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, www.scott.af.mil, for future access and review.
Please keep the questions coming!
What is actually happening with the “Force of the Future” initiatives?
Thank you for your question. Over the past two years, the Secretary of Defense has pursued several initiatives designed to maintain our Nation’s competitive edge by growing a diverse and talented military and civilian workforce within the Department of Defense. These reforms focus on increasing the permeability of personnel and ideas between the public and private sector as well as improving recruiting, talent management, and retention. Some of the initiatives have been implemented while others require changes to law or approval by Congress and take more time to implement across the Department.
A few of the initiatives include: establishing a DoD-wide standard for paid maternity leave of 12 weeks vs. six weeks; expanding paternity leave to 14 days vs. 10 days (requires changes to legislation); expanding adoption leave for dual military couples; extending childcare development center hours to 14 hours minimum; allowing service members to remain at a station of choice for family reasons; providing egg and sperm cryopreservation; expanding corporate fellows programs to increase the number of service members with experience in the corporate sector; enabling experts with critical skills to join the military at mid-career levels (requires legislation); allowing officers to be temporarily excluded from consideration by a promotion board to deepen their expertise without adverse impact on career advancement (requires legislation); enabling direct hiring of students and recent graduates (requires legislation); providing six weeks of paid paternal leave for DoD civilian employees (requires legislation); plus many, many more. For additional details about the status of the Secretary’s Force of the Future initiatives, please take a look at the DoD’s Force of the Future homepage at: www.defense.gov/News/Special-Reports/0315_Force-of-the-Future.
INSTALLATION & FACILITIES
Can we expect to go down to FPCON Alpha anytime soon?
FPCON Bravo was directed by USNORTHCOM in May of 2015. FPCON Bravo applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. USNORTHCOM still assesses that FPCON Bravo is appropriate for the foreseeable future. As a reminder, every member of Scott AFB can contribute to safeguarding the installation's mission, people and families. Our collective security increases if we all remain vigilant for potential threats. The Eagle Eyes program is an anti-terrorism initiative that enlists the eyes and ears of Scott AFB members and citizens in our local community. If you observe any suspicious activity during the day or night, please call in a tip at 256-6000, text tip to 274637(CRIMES) or visit www.tipsubmit.com. For more information on the Eagle Eyes program visit http://1.usa.gov/1Rl7qsc.
Can we offer 24-hour child care at the Child Development Center?
Great question! Unfortunately, our Child Care Centers are not funded or manned to operate 24-hours; however, our Family Child Care Program is available for parents who need evening, weekend, shift work, or hourly care. For more information about our FCC Program and AF Expanded Family Child Care Programs, please contact the FCC Office at 256-8047. They will be happy to personally assist you in finding care to meet your individual family needs.
Can we reduce the number of Senior Officer reserved parking spots?
Thank you for your question. Parking is definitely a premium at Scott AFB, and we are working to ensure we maximize the spaces available across the installation. As part of our efforts, we regularly assess the location and number of reserved parking spots. The designation of reserved parking spots is vetted through a rigorous approval process in accordance with Unified Facilities Criteria and Air Force/Scott AFB guidance and instructions.
The location and number of Senior Officer designated parking spots are assessed and proposed by the Base Traffic Engineer to the Scott Traffic Safety Advisory Board. This is discussed, debated and agreed upon by many stakeholders including the chair of the Traffic Safety Board, the Mission Support Group Commander, the Base Civil Engineer, the Labor Unions and many others. Our ultimate goal is to reserve the appropriate number of parking locations and to balance those needs with the appropriate customs and courtesies.
We have also started an installation-wide parking working group to address a variety of other parking concerns, and we will be reaching out to base organizations and customers across the installation to make additional changes over the next year.
With a resurgent Russia and China asserting their dominance in the East, will we redirect our attention to that region or stay focused on the Middle East?
Great question. While I am not the expert on this topic, without a doubt, two dominant issues of the 21st century will be the question of U.S. participation in the Asia-Pacific region and how to engage with a resurgent Russia. Despite these two pressing topics, it is important to recognize that the U.S. continues to have obligations around the world to include ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a premature withdrawal from America’s commitments in those countries would not be a positive indicator for our commitment to other partners across the globe.
That said, the U.S. is striving for a more sustained balance of engagement and support around the world to include a pivot towards Asia in recent years. Currently, the focus has been on political and economic engagement with regional partners, while still recognizing America’s complex relationship with China. In regards to a resurgent Russia, our future will likely hold more multilateral actions. As a nation, we have worked hard to develop and establish mutually supportive relationships with our European partners, and as much as possible our response to Russian actions will likely include other NATO countries.
Are there any areas to practice martial arts/combat training?
Thank you for your question! We have multiple indoor and outdoor locations for you to practice martial arts/combat training. During warmer months, our outdoor field, adjacent to the dining facility, provides a soft surface conducive for that sport. Indoor space is at a premium, but our indoor racquetball courts at the James Sports Center can be reserved on a first come, first serve basis. If you need mats, please reserve the court at least 48 hours prior and notify the James staff that you will need the mats so they can bring them out of storage.
If you’d like to instruct a class (five or more members), certain requirements must be met in addition to reserving space. Per AFI 34-266, group exercise instructors must have and maintain a primary instructor certification by an Air Force recognized organization listed on the AF Fitness and Sports Manager’s website.
Group exercise instructors also maintain current First Aid and either the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support/Automated External Defibrillator or the Red Cross’s Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator certification. If you’re interested in instructing a class, please coordinate with the Fitness staff and provide proof of certifications prior to offering a class. If four or fewer individuals are simply teaching each other and practicing skills, there are no certification requirements.
Please contact the Fitness Center Staff or Ms. Gailyn Gonzalez at 256-1218 for additional information and ways to reserve a space.