The following questions were received from the FSS Town Hall meeting and Wing Town Hall meeting. Feel free to submit your questions using the ICE Program or use the Ask A Question link above.
Click on the category title below to open the Q&A for each category.
14TH FORCE SUPPORT SQUADRON
[Full Question] After a few months here I’m getting the picture it’s pretty much broken. At previous base it was readily available, frequently referred to by services, and speedy responses. Here no one really tells you to leave feedback and when I do (and request a response) I rarely receive a response. How are you going to get better if you don’t solicit feedback and engage with your customer base?
We receive ICE Comments on a daily basis. It is the FSS Director’s policy that all inputs requesting a reply receive one. We will coordinate with the Marketing department to create posters for all FSS operations to prominently display the ICE Comment link. In addition, we will look at our process for replying to customers to ensure responses are sent. Standard questions can generally be answered in two business days; however some questions require more research and may take longer to answer.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the FSS suspended delivering the FYI Calendar. The Marketing Office wanted to ensure that accurate data and materials were being provided and opted to proceed with providing the calendar digitally. The digital FSS Calendar can be found under the “Services” icon of the 14 FTW App as well as the Columbus AFB Living website and Columbus AFB Living Facebook page. In July, the FSS implemented bi-monthly Blaze All emails which highlights upcoming FSS events and programs. We will monitor the reception of the emails and determine future requirements for printing the FSS Calendar.
AIRMAN & FAMILY SERVICES
Do we have a Key Spouse program and is it utilized as a communication source separate from the military members?
Columbus AFB currently has a Key Spouse Program. Key Spouse and Key Spouse Mentor training is provided by the Airman & Family Readiness Center and is conducted by Renee Johnson. The KS/KM program remains as a vital communication source for members and their families. KS/KSM receives communications including employment opportunities, activities on and off the installation, etc. If you should need further information or are interested in serving as a Key Spouse, please feel free to contact your Airman & Family Readiness Center. The AFRC is currently open for appointments, please call 662-434-2790 in order to schedule.
CHILD AND YOUTH SERVICES
Can the Child Development Center modernize to a digital check-in procedure using IDs or a phone number like other childcare facilities?
The Air Force Services Center is currently implementing a Business Modernization Plan for all Air Force Child Development Centers. This plan will include a digital check in process. While COVID-19 has recently delayed implementation, AFSVC has an expectation for all CDC’s to have the system within the current year.
[Full Question] When can you get an app for the CDC and youth center parents? It would help a lot with communication especially now with the COVID operations.
Both the CDC and Youth Center have groups within the 14FTW App. If you have not done so, please download the APP and join each of the groups. The groups are located under the Kids icon. The code for the CDC is CDC and the code for the Youth Center is Youth. Although we will not be able to provide personalized updates, the CDC is sending home daily happy notes for all ages. The Youth Center has a Facebook page, and has been utilizing it more often to provide information on activities and programs. Please join us on Facebook under Columbus AFB Youth Center. For real time updates on activities, please feel free to contact the CDC and YC front desks.
[Full Question] What is the plan for the CDC half-time program? Many families utilize that. I understand they wanted to make room for fulltime, but they effectively kind of hindered those parents with children in half time care.
In March of this year, Air Force Child and Youth Services received guidance to suspend all supplemental programs due to COVID. Re-opening plans have been provided by the Air Force Services Center, the guidance stated that Child Development Centers are able to resume suspended services upon the base downgrading from HPCON Charlie to HPCON Bravo. The CDC anticipates resuming PDE in September 2020.
Similar to the PDE suspension, the guidance was also to suspend Youth Sports. Now that the base has downgraded from HPCON Charlie to HPCON Bravo the Youth Programs management team has formulated a plan to offer a short soccer season. This plan will be coordinated through Public Health to ensure the health and well-being of all participants. Please be on the lookout for the upcoming marketing and registration dates.
Will the base consider extending the Youth Center hours so they can still offer full-time childcare?
[Full Question] My spouse and I are Mission Essential personnel who work on base and are still uncomfortable about sending our children to public schools. With the local school district announcing partial half-weeks, could the base consider extending the Youth Center hours so they can still offer full-time childcare (like the Child Development Center) so parents can decide to either homeschool or support virtual half-weeks?
Columbus AFB Youth Programs began providing full day care services following the suspension of in-person school sessions in March 2020. The Youth Center has reviewed the current re-opening plans for the Lowndes County and Columbus Municipal School Districts and has formulated a plan to support families that require full day care, along with after school care requirements.
