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Ask Team Minot

Thank you for voicing your questions and concerns to "Ask Team Minot." We value your submissions and are committed to researching every submission and publishing the answers on this page. Every submission is taken seriously, and we are constantly looking to improve our processes at Team Minot. The safety and well-being of everyone at Team Minot is our top priotity. Submissions can be made here


Are questions to the “Ask Team Minot” line anonymous? 
   

Thank you for your question. You can submit questions via our website, app (iTunes or Google Play) or Hotline and the questions can remain 100% anonymous. For instance, on the website, we simply require an email address and name which can be first name with no last name, etc. Our plan is to publish all questions and answers on our website and Facebook.


Has there been any follow-up regarding the 5th Medical Group Appointment Line? The hotline provides an appointment time, but when the individual arrives at the clinic they are told they can’t be seen, for various administrative reasons. 
   

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The Military Treatment Facility discovered an education and training shortfall with the contract employees working the appointment line. Since the discovery, training and retraining has occurred. The MTF has been actively managing and tracking mismatches between the scheduled appointment time and when patients are showing up for their appointment. As a result of the training, the MTF has seen a significant decline in these errors. However, because of the high turnover in our contract staff, we encourage patients to confirm their appointment time through TRICARE Online. In order to continuously improve our processes, we are actively pursuing a modernized appointment phone line system and other appointment line improvements that will help enhance the customer's experience when calling.


 

Why does it appear our services folks don’t work the same hours as the rest of the Airmen on base?

 
Without specifics, we can’t provide a specific answer. Generally, our Airmen do work the same hours (and often times several more) than other Airmen on base. However, our customer service hours are often shortened due to mandatory training requirements, inventory, maintenance, “back shop” time for Airmen to process the actions they received from their customers throughout open customer service hours, and many other reasons. Many “Services” activities have to operate as businesses and need to have sufficient income to offset expenses.  Most activities set their operating hours strategically to optimize revenue while minimizing labor costs.  While we would like to provide round-the-clock service, unfortunately as a business, it is not financially feasible. Many of our sections are able to make appointments on a case-by-case basis when a specific time will not work for a specific instance. In these cases, please contact the activity leadership if unable to solve at the lowest level or submit an ICE comment with contact information for flight and unit leadership to engage.


 Can you provide an update regarding the lost/stolen mail issue?
 


In October 2017 the MSG leadership, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Staff Judge Advocate met with the U.S. Postal Service officials to discuss the reports of tampered and missing mail on Minot AFB. While their review is in progress, we are requested to minimize dialog in open forums or media.  

The Postal Service previously discussed with Balfour Beatty the installation of large parcel lockers throughout the community to reduce the number of packages left at the front door of a residence. Due to the winter season, the Postal Service had to wait until the spring before installation could begin. The lockers have arrived and are stored on base awaiting installation by the USPS. 


Why is the commissary closed on Mondays?  
 
The hours of operation are set by DeCA HQ and is dependent upon the size of the store. Based on our size and location, Minot AFB’s hours are comparable to other commissaries throughout the Air Force.


The commissary seems to have issues with maintaining proper inventory and handling special ordering. Can something be done to address the items they carry, the stocking and the special ordering process?
   

The items that are not in stock are checked on a daily basis and are on order but we have no control over what our distributors do or do not send us. If something is out of stock, a customer can speak to a commissary employee or manager to see if it came on that day's truck but not yet stocked, which is often the case. When HQ deletes an item out of the system we cannot order it anymore since it is not in the system to order. We regularly check for expired items but we are not perfect, if a customer finds an expired item we will immediately pull it and can look to see if we have new, replacement products. Though we are extremely under staffed, customers are always able to ask employees or managers for assistance to find products.   


Why does it take so long for military spouses to get signed up for the priority preference program and actually obtain a job? 
   

From Oct. 1, 2017 through May 15, 2018, Minot CPO registered 22 military spouses, of those, 17 were offered and accepted positions ranging from GS-4 through GS-11.  

The law gives spouses 1 chance to be a Priority Hire (PPP) using military spouse preference. The applicant decides what grade(s) and which job(s) to apply for.  Most spouses apply for multiple positions varying in grades and duties. Applicants are counseled when they register for PPP of the pros/cons of applying/accepting a valid job offer. As a rule, we recommend the applicant accepts the first firm job offer he/she receives as there are no guarantees for another position. Local CPO recommends and registers applicants for positions or grades based on the resume contents IAW OPM Qualification Standards and what positions are currently vacant at Minot AFB. However, AFPC verifies the PPP registrations and OPM Qualification Standards prior to referring candidates for vacancies. Then, hiring officials review and select the best qualified candidates for their positions. 


