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20th FW leadership address installation interests

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Fighter Wing (FW) senior leaders hosted a town hall, Aug. 8.

The town hall provides a venue where 20th FW senior leaders can address any questions or suggestions regarding the installation Team Shaw members have as well as provide updates on ongoing or completed projects.

Some of the completed projects include the new fire station that opened in the north housing area as well as the main gate renovation with the implementation of a 15 mile-per-hour speed limit for the base exit.

Some in progress projects include the creation of a dog park in the north housing area to be managed by Hunt Military Communities (HMC). Additionally, the annex gym is slated to have 24/7 access, which is scheduled to be implemented by the end of September.

The school gates are now operating and the hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The hours are subject to change depending on school functions.

A renovation is scheduled for Memorial Lake to fix the bridges and signage around the lake in a four-phase plan. A Memorial Lake clean-up is scheduled for Sept. 22.

The hours of operation for the Shaw gas kiosk, located at the base exchange (BX), have been reduced, however the gas pumps will remain open 24/7.

Additionally, the 20th Force Support Squadron (FSS) Youth Center is under renovation to repair the roof, floors, walls, interior finishes and exterior drainage. The renovations will not impact Youth Center and Child Development Center operations.

Lastly, services including health promotions and family advocacy are available to help with any Team Shaw preventative health needs. For any additional services or medical care, please contact the medical group during duty hours at 1-803-895-CARE or the Tricare nurse advice line which is available 24/7 at 1-800-TRICARE.

Below is a listing of questions presented during the town hall and the answers provided by 20th FW senior leaders.

Question 1: The overgrown shrubbery on the intersection between Plum Street and Sycamore Street is obstructing residents’ view and making the turn dangerous. Who can be contacted to get the shrubbery trimmed back?

Answer 1: Based on your feedback, HMC has trimmed the shrubs in question. For future reference, residents can contact HMC at (803) 666-2210 for repairs in the housing area, or the 20th Civil Engineer Squadron at (803) 895-9655 for concerns like this.

Question 2: Is there a plan to permanently bring base housing back on base?

Answer 2: Per the Department of Defense housing policy, the housing requirements marketing analysis authorizes only 633 houses to be located on base. There will be no increase at this time. There will also be no changes to the perimeter fence line because of funding limitations and the requirement to allow public access to Sumter County schools on base.

Question 3: Last year the Air Force chief of staff mentioned streamlining additional duties to refocus Airmen on their primary mission. What is the 20th FW doing to implement this?

Answer 3: The 20th FW has empowered its squadrons to take care of those problems and is also looking for Airmen to give suggestions for Air Force Instruction (AFI) improvement, deletion or updating according to the new direction Air Force leadership is taking. One of the many things the 20th FW has done is consolidate the Computer Based Training requirements for Airmen.

Question 4: Is there a way to create a ticket system and waiting room at the 20th Medical Group satellite pharmacy located at the BX?

Answer 4: Yes, there are projects in place to widen the waiting room and door. There is also a project to provide an ATM-type of machine for refills that will be open on weekends and holidays, during BX hours of operation, instead of patrons having to wait in line during business hours.

Question 5: Will Airmen have an opportunity to view the Aug. 21 solar eclipse during work?

Answer 5: Yes, as long as they are not mission essential at that time, Airmen will absolutely have the opportunity especially since that day is a training day.

Question 6: Do I need a certification to teach a class at the base gym? If not, who should I contact about teaching classes?

Answer 6: For those looking to teach a class, please contact the 20th FSS. The AFIs dictate which classes you need to be certified in to teach. Certification requirements depend on what class you would like to teach.

Question 7: When will the main gym be complete?

Answer 7: The main gym is scheduled to start opening sections in phases by the end of September. The timeline for the entire gym to be accessible by is the end of December 2017.

Question 8: Is a physical fitness instructor license required if they already have a certification to teach that class?

