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Q&A pt. XVII: mission, facilities, personnel, fitness and miscellaneous

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

Here is the last round of “Q&As,” which are in response to questions asked during my last Commander’s Call. All of the responses are also posted on our internal Sharepoint site and Scott’s public website, www.scott.af.mil, for future access and review.

My next commmander’s call will be held July 21. Please keep the questions coming!

 

MISSION

Ma’am, do you see any increase in the flying mission of the base coming within the next few years?

Great question. Over the past decade, flying operations at Scott Air Force Base have been declining due to the retirement of the C-9A Nightingale and the retirement of a significant portion of the C-21A fleet.

We continue to conduct C-21A operational support airlift missions and are partnered with the 126th Air Refueling Wing and 932nd Airlift Wing for operations in the KC-135 and C-40C.

Currently, the Air Force has not directed any additional military aircraft to Scott AFB; however, senior leaders are continually reviewing different options to ensure our Air Force is correctly postured.

While data from 2010 to 2014 shows local aircraft operations at Scott have decreased, the 375th Operations Support and 375th Aeromedical Evacuation squadrons are executing plans to bring additional transient aircraft to our airfield.

This effort includes partnering with Mid-America Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration to synchronize airfield operations and add new approach procedures supporting both civilian and military aircraft. We are also increasing our air traffic from several active duty and Illinois Air and Army National Guard aviation units, which brings additional rotary and fixed wing aircraft to Scott AFB.

In addition, the aeromedical evacuation team has established new partnerships, which has brought additional airlift aircraft to our airfield.

As a result of these new efforts, we’ve seen a 25 percent increase in transient operations at Scott AFB.

So, while we don’t expect to see any new aircraft or new flight missions assigned Scott in the near-term, I do expect that we’ll continue to see an increase in aircraft and airfield operations as our local units team with others to increase our training opportunities and outside flying units become familiar with the great training capability that Scott AFB has to offer.

 

We keep hearing about the need to work smarter, not harder. But we seem to keep getting inundated with more work. Is there relief in sight?

Thank you for your question. The Air Force, as well as other DoD agencies, have been drawing down personnel end-strength in recent years due to the decrease in operations in Afghanistan and declining defense budgets.

The good news is Air Force end strength is now increasing, and as our end strength grows, we are looking for ways to innovate and improve our processes so we can continue to enable rapid global mobility and deploy mission ready Airmen in support of national objectives.

One way we’re accomplishing this objective is through our ICE program. Every week, we highlight Airmen who are working smarter, not harder, and innovating, communicating, and achieving excellence in their work centers.

Our wing leadership team is also assessing processes and reviewing requirements in order to determine areas where we can assume risk and/or eliminate tasks without impacting our ability to support our mission or priorities.

We are the greatest Air Force in the world and are powered by the greatest Airmen in the world, and your ideas and feedback are critical to our success. So, please work with your chain of command or use the Airmen Powered by Innovation program to help us identify areas where we can improve our processes or assume more risk.

 

FACILITIES

Can the Dining Facility hours be extended?

We are thrilled you would love to eat at the Dining Facility. The Dining Facility hours are established considering historical utilization and are designed to meet the need of the vast majority of customers.

With limited contract dollars available and a finite, highly deployed military staff, we are restricted to the current hours of operation.

As an enhancement, we want to call your specific attention to the Dining Facility’s Grab-n-Go operation which offers a variety of entrees and snacks from 6 to 8 p.m. daily at the entrance that faces the dorms. Nutritious meals are prepared by your fellow Airmen for consumption when you desire.

 

Will those squadrons affected by Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center funding still be able to receive wing funding for special interest projects and initiatives?

Yes, squadrons who have changed their funding source to IMSC will still be able to receive funding for unfunded unit mission requirements. Just because a unit’s funding stream has changed does not mean that the funding flow has stopped.

Like traditional funding received from Air Mobility Command in the past, the new funding stream from IMSC will still allow the wing some flexibility to address unit requirements that fall below the current funding line.

Two key ways the wing creates funding flexibility involves the timely payment of both the government travel card as well as the unit’s government purchase card. The wing receives a rebate from both of these sources based upon the timeliness of payment.

These monies, along with other wing “fall-out funding” enable the wing commander the opportunity to fund otherwise unfunded mission priorities throughout the wing.

 

PERSONNEL

Is increasing retainability in technical career fields being explored?

Absolutely! Due to significant shortages in specific Air Force Specialties, Air Force Personnel Center will consider High Year Tenure extensions of 12 to 24 months for Airmen in targeted AFSCs and grades to retain experience and enhance mission effectiveness.

The Air Force also identified 117 AFSCs on the Selected Reenlistment Bonus list, which is designed to encourage reenlistment of qualified enlisted personnel in military skills with either demonstrated retention shortfalls or high training costs.

For those who have not met the local career assistance advisor, Master Sgt. Jeremey Wiley, hosts “Informed Decision” briefs on the 3rd Monday of each month at 2 p.m. in Bldg. 1948, Room 140 and provides the latest information on retainability options.

Be sure to mark your calendar to attend a session.

 

FITNESS

What’s the fastest mile-and-a-half fitness test time at Scott AFB?

We are excited to share the accomplishments of some of our fitness warriors and spur healthy competition in the process.

Your Fitness Assessment Cell will now highlight monthly fitness excellence during the weekly wing staff meeting and will also post the results at the James Sports Center.

FEMALE

·         Fastest run, 9:40

1st Lt. Lauryn Thomas, 375th AMW commander’s executive

·         Most pushups, 62

Senior Airman Victoria Lee, 375th Operations Support Squadron

·         Most sit ups, 71

2nd Lt. Kelsey Cullinan, 375th Operations Support Squadron

 

 

MALE

Fastest run, 8:28

·         Taylor Stewart, 458th Airlift Squadron

Most pushups, 80

·         Staff Sgt. Adan Gutierrez, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron;

·         Airman 1st Class Emmanuel Romero, 375th Medical Operations Squadron; and

·         Senior Airman Jacob Santiago, 375th AMW Judge Advocate

Most sit ups, 75

·         Senior Airman Nigel Krueger, 375th Comptroller Squadron

 

MISCELLANEOUS

How important is family to you?

I can unequivocally answer that family is the most important thing in my life. But, it’s important to clarify what I mean by “family.” For me, growing up, my immediate family was everything: my father, my mother, and my sister. I also felt blessed by the extended family of my aunts and uncles on both sides of my family.

When I got married, I gained not only my husband, but also the love of his immediate and extended family. Today, Dave and I embrace the family of Airmen who we are fortunate to serve with every day. For me, this broader sense of family is what I chose, when I chose a career in the Air Force. Ultimately, this larger sense of family and commitment is why Dave and I continue to serve today.