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23d WG/CC answers questions

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

Col. Dan Walls, 23d Wing commander, held his first Commander’s Call Sept. 30, 2019, here.

During the all-call he opened up the floor for questions that ranged from general leadership topics, his new vision for the Wing and life here at Moody.

“A point that I stressed at Commander’s Call, and that has hopefully resounded through to your squadrons, is the importance of your feedback so that we can build the Wing we want of Airmen who are Resilient, Adaptable, and Always Ready,” said Walls.

Walls was able to answer a number of questions in person but did not want the remainder to go unanswered.

The answers to the Wing’s frequently asked questions were researched and compiled below:

Any advice about how an individual can improve shop morale?

Take ownership! There are at least two things that are always under your control: attitude and effort – both of which are contagious. One person who has taken ownership of their attitude and effort can make a difference by showing up, which is extremely different from simply being accounted present.

What can be done about the negative stigma that comes with “taking a knee” or needing help?

If you think you are one of the few who haven’t needed to take that pit stop along the way then you are probably wrong, everyone needs help at one time or another. You can change the stigma by setting a positive example and taking a knee yourself. Often the root of the “negative stigma” has more to do with the fear of being considered not fit for duty or that asking for help will have an impact on one’s career, but if you find yourself struggling, the resources that are available (our Mental Health professionals, Chaplains, First Sergeants) are here to help not hinder.

What goes through your mind when you put your uniform on every morning? What do you want going through your Airmen’s minds when they put it on?

“What will I do today that will make it better than it might have been?” Every individual plays a role in the shop dynamic to accomplish the mission. Ask yourself how you can leave a positive mark on the mission or the people each day.

Is there a squadron/unit reorganization headed our way?

There are no squadron/unit reorganizations in the near future for the 23d Wing.

 

 

Are we losing the 347th Rescue Group to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)?

No.

When will we be issued OCPs?

Personnel at Moody will not be issued OCPs. The uniform allowance has increased $20 as Airmen are expected to purchase OCPs and be in compliance with AFI 36-2903 Dress and Personal Appearance of Air Force Personnel before April 2021.

What are we doing to mentor the staff sergeants who weren’t taught to lead?

Not every problem requires a committee, rank-entitled permission or “good-idea” blessing in order to be addressed. Take the initiative and teach them to lead; whether it be through example, trial and error, or vector and re-vector. 

When will mental health be taken seriously as physical health i.e., mandatory mental check-ups?

The mental health of our Airmen is just as important as the physical health, and the wing we want is one of resilient Airmen. While mandatory mental health check-ups is an idea that we could run up the flag pole, a step in the right direction that can be taken today starts at the unit/shop level. Take a second to genuinely check on your fellow Airmen or identify if you, yourself, are struggling; this could make all the difference while the implementation of Air Force processes gets worked out.

How would you suggest offices implement your priority of giving back time to Airmen when there’s such a push from higher ups to do more, in turn, causing Airmen to stay late?

Giving time back to the Airmen starts with determining which tasks are necessary to accomplish the mission. This is almost entirely dependent on feedback; the best people to identify what tasks are unnecessary, inefficient or involve broken processes are the Airmen who perform them. Speak up and out!  

How would you define toxic leadership? What do I do about toxic leadership or environment in my shop?

Essentially, toxic leadership is leadership that doesn’t work, but this doesn’t have to be limited to the stigmatized phrases such as mean, hard and demanding. It simply means leadership which is significantly ineffective in such a way that it can actually have counterproductive results. As for what one could do about the presence of toxic leadership, address it by providing feedback. This feedback should of course be professional, but if you’re not seeing any changes in the environment, start at the lowest level work your way up your chain of command (supervisor, section lead, etc.) if necessary. It can be intimidating to initiate discourse but nothing can change if you don’t speak up.   

What can be done to increase post-traumatic stress disorder awareness?

The invisible wounds of our brothers and sisters in arms are as real as those that are visible and deserve to be treated as such. Our mental health professionals and chaplains stand ready to help those who have been affected by PTSD. We can each do our part by educating ourselves and our wingmen on the available avenues to seek help.

What is a leadership lesson/tool/tip/principle that you’ve learned/gain from an NCO/Senior NCO that has helped you make decisions as a commander?

"CAN'T is not a word, NO is not the answer, and FAILURE is not an option."

If the resiliency tactical pause was the first step in a continued dialogue, what are the next steps?

The RTP was not just a one-time event or the beginning of a one-sided conversation, but is about inspiring continual interaction and building a culture of connectedness, in turn, making us, as Airmen, more resilient. The next step is taking the conversation to your units, conversing with your peers and speaking up about the issues you see negatively affecting not only the mission but the people.

When are we going to get morale OCP patches?

This question has been asked and answered repeatedly at various Air Force levels; there will be no morale OCP patches.

When will the A-10C Thunderbolt II get lights under the sun shades?

Background: We obtained price quotes as well as information from the company who did the lighting at Eglin. There is existing lighting on A9 and A10 parking spots but is not a good solution for us as it must be plugged in to a power cart and switched off during A/C refueling because it is not explosion proof.

Future: We will continue to search for a lighting solution that fits our needs, request necessary funding, and coordinate with Civil Engineer/airfield management to run power and install solar batteries on their airfield. Working through CE for approval, coordination and execution to run power to the sunshades will likely align with future ramp resurfacing projects.

Maintenance dickie shorts—how soon can we expect it?!

The Maintenance Group is currently conducting research and formulating a plan to authorize wearing shorts not only on the flightline, but also in most industrial areas across the group. We have obtained the approval packages used by other bases that have already authorized shorts as an alternate duty uniform. Air Combat Command is also looking to implement a standardization policy for the wearing of shorts across the command. We expect to have the way forward complete by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 with a goal of having the program implemented by summer of 2021.

