Q&A pt. XIV: Personnel, Facilities, and Miscellaneous

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Last week, I ran the 13th in a series of "Q&A" articles, which are in response to questions asked during my last Commander's Call. This is the 14th article in the series.

I'll be posting the responses to all of the questions on a Sharepoint site and our public website, www.scott.af.mil, for future access and review.
Please keep the questions coming!


What do you think of Gen. Mark Welsh's recognition of our undermanned Air Force? Are there plans to cut more military members? Is there a plan to trim workloads and mission requirements to better match our smaller manning?

While the Air Force is smaller now than it's ever been, active duty end strength is rising over the next several years. As end strength increases, we are continually looking to balance workloads and evaluate how our Airmen spend their time, and ensure that we focus on our top priorities. In addition, wing leadership has been reviewing annual training requirements, as well as additional duties, to ensure we're spending our time on the right activities and most beneficial training requirements. Similar endeavors are occurring at the Air Mobility Command and the Headquarters AF levels. We are also continually working to fill the manpower gap by leveraging innovative ideas and technology. We've highlighted many "ICE" Airmen over the past nine months, who have helped our wing save time, money, and manpower by developing creative solutions to many of our challenges. I look forward to continuing to highlight our "ICE" Airmen, as well as hearing your suggestions on how we can improve our operations.

Does the chief get to weigh in on Senior NCO Enlisted Performance Reports and where they close?

Under the old system, Community College of the Air Force and professional military education completion were prerequisites for senior rater endorsement. The chief would ensure that those SNCO EPRs routed to the wing for senior rater endorsement met the prerequisites, and the content of the EPR warranted the endorsement. Under the new EPR system, only the top 10 percent of master sergeant EPRs and the top 20 percent of senior master sergeant EPRs are eligible for senior rater endorsement. CCAF and PME completion are still mandatory requirements. The chief continues to manage the stratification process and advises the commander on the standing of SNCOs within the wing.


Why does the explosive ordnance device building have a more advanced gym setup in their office space that is not available for all base use? It seems like a privilege for one AF specialty code.

There are several AFSCs that, due to the nature of their work and demands of the career field, are allowed to provide workout equipment in their office spaces to better enable their mission. Due to the specialized equipment and physical demands on the EOD career field, it's important they maintain themselves physically to ensure they can effectively accomplish their unique mission.

Will the P-10 parking lots and side lot by Information Technology, Human Resources, and Non-appropriated Funds Accounting Office be resurfaced or at least painted anytime soon?

Thank you for your question. The P-10 parking lot was actually resealed and striped in the fall of 2015. All of the other pavement requirements across the base were prioritized last year and will be addressed based on available sustainment funds.

Can the James Gym parking lot be expanded?

We had designs and plans ready to expand the James Gym parking lot and had hoped we could reach this project at end-of-year last year. Unfortunately, this project did not receive funding. It is still on our wish list.


We take care of civilian spouses who lose an active duty military member, but lack support for active duty members that lose a civilian spouse. Do we have a solution?

Thank you very much for your question. First, if you or a teammate have lost a spouse, I am very sorry for your loss. Having lost my dad a few years ago, I know how difficult it is to lose a loved one.

For active duty members who lose a loved one, there are grief counseling services available through a number of resources:

· Chaplain, Mental Health, and the Military Family Life Counselor (MFLC) services are available through the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

· For Guard and Reserve, a MFLC provides non-medical counseling support, regardless of their activation status.

· Military OneSource offers 24/7 counseling to address grief and loss, including loss of a spouse, parent, and sibling. Their confidential services include non-medical counseling and specialty consultations via face-to-face, online, telephonic, and video on topics such as "Understanding Grief" and "Survivor's Guilt." MFLC and MOS are also connected to broader referral resources, if needed.

· The Scott Air Force Base Widow/Widower Support group meets monthly and provides peer-to-peer support to include grief. This group is independent of the A&FRC; however, the A&FRC assists with providing a meeting room and occasionally scheduling speakers.

· The A&FRC also assists with non-grief issues related to a loss of a deceased civilian spouse, including reporting death to Defense Finance and Accounting Service, assisting with filing a Family Service Member's Group Life Insurance claim, and addressing financial concerns and impacts (i.e. loss of a deceased spouse's income or the need to budget child care if the spouse was a stay-at-home parent), relocation, transition from military to civilian life, or other life-altering decisions that an active duty member may face in the event of a spouse's death.

· Our A&FRC professionals are happy to meet one-on-one with anyone who needs additional information or support. Please contact them at 256-8668.

Is there a way to make use of a central online purchasing site or establish a program to use Force Support Squadron gift cards Air Force-wide?

FSS gift cards can be used across all FSS activities within the Air Force. Cards purchased here at Scott AFB can be used at other bases and vice versa. Right now, FSS gift cards are available for purchase only at FSS facilities, in accordance with the AF-wide program. Gift card balances can be checked anytime on-line at www.myfssgiftcard.com.