Success and quickness of obtaining employment depends on multiple factors such as strength of resume, timing, and availability of desired vacant positions. The Air Force's typical hiring timeline is approximately 120+ days from vacancy to fill for most administrative positions. Specialized positions may take 6-12 months. 


Why are we not able to bring food and drinks into the the Lil' Riders area? Also, is anything being done to mitigate safety concerns of the smaller room to the side of the play area at Lil'Riders?
   

AFI 34-272, paragraph 3.13.7. states, “Do not allow people to bring in or serve food and beverage products in club facilities not produced, obtained by, or contracted for by the club.”  JDC, Rockers, B50 Brew, Rough Rider Pizza and Lil Riders are all part of the co-located club system on Minot AFB. This policy is established by AF to ensure food safety standards are met, maintain business income levels and are in line with business standards across the Air Force and the industry, i.e., McDonalds, Chucky Cheese etc. We have no objections if parents want to bring in water or snacks for children or get cups of water and use our soda machine water dispenser.

We are determining the funding, cleaning, maintenance and manpower support requirements to change the classification of Lil’ Riders from a non-appropriated fund supported facility to an appropriated fund supported facility. We will submit courses of action to leadership when completed.

The safety of children is a top concern for us. The 5th BW Ground Safety office has determined the room is not a safety concern.  We are closing the area off because it is a non-functional part of the playground that is going to be repurposed to a storage room.


Preschool is needed on base for kids that don't qualify for head start. Is this something you can look into?
 


Early Childhood Education (Pre-K) programs are not required by state law in North Dakota (NDCC 15.1-37-01).  Minot Public School District operates all school buildings and programs with the district to include Minot AFB schools. Minot Public School District only has a needs based program within the district that is funded by state and federal funds. There are inherent problems with establishing Pre-K within the district that includes operating costs and building space.  On base space is not an issue, but it is in many of the other schools. All schools are treated the same academically within the district so there would have to be a plan for every elementary school to have Pre-K. That would be cost prohibitive for the district. The school would not receive state aid payments for any student enrolled in Pre-K, per state law, which means that the costs associated with Pre-K would be taken out of the budget.  Current year the district is in a deficit of $3.3 Million and forecast a $2.5 Million deficit next year.

There are other preschools available in town and now there is preschool at Glenburn Public School. 


What is your plan to improve the AFI-driven operation of the parental advisory board? 
 
As a Private Organization, the Parent Advisory Board is responsible to improve its own program by following the guidelines described in AFI 34-223, Private Organizations Program. Also, AFI 34-144 Chapter 17.3.3. states the PAB “Meet with CYP Program Managers and the Flight Chief quarterly to discuss program services”. According to the meeting minutes, CYP Managers and the Flight Chief are currently exceeding the standard by attending monthly meetings with the PAB. Additionally, in recent weeks there has been numerous correspondence from members of CYP and FSS leadership with the PAB President, so communication has actually been increased between organizations rather than cut off.  CYP continues to stand ready to work with the PAB to meet the needs of the base.  


Are there any plans to fix the mulch issue at the parks on base?  
 
Last fall, in an effort to improve the playgrounds in our community, we replaced old mulch with recycled mulch material. After its installation we quickly realized the improvement was not an improvement. We removed all of the mulch material at our Roughrider Park and replaced all of it with sand. The other parks that received recycled mulch were tilled and hand raked to remove any stick material that was present. Our plan is to replace two parks a year with sand to eventually replace all of the parks that were supplemented with recycled mulch, four parks in total, if funding permits. We have inspected each park and have removed any dangerous material and will continue to till and rake parks if material is discovered or brought to our attention by our residents. 


What is your plan to handle complaints and to improve family services on base? 
 
Continued and constant communication, dialogue and feedback are key. To accomplish this goal, we have established multiple avenues that allow feedback. We will continue to use this mechanism for the primary means to address concerns and provide follow up responses to Team Minot. Some improvements are quick/easy and we have moved out to address those, such as a means to provide feedback to commanders outside of ICE, cleanliness of Lil Riders, open play for tots, programs for under 5 year olds. We realize there are other much-needed improvements, such as additional CDC slots, that will come with time once we have approved-funding for the design, followed by funding for the actual project. 