Answer 8: Per AFI 34-266, Air Force Fitness and Sports Programs, paragraph 2.3., “Group exercise instructors must have and maintain a primary instructor certification by an Air Force recognized organization listed on the Air Force Fitness and Sports Manager’s website. Instructors must obtain the additional necessary specialized training/certifications for step and kickboxing fitness classes. Group exercise instructors must also maintain current First Aid in either the American Heart Association’s Basic Life Support/Automated External Defibrillator (BLS/AED) or the Red Cross’s Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation/Automated External Defibrillator (CPR/AED) Certification.”

Question 9: Are there any plans in place to improve Shaw’s sponsor program?

Answer 9: Yes, Shaw is actively taking strides to improve the sponsor program and is working with the 20th FSS to come up with a solution.

Question 10: Is there a program in place to educate Airmen on nutrition and provide more nutritious food on base?

Answer 10: Yes, the nutrition options on base keep growing. There is a “Go for Green” initiative at the Chief Master Sgt. Emerson E. Williams Dining Facility, healthy options have been introduced at the Afterburner Grill, and a “thumbs up” program for dietitian-approved foods at the commissary.

Question 11: Will there be a Rickenbacker’s or smoothie bar in the new fitness center?

Answer 11: It is being looked into as an option.

Question 12: Would Shaw consider a charter school for grades kindergarten through eighth?

Answer 12: That is not under consideration at this time.

Question 13: Will healthier food options be offered in the Sumter School District lunch program?

Answer 13: United States Department of Agriculture rules and regulations determine the type of food the schools can offer. They are continuing to make healthier foods available and take a lot of unhealthy food out of the vending machines.

Question 14: Is there a program of nutrition education in place for the students?

Answer 14: Yes, there are some components of nutritional education at all levels. There are also fresh fruit and vegetable grants that are received and given out weekly.

Question 15: Will the Sumter Gate have extended hours to accommodate the 24/7 access to the fitness annex?

Answer 15: Due to manning, we are not looking to extend the hours at this time. Patrons can continue to access the Fitness Annex through the Main Gate 24/7.

Question 16: Base housing residents have noticed some issues using the traffic circle near Highway 441. Is it possible to convert it into a three-way stop?

Answer 16: Traffic circles are much safer than other stops. Awareness and education on how they work are key to making sure traffic moves safely and efficiently. We will work with 20 FW Public Affairs to publish education articles on the base website, Facebook, and in the base paper.

Question 17: The three-way stop on Frierson Road and the four-way stop on Sycamore, will those turn into a traffic circles?

Answer 17: Unfortunately there is not enough space to do a full traffic circle at those locations and those stops were purposefully put there to help keep people from speeding.

Question 18: Will diesel pumps be made available on base?

Answer 18: Based on this question, a cost analysis will be done with the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) and the question will be posed to management.

Question 19: Has there been progress made on the environmental assessment for the MQ-9 to come to Shaw? Is there any update to the status?

Answer 19: Part of the process before bringing the MQ-9s to Shaw is to make sure there will not be a negative effect on the local environment. It is still being assessed and is scheduled to be completed in late November.

Question 20: There is concern of people parking on base during school hours through base housing and remaining past 5 p.m. What is the plan to prevent this?

Answer 20: The 20th Security Forces Squadron Airmen purge the housing areas for any out of place vehicles or people after the gate is closed. There is always a risk of someone parking there and sneaking on base. If you see something or someone out of place, please call security forces at the Base Defense Operations Center at 895-3669 so they can investigate.

Question 21: Will there be repairs to the popular chapel trail?

Answer 21: The trail repairs are very expensive and unfortunately cannot be done this year. We are focusing on repairs to Memorial Lake Park this year and are researching possible plans to fund this project for the next fiscal year.

Question 22: What is the status of the bathrooms at the track?

Answer 22: We have project funding and are working contract action for repairs. We hope the permanent restrooms will be ready for use next spring or summer, but will continue to monitor the temporary facilities to ensure they meet standards.

Question 23: There is currently no location for base residents to work on their cars causing them to spend extra money to get work done that they can do themselves. Is there a plan to designate an area for car maintenance or allow residents to do maintenance in their garage?