In 2018, the Youth Sports Director received a quote from a batting cage equipment supplier with a cost of approximately $9000.00 to repair the damaged elevator. The equipment became damaged due to standing water and debris and has been rendered inoperable twice over the past ten years. The batting cages are a NAF entity and would require the use NAF funds for the repair expenses. Previous financial returns have not justified the repair of the equipment.
[Full Question] During Night Weeks is there any discussion in extending Child Development Center (CDC) and Youth Center hours to assist single parents or dual-mil to accommodate the Ops hours that shift to the right as well?
The CDC and School Age Children (SAC) will conduct a survey to determining the need for extended duty care. Although there have previously been no requests for extended care made to either facility, each program has the ability to support this mission requirement.
COMMUNITY SERVICES (ODR, Bowling, Swimming, Club/Event Center)
The Auto Hobby Shop has been approved to open by the Air Force Services Center. The opening date is contingent upon hiring, in-processing, and training the staff to maintain the operation.
Is there somewhere on the App, Website, Facebook, or YouTube where we can share all the outdoor activities?
Marketing materials for Outdoor Recreation are located on the 14 FTW App as well as the Columbus AFB Living website and Columbus AFB Living Facebook page. On the 14 FTW APP, Click Leisure, then On Base Recreation. You will then find a listing of various outdoor options. Click Groups at the bottom of the app and join Outdoor Recreation for info on upcoming trips and events (access code: ODR). ODR also shares events on the Columbus AFB Living Facebook page.
Outdoor Recreation resumed accepting credit card transactions on 14 July 20. Connectivity issues are intermittent so please bear with us as we continue to work with our Information Technology professionals for a long-term solution.
Is there a possibility we could have a Family Camp next to SAC Lake for primitive tent and RV camping?
[Full Question] Is there a possibility we could have a Family Camp next to SAC Lake for primitive tent and RV camping as well as Outdoor Rec amenities like other bases? With the influx of students each year and graduations every three weeks it could be lucrative.
Thank you for the suggestion. We will have our ODR Management Team look into the viability of providing camping options out at the lake.
Instead of FSS ran services are there creative ways to lease out our buildings and services to local businesses or entrepreneurs?
AFI’s and other established procedures may allow local businesses to provide service on base. There are currently two services contracted with the FSS to include Harding’s Catering for catered functions and “The Coffee House on the 5th” within the BLAZE Commons. Please contact the Force Support Squadron for guidance on contracting with a MWR facility.
FORCE DEVELOPMENT (Library)
When do we plan to open the library up for families again and what restrictions do you anticipate for patrons?
[Full Question] When do we plan to open the library up for families again? What restrictions do you anticipate for patrons? Thank you for the drive thru option (seriously, it’s a morale booster!), we just really miss being able to browse in person. Given the size of the space, we would feel comfortable wearing masks and entering one family at a time. If there was another family already inside we could wait in the parking lot.
The Library houses more than 5,000 items. Every time an item is touched, the staff will have to sanitize and isolate the item. For example, if a patron pulls a DVD to read the video’s synopsis and decides not to check-out the DVD, the staff will have to clean and isolate the item before it can be placed back on the shelf and available for another patron to check-out. The shelves patrons touch will have to be cleaned also. Patrons should be able to leisurely and freely browse the Library. Under COVID-19 conditions, the staff would have to watch patrons’ every move to know what items/areas must be sanitized to ensure the facility is safe for the staff to work and everyone to visit.
SUSTAINMENT SERVICES (Fitness, USPS)
Due to the size of our racquetball courts, ventilation, and the need to maintain 6 foot social distancing, current COVID-19 public health guidelines prohibit us from opening the courts. Fitness Center staff are closely monitoring developments from Public Health and are looking to reopen currently closed portions of the facility as soon as health professionals deem it safe to do so.
[Full Question] The 60 minutes ends up being about 50 min between check in, clean up, and maintaining distancing. 50 min really isn’t enough for safe heavy lifting.
Leadership has been gathering feedback from patrons on a daily basis, and currently considering extending the 60 minute reservations to 90 minutes.
[Full Question] When can we expect dependents to be able to use the gym facility? For example, the cycling room is not being used by active members and there are many spouses who would love to take advantage of the bikes. You could put 10 bikes out and ensure they are 6 feet apart.
Leadership is partnering with Public Health in monitoring reported cases of COVID-19 in the greater Columbus area. Currently, after coordinating with Public Health, we are not recommending opening the Fitness Center to spouses. We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis in hopes of extending operations to dependents as soon as possible.
The Sustainment Services Flight currently oversees official postal matters on the installation. The Flight Chief will research the possibility of gaining a FEDEX or UPS drop off on Columbus AFB.