Col. Robertson has failed the families by brushing off the concern and only taking into consideration what her staff tells her. Will anyone look into the way the PAB members are being treated? The PAB members are the voice of the families. 
 


"I have a heart for all Airmen and their families and is concerned about the trust, professionalism, and respect for human dignity for and by all. Since the PAB is a private organization, external to MSG management and oversight, the MSG has a role limited by AFI 34-144 and AFI 34-223 however, I have directed that MSG members provide support to the Parent Advisory Board when legally possible. Additionally, to ensure all customers are treated the same, MSG staff has been reminded to maintain professional, courteous respect to all members of the community, and will be provided with additional, customer service training in June and July."


- Col. Angenene Robertson, 5th Mission Support Group commander 


When we first arrived at Minot AFB, 6 years ago, my grandchildren were too young to participate in any programs at the Youth Center. We became members anyway, because it allowed us access to the gym and equipment 3 mornings a week. The parents cleaned up after themselves, there were no employees except to sign us in and no additional charges. Why can't this be implemented again? I attended the Open Gym on Fridays and it was a joke. We had to constantly ask for more equipment for the children to play with and to begin with we were charged a fee.

 

We are in the planning phases of increasing the Open Gym program from just Fridays to Monday, Wednesday and Friday on days when youth center fee paying patrons are not present.  We anticipate implementation at the start of the new school year.

In addition, the 5th Mission Support Group team recently created a monthly calendar of events for families with children five and under that included different daily activities from numerous base agencies to include Child and Youth Programs, the Base Library, Arts and Crafts Center, Fitness Center, Indoor/Outdoor Pool, Base Chapels, and some others. Families are encouraged to support these wonderful facilities and activities. 


Is there any way Lil’ Riders can be opened earlier? With the harsh weather, it would be nice for parents to have a place to take their children earlier than 9:30am.
 
Lil’ Riders hours of operation are established to coincide with the hours of Rough Rider Pizza management and staff. Their oversight is needed to ensure the safety and security of all Lil’ Riders patrons.  
 


Since the Open Gym at the Youth Center was funded by Col Brooks, why were families charged and when will the families be reimbursed for this fee? 
 

Though Col. Brooks approved funding to offset the cost for open gym, funding was not forwarded to the YC to support this initiative as we were able to work with the Air Force Services Agency to eliminate any incurred costs.

Per the 5th Comptroller Squadron commander, appropriated funds are not authorized to pay for non-appropriated fund parent fees.  Required supervision of children and the resulting non-appropriated fund labor costs was the reason there was a charge initially.  However, in an effort to assist this program, the Child and Youth Program Flight Chief consulted with the Air Force Services Activity for a supervision waiver and they approved it, thus enabling the Youth Center to allow the free use of their facility for this program/group starting on 9 Feb 2018.  Though NAF labor expenses were incurred prior to this waiver approval, we have initiated refund notifications to all Open Gym participants. 


Is there a way to re-train all employees, in support positions, what customer service means? Can leadership remind their employees what SUPPORT means? The MSG's mission is to support Airmen and Families.

 

The Mission Support Group provides base support and services.  The Air Force has an essential national defense mission; and all members and employees of the Air Force, have responsibilities for carrying out that mission.  We are responsible for following orders, performing specific daily tasks related to our duties, and living up to the high standards of the Air Force. Maintaining good order and discipline is paramount for mission accomplishment. Our core values demand that we treat others with genuine dignity, fairness, and respect at all times. We believe everyone is entitled to fair and unbiased treatment, and we take seriously our obligation to care for, teach, respect and lead others. We must also maintain loyalty to the Air Force’s core values and standards and maintain professionalism and respect for others regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. This respect for others not only involves personal interaction but also extends to communications and interactions in social media and cyberspace. 

Outstanding customer support is the priority in MSG.  It is imperative our Airmen and Families know we care.  We desire customer retention, rely on customer feedback to help determine sustainable solutions, and ensure our actions reflect positively on the U.S. Air Force. We strive to maintain the highest levels of customer support despite being resource challenged in funding, manpower, etc.   We strive to maintain the standards and when we find areas of opportunity to improve our programs, support, customer service, etc. we ensure training is made available.  In addition to the annual training requirements levied by the USAF for all of its members and employees, we request resources for additional or specialized training where needed.  There are several upcoming training opportunities to assist MSG personnel in customer service and keep our attitudes fresh in this arena.