Answer 23: Based on continued requests for the return of an Auto Hobby Shop, we will complete another survey to measure interest levels. Shaw is currently investigating ways to partner with the local community for a potential solution.

Question 24: Farmers Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (FTC) requires some people living in base housing to have a phone line and not others. Is there anything Shaw can do to make this not mandatory?

Answer 24: FTC is authorized to provide services, however Shaw does not own it. Base representatives can attempt to talk to FTC to see what they can do.

Question 25: Are there plans to renovate the base theater and start playing movies?

Answer 25: Due to the renovation costs, AAFES has determined this is not a viable business to fund. We are currently working with downtown community leaders to see if there is anything the local theater can do to provide discounts for military members as well as provide public transportation between Shaw and the local community on weekend evenings.

Question 26: When is the construction on the roof of building 1118 going to be completed? Will the contractors be required to fix all of the damage caused by the leaks?

Answer 26: The leaks caused by the contractors will be fixed by the contractors. Currently the skylight windows are not within the contract and we are looking to add that to the contract to be fixed as well. The current contract completion date is October 2017, but that may be extended for the additional window work.

Question 27: Will there be events scheduled to celebrate the 55th Fighter Squadrons’ 100-year anniversary? Will all Airmen be able to participate?

Answer 27: Yes, there are three days of events planned for the anniversary from 23 August until 25 August and all Airmen are welcome to participate. Watch the 20th FW Facebook page for information as it becomes available.

Question 28: Are there plans to add lighting to the annex running trail for safety during hours of darkness?

Answer 28: There is no project in the works for lighting the path at this time.

Question 29: Is the combat fitness gym going to be similar to a CrossFit box?

Answer 29: Yes, it will be the same kind of fitness equipment you will find at a civilian CrossFit gym.

Question 30: Will there be more fitness classes added as they finish the gym?

Answer 30: Yes, we are always looking to add and improve programs. Also, the Alpha Warrior rig will be set up on half of the new basketball court for use.

Question 31: Will there be a “Fun Friday” or some type of monthly force support program themed family fun event?

Answer 31: There are multiple events sponsored by the 20th FSS including a member’s appreciation dinner and football frenzy that are coming up. We are always looking for fresh, new ideas and if it’s something we can do, we will make it happen. To stay connected and receive updates on events around base go to the 20th FSS website, www.20thFSS.com, or 20th FW website, www.shaw.af.mil, and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/20fighterwing.

Question 32: Will there be more funding for services on base like the 20th FSS bowling alley? How can we increase their use by people on base?

Answer 32: The morale fund to give back to Airmen is very healthy for Shaw and people are using our services. We continuously strive to do better and welcome any fresh, new ideas to improve our programs.

Question 33: There has been destruction to base housing caused by children who are home from school over the summer months. What is the ideal way to handle the situation?

Answer 33: Please attempt to contact their parents directly or call security forces at the Base Defense Operations Center at 895-3669 or contact their parents directly to handle the situation.

Question 34: There is a lot the base offers, but there seems to be a break in communication. Families don’t know what’s going on or if there is an event until the last minute. What can be done to fix this problem?

Answer 34: The 20th FSS provides information on programs and events on base through their website, www.20thFSS.com, and Facebook page which are updated on a regular basis. There is also a text messaging program you can sign up for by texting 20thFSS to 41411, which will provide you updates on upcoming events and programs.

Other ways to stay connected are by visiting the Shaw Air Force Base website, www.shaw.af.mil, 20th FW Facebook page, reading the Shaw newspaper which is published and distributed around base and the Sumter community every Friday, and listening to the radio show that occurs Friday mornings on WDXY 1240 AM/105.9 FM.

Question 35: Are there events on base to celebrate themed months?

Answer 35: Yes, typically those are hosted by private organizations or clubs on base.

Question 36: Will there be a traffic light installed in the street behind the schools?

Answer 36: There are no plans to install a traffic light in the area at this