 

With the arrival of the HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter and the phase-out of the HH-60G Pave Hawks, will manning adjustments be made for maintenance of both aircraft leading into the fourth quarter of 2020?

The manning that we currently have will support the HH-60W and HH-60G transition. There is a divestiture plan to reduce the number of HH-60Gs as we receive HH-60Ws. For a short time we will have some dual-qualified maintainers that will be able to support both platforms until the HH-60Gs are gone. As we ramp up the HH-60W numbers, we will be flying the HH-60Gs less to allow maintainers and aircrews to get familiar with the new airframe. We are exploring options to fill any shortfalls if extra HH-60G manning is needed during the transition.

Aerospace Ground Equipment’s facilities are very outdated, can we get a push for air conditioning in our shops? Can we figure out a way to get TF34 Engine back shop to get A/C as well?

Currently, the AGE Facility is #2 on the wing’s military construction list to get funded. When the project is approved to renovate the facility, the squadron’s plan is to install permanently fixed fans in each of the maintenance bays as well as explore installing A/C. However, there is a Federal Government level regulation (UFC 3-410-01) that says we cannot install air conditioners in the AGE Facility or Engine Back Shop dueto the categorization of the facility. The MXG is exploring waiver options to enable us to move forward with A/C once MILCON funding is obtained. For the interim, the AGE maintenance bays have large mobile fans to keep personnel cool and to reduce heat stress. The AGE break room is also climate controlled. The Engine Back Shop already has big fans installed with a contract to ensure they stay operational.

Members are facing backlash if they don’t complete their PHA on time but providers don’t seem to be facing the same repercussions if they don’t do their part. For example, a member completes their PHA in March and five months later there is still no signature.

We appreciate the question and opportunity to clarify. The Periodic Health Assessment (PHA) and Mental Health Assessment (MHA) processes have had many changes and challenges over the last few years. We are actively working process improvements in the MDG and expect to see enhancements in the coming months. Please know we hold providers accountable for not completing their PHA/MHA work by utilizing progressive discipline as required.

 

 

Female aircrew are being turned away from women’s health and sent to flight medicine for wellness exams. At Flight Medicine, medics say they’re uncomfortable/untrained in that area. How are we supposed to be “always ready” if we can’t get basic healthcare?

The MDG experienced challenges within the Military Medicine Clinic (MMC or Flying Tiger Clinic) and Dependent Care Clinic (Tiger Family Clinic) when the Women’s Health clinic started seeing only active duty patients 16 Sep 19. The appointment line follows specific booking protocols to schedule appointments into the various clinics. AD Female patients assigned to the Flight Medicine Clinic are scheduled wellness exams within the Women’s Health Clinic. AD female patients assigned to MMC are scheduled appointments with their PCM. AD patients are welcome to schedule female exams in Women’s Health and should specify where they would like to be seen for this exam. Both clinics have trained staff to execute and assist with exams.

As an MDG Airman, I understand my connection to the mission, what I am not clear on is our goal. What am I working towards?

As we strive for all Airmen to understand how we connect to the mission, it is great to hear that you have already made that connection. There are various goals that are established based on many factors to include organizational level, section, position and functional role. Without knowing more information on the type of goals you are inquiring about, it is difficult to address the question. One recommendation is to ask your supervisor, leadership or mentor for assistance to better understand and help provide what goals you are asking about. In general terms, we should all be working toward the MDG vision of Readiness First, Trusted Care Always!

What is being done at the local unit level to minimize the extra administrative steps (checklists/processes) that add to the false sense of urgency/extra stress of Airmen?

Great question! The Air Force is founded on innovation. We would love your ideas to improve processes – and the best people to develop more efficient/effective processes are the Airmen executing that process. The Just Do It/Continuous Process Improvement (JDI/CPI) is a great tool to assess processes that might cause extra time and/or stress. Please contact your leadership to start a JDI/CPI!

Will the dining facility be improved for dorm residents (to include healthier options), or will the residents have the option to use their BAS for their own food instead?

In February 2019, the DFAC implemented the Go 4 Green (G4G) Program to offer healthier options for Airmen. The Pure Bar (which replaced the salad bar) has items such as roasted tofu, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, blanched broccoli, quinoa and barley. Additionally, the Omelet Bar added breakfast burritos and food grain bowls. The DFAC provides subsistence entitlements to enlisted members who reside in the dormitories. Dorm residents are only placed on BAS for special circumstances i.e., Airmen who are assigned to the Fire Department or members who require special meals due to religion approved by the unit commander.

 

Some equipment at the Freedom I Fitness Center has been broken for some time now; what is the status of repairs?

The maintenance of the fitness center’s equipment is contracted out and the contractor performs inspections to identify broken items once per month. Once identified, the contractor repairs items found during the previous months visit. Unfortunately, there was a hiccup in the payment process which caused the contractor to miss the August 2019 visit, and resulted in equipment being down longer than normal. We estimate these repairs will be completed by November 2019.

What’s the status on nursing stations at the Child Development Center?

The Air Force built nursing areas as a multi-functioning space which classrooms were lacking in older buildings. By design, they contain staff lockers, family car seats and strollers (if parents are alternating drop-off or pick-up), and some additional storage space. For child abuse protection purposes, there are no curtains or blinds allowed on windows or doors in the CDC (this is why the children’s bathroom stalls are built without doors). In order to provide a different option to parents, CDC leadership has identified a storage closet that will be converted to a nursing room. While the door will still have a window, we will make the space as comfortable and private as possible. The estimated completion date is November 22.

 

If you still have questions or feedback, it is never too late; please feel free to email 23wgpa.cmdrscorner@us.af.mil with your message.