 

The Youth Center Facebook page is still being run by a personal account. Months ago, we requested it be run by an admin so that people can see everything posted, even if they are personally blocked by employees. When will this get fixed? 
 


Minot AFB Youth Programs is working with 5 BW/PA to create an open, Air Force-authorized Facebook page.  Once authorized, the page will be moderated by Youth Center staff.  Additionally, regarding the Youth Programs Facebook page, we are working with Public Affairs to activate the page and up-channel to Air Force for approval this week.  We hope to be fully approved and running by the end of next week.

Until approved and available, parents are encouraged to contact the Youth Center directly with any questions at 723-2838, email the staff at 5svs.youth@us.af.mil, or visit the Youth Programs webpage at https://5thforcesupport.com/activities/youthcenter/.


What has been done to rectify the Youth Center employees "Friday tradition" of drinking at lunch and then returning to the Youth Center to work?  
 


We are unaware of a “Friday tradition” of drinking at lunch.  Recently, we received information of an incident where employees consumed an alcoholic beverage while at lunch and off duty, which raised questions from staffers of whether this was acceptable behavior.  AFI 134-144, 6.12.2 states, "No one who is under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs will attend, supervise or participate in any CYP whether located in CYP facilities, FCC homes or any other locations used for CYP activities."  Though “under the influence” can be interpreted differently by many, we used this incident as an opportunity to provide clear squadron policy and educate our staff  that any alcohol consumed constitutes “under the influence” and is not permitted. 


We were told last night that the fee for sports at the Youth Center goes towards paying for the staff. The coaches are volunteers and the Youth Center employees are working normal Youth Center hours, so where does the $40/player actually go?

 


Per the Child and Youth Programs NAF budget, the $40 sports fee breakdown is as follows:

10% Staffing (Clerical and Supervisory)
15% Supplies (i.e. paint for fields, dirt, floor tape, etc.)
45% Uniforms·        
15% Coaches Uniforms
15% Depreciation Tax

AFI 34-144
8.7. YP Fees. Fees may not be set higher than necessary to generate sufficient income to pay the NAF expenses associated with the activity.
8.7.1. Registration fees may be charged in YP. Installations may require those who have not paid the annual registration fee to pay higher fees for individual activities.
8.7.2. Team sports or league sports must be self-sustaining.


The Youth Center now has sponsors for the Youth sports, so why hasn't the cost been lowered for the families? Isn't that the point of having sponsors? 
 
The intent of the commercial sponsorship program is to provide opportunities for local businesses and organizations to enhance programs while offering awareness of a company’s product or service within the Minot AFB community. The Youth Center utilizes sponsors to enhance existing programming events and offset some of program costs, such as the Youth Sports Program. The Youth Center utilizes sponsors to enhance existing programming events and only offsets approximately $10-15 per child based on current participation and associated costs. While the sponsors contribute funds to partially support CYP, they fall far short of funding the entire program.
 


Why are Studio 47 dance parents asked to pay cash and not given receipts? How do we know the money is actually going towards the dance students and not in someone's pocket? 
 


Youth Program parents are encouraged to speak to the clerks, coordinators, or director regarding fees/charges for any program offered at the Youth Center. Parents can use cash or check to pay for Studio 47, and hand receipts are available to everyone who asks.  CYP also adheres to strict cash control procedures to ensure all money is handled appropriately. 

On 30 May 2018 North Star Community Credit Union conducted an audit of Studio 47 to ensure all payments were being processed legally and ethically, and “The audit found no discrepancies. Checks are accepted, documented, and kept on file. All expense receipts are reviewed and kept on file.  There is a spreadsheet accounting for all fees, including cash payments, which is updated each time money is processed. Families are offered the option to receive a receipt at any time. All previously issued receipts are kept on file.”


It was mentioned at the Town Hall last night that all questions will be answered within 7 days. Who will be held accountable for that? We've been asking questions for months that have still not been answered. 
 


This Commander’s Action Line system is monitored by 5 BW/PA, who filters the questions to the respective commanders/leaders under whose units the questions fall.  Group and squadron commanders enforce the 7 duty-day time line.

