns affecting traffic safety on the installation. While we normally deal with topics like improving parking areas, adding a stop sign, or maximizing routes for emergency responders, we also take on safety concerns from individuals like yourself.

Finally, each unit should have a Unit Safety Rep. These volunteers are the key link between the installation safety office, their unit, and the unit commander. We routinely pushes out safety messages through the USRs. This is one of many ways we publicize various safety issues and concerns. Based on your feedback we’ll push an additional message on the dangers of texting and driving.


Why do we receive so many AtHoc weather notifications?

Scott AFB has many different units and mission partners, some of which run 24/7 operations. Also, a large portion of the base populace lives in the local area. As such, AtHoc weather warning alerts are sent to ensure the safety of not only personnel on the installation but also personnel that reside in the immediate area. Moreover, AtHoc alert messages are texted to personal cell phones to ensure that those who are working away from their workstation still receive critical information. That said, in response to your inquiry, we have reviewed the risk threshold for AtHoc weather alerts and have determined that eliminating some of these alerts is prudent to ensure we are not overusing/diluting a very valuable notification system. Thank you very much for your feedback!


How do I get coined by you?

Recognizing individuals for their amazing work is one of the best and most important parts of being a commander. The intent and purpose behind the presentation of my Commander’s Coin is to recognize those who have performed excellent services or acts. It’s also a way for me to express my gratitude or offer congratulations for a significant accomplishment, as it shows appreciation for what an individual has done. Specifically, we reward and recognize mission accomplishment, especially challenging situations where an individual exercises innovation and creativity. To earn the coin, someone (normally in the supervisory chain) simply needs to bring his or her recommendation to my attention, and I am happy to schedule a time to present a coin in person. Thank you for your question!