All FSS-related questions that have been asked through ICE comments since February have been reviewed and answered, whenever contact information was provided.  The automated ICE system provides the most efficient way to contact decision makers in each respective category, but leadership can only fully answer these concerns when contact information is left.  However, ALL comments are read and evaluated at the unit level, regardless of whether anyone leaves contact information.

 

I was glad to hear about the revitalizing of the Parent Advisory Board, but I have concerns about recent advertising being distributed by the PAB. I feel a responsibility to ensure the board is following pertinent AFIs. Per AFI 34-144-17.3.4 the PAB is established as a Private Org if it generates funding. The PAB generates funds and therefore should be a PO. I do not know if the organization is currently an official PO. Per AFI 34-223 10.1 POs may not use the seals, logos, or insignia of the DoD or any DoD Component, DoD organizational unit...on correspondence, titles, or in association with organization programs, locations, or activities. POs must prominently display the following disclaimer on all print and electronic media mentioning the PO’s name confirming that the PO is not part of the DoD: THIS IS A PRIVATE ORGANIZATION. IT IS NOT A PART OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OR ANY OF ITS COMPONENTS AND IT HAS NO GOVERNMENTAL STATUS. The distributed advertising violates this criteria. 
 
The 5 FSS Marketing Office was unaware the Parent Advisory Board was in the process of becoming a private Organization and provided the marketing material and electronic media access with the FSS logos. Marketing has removed the logos.  
 


We live on the corner of Waverly Way where the road curves and there is a giant field and a pathway" to Rocket Rd.  Cars have been using this "pathway" as a through street to the middle school on Rocket.  This is a concern because lots of kids use this short cut to WALK to and from the school. Not only that, but during spring when the ground is thawing and is saturated, teens have used the area to go "mudding."  We have also seen cars using it at 10 o'clock at night as a short cut.

My husband and I have raised the issue with housing multiple times.  We've called the LE desk multiple times.  Both have said that yes, cars should not be driving down through there, however, nothing has been done.  I stopped one gentleman and told him that it wasn't a through street and his reply was "well, there isn't a sign saying I can't drive down through there." Please advise as to whether or not cars are permitted to drive through this area and if not, what is going to be done to stop it. 

 

Security Forces has verified the area in question is in fact not a road and is considered grass field.  The only authorized vehicles that may be in the area are Government owned vehicles for official purposes (i.e. utility vehicles, security patrols, etc).  Security Forces patrols will be increasing their patrols in the area and citing any vehicle found off-roading or transiting the area.  Additionally, Security Forces is working with Balfour Beatty and CE to emplace signs and barriers to identify the area as a “No POV” area.  Finally, MAFBI 31-116,  Minot AFB Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision, identifies the limitations of personnel operating vehicles in this type of area and if personnel are observed in violation of this instruction, notify the Law Enforcement Desk immediately.

2.27.1. Vehicles will not be driven or parked on any grass or seeded area.

4.8.9.4. Operating an off-road vehicle on school grounds and within the housing area is prohibited. 

4.8.10. There are no authorized operating areas on Minot AFB.


Why does the youth center staff close on down days, when in their contract parents have to pay for their services? Why must children go to FCC providers (whom they do not know) so that youth center personnel can take off in down days?  
 
The Youth Center does not close on down days.  They also don’t use FCC providers. They do ask parents to tell them their child care needs for down days in order to “right size” their caregiver staff.  This allows some Youth Center staff the opportunity to take a well-deserved day off.
 


I think the 15 mph speed limits in base housing are ridiculously low.  Can we go to 20 mph across the board?  My car doesn't even idle at 15 mph. 
 
The speed limits on-base are directed by AFI and recommendation of the Traffic Safety Board.  Our Airmen and families are our primary concern when considering changes.  We’ll ensure your recommendation of a speed limit change in housing is addressed at the next Traffic Safety Board.
 


It has been brought to my attention that many in housing are carelessly driving. School is out and the children are out riding bikes, walking, playing and crossing streets. We need more SF patrolling the areas and enforcing speed limits in housing. This morning in front of my own house my son had to rush out the street as he was crossing to avoid being hit buy a speeding vehicle on Delta. Please do something before it’s too late. Thank you in advance. 
 
Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  Since the release of school, Security Force has directed patrols to conduct deliberate enforcement in high traffic areas of base housing.  If you witness any unsafe event, we encourage you to immediately contact the Law Enforcement Desk at 723-3097
 



I had the privilege of spending the past week at Minot AFB as a contractor this week and I'd like to share a story about one of your airmen.

I dropped by the commissary food court for lunch and was walking toward a line. An airman, obviously joining someone in line ahead of me, inadvertently stepped in front of me. Realizing his error, he apologized, stepped out of line and waved me forward. I told him "no worries" as I had a full hour set aside for lunch and insisted he go ahead of me.

I placed my order but when I went to pay, there was a bit of a problem - no charge for lunch. The airman had paid for my lunch. I tracked him down, wanting to repay him, but he refused.

Although this was the action of a single individual, it truly reflects the assistance and support I received at MAFB this week. I look forward to my return to your base.

Apparently it is true ... the best go north. 

  Thank you for recognizing our awesome airmen.  Our airmen work really hard in supporting America’s number one defense mission and it is much appreciated when we have opportunities to know they carry these principles with integrity and honor.  We share your pride in our airmen who remain proud, confident and professional.  


Is the PAB a private organization or not?  They have been raising funds.  Is this legal? 
 


Thank you for allowing us an opportunity to address your concerns.  Currently the PAB is not a private organization, however they were informed that if they generated funds they would be required to become a private organization (PO). The approval package has been sent to the PAB President and the PO manager is awaiting a response.  Once the PAB receives approval from the 5 BW/CC, they may proceed with any fundraisers that are submitted to the Private Org manager and approved by the 5 FSS/CC per AFI 34-223 10.9.1.

POs are not Federal entities and are not to be treated as such.  Accordingly, they are not NAF instrumentalities (NAFIs) as defined in AFI 34-201, Use of Nonappropriated Funds, nor are they entitled to the sovereign immunities and privileges given to NAFIs or the Air Force. 

POs must furnish their own equipment, supplies, and other materials. Newly elected PO officers must consult FSS/FSR for guidance and training on local installation requirements and procedures because POs generally do not get either APF or NAF support except where specifically identified in AFI 34-223.  POs may be provided places to conduct meetings of reasonable duration and frequency. 

Personal and professional participation in POs is governed by DoD 5500.7-R, Joint Ethics Regulation.  

 


I recently put in a work order to take care of a Dak Rat problem in my backyard.  When I phoned maintenance to check on my work order, I was told BBC does not take care of the Dak Rat problem in yards any longer.  I was informed they no longer offer this service but the woman than I spoke with was “not at liberty to say why” I explained that not only are they a nuisance, but they make my back yard dangerous for my children due to the holes. Not to mention that they carry diseases and defecate all over the backyard. I would like a resolution to this pest issue. 
 


From Balfour Beatty - Our pest control vendor ECOLABS was contacted by the State Environmental Protection Agency regarding their usage of pesticides to control Richardson Ground Squirrels (DakRats).  The EPA has notified ECOLABS to temporarily refrain from the use of pesticides in our housing community until they can review what is being used and if they have been following the prescribed practices for their usage.   As of May 30, 2018 ECOLABS received an e-mail from the EPA saying they are still working on the review and should be done soon and have an answer for both ECOLABS and Balfour Beatty.

Until we receive the guidance from the state our vendor is not able to actively control the Dakrat population.  When we get guidance from the state we will either continue with the use of pesticides to control or we will formulate a new plan with our vendor that will use some other strategy


The most recent monthly meeting the PAB was blackballed and told they were no longer allowed to ask policy questions, that they had to be directed to the FSS Deputy Commander (which goes against the AFI reason for PAB "to discuss program satisfaction and to provide any recommendations for improvement").  The numerous correspondence you're referencing are with one parent, newly elected PAB president, but unfortunately all of the remainder of the PAB members have been cut off from communication.  Questions related solely to business are being ignored.  Customer service is garbage within the CYP.  So, I ask again, what is your plan to improve the AFI-driven operation of the parental advisory board? 
 
In accordance with our standard procedures for interacting with Private Organizations, CYP Leaders and other members of leadership will continue to interface and work with the PAB President to address any questions or concerns related to program satisfaction and will continue to consider any and all recommendations that are made for program improvement.  PAB members should coordinate their questions through their Private Organization president or utilize ICE or the Commander's Access Line for specific concerns.
 


Thank you for your response to why obtaining government employment takes so long.  However, the question stated was: The CPO Office frequently hinders the applications of military spouses, through errors on coding them into the Priority Preference Program, to making their non-governmental work experience worthless when applying for jobs.  Please look into how long it takes a PPP applicant to get signed up for the program and actually obtain a job, it's close to 10 months.  Please look at the types of jobs spouses often get (never above a GS-09, and even then GS-09 is for the ones with 15 years valid work experience outside the government that goes uncounted and masters level education).  One spouse, just recently, took 10 months, with a bachelor's degree, and only qualified for a GS-05.  She was turned down multiple times for GS-06 and GS-07 for coding errors on her Priority placement package.  I too had similar issues.  The CPO office works harder for local people than they do for the air force families stationed here.  This is clear discrimination against spouses.  What is your plan to look into and handle spouse discrimination and application mishandling on the part of CPO?  We are afraid to make complaints to EO because then we will never get through CPO to obtain employment. 
 


Thank you for the opportunity to clarify some points to your concerns.  The following responses address the two main concerns:

Regarding rating qualifications/education degrees/and outside of government services experiences:  Applications are rated according to the general standard set by OPM.  For most general admin/management occupational series, a 4-year bachelor's degree qualifies for a GS-5, additional 1-2 years of graduate work minimally qualifies an applicant for a GS-7. Additionally, the applicant must also have 1 year of specialized (direct) experience to the appropriate level.  Many positions also have added desired experience requirements which are listed on the positions descriptions advertised on USAJOBS.GOV.  As you can see, CPO must rate the positions within the parameter set by OPM. 

Regarding "coding errors":  A recent incident that we are aware of is that AFPC updated some of the codes without notifying the field offices.  Once AFPC notified us, we notified and updated the registration within 24 hours.   We aim to provide the best chances for Spouse registrants to match against our vacancies.  Applicants must be among the best qualified candidates eligible for referral. "Best" qualified means that the spouse's qualifications are equal to or higher than the lowest ranked candidate eligible for referral.  In several instances, local CPO may determine that an applicant's experience may qualify for certain "codes"; however, after review, AFPC determined that the applicant is not "best qualified" with the specialized experienced needed and rejects the codes submitted by local CPO.  Therefore, CPO must have the applicant amend the registrations.  Unfortunately, these rejections cost additional process time to the already lengthy hiring process. 

For specific case review, please contact the Civilian Personnel Officer at (701) 723-1997.  


There is a “dark spot” in the crosswalk next to North Plains. 
 
On 29 March 5 CES asked Verendrye Electric Coop (VEC) to investigate the brightness as a result of the Traffic Safety Board (TSB) discussion.  On 2 April VEC replied indicating that there was reduced illumination in both lights and they have now been repaired.
 


Request to add a stop sign at Huey & Roaming. 
 
The TSB approved the request.  5 CES will submit a request to Balfour Beatty Communities (BBBC) requesting to add additional stop signs at the intersection of Huey and Roaming (create 4-way stop sign intersection -- currently only 2 in place).
 


Will the outdoor track at the gym get covered with a dome or something? 
 


The current outdoor track cannot be covered due to engineering and site requirements and proximity to Tanker Trail to the North and the LRS Vehicle Maintenance Facility to the South.

We are working a design for a new, standardized track with a bubble-style cover.  The current concept will include a new rubberized track, artificial turf field, air supported fabric shelter, HVAC, and potential for additional supporting facilities (such as parking, and restrooms).  The CE squadron has submitted a Request For Funding to higher headquarters for a Concept Design.  Initial construction cost estimates indicate that the project will likely compete for Congressional-level funding such as MILCON or Unspecified Minor MILCON.  Therefore, the timeline for completion will be heavily dependent on Congressional funding, and leadership priority. 


This section is in regards to multiple inquiries concerning Air Force policy and guidance.
 


Thank you for sharing your concerns and apologize for your experience.  Minot AFB is a memorable assignment and pray that any communications or experiences do not cloud the high quality standards we strive to maintain and want to help assist in understanding Air Force policy and standards.  It is our prayer that your concerns have been misunderstood as the following are how the Air Force envisions the role and value of our members and families and expectation of our adherence to laws, policies, etc.  We are exemplify being good Wingmen when we remind and support one another in meeting these standards and expectations. 

Spouse organizations- Spouse unit/family programs are designed to enhance readiness and establish a sense of Air Force community. These programs are been standardized across the Air Force to address the needs of all military families with special emphasis on support to families across the deployment cycle.  Air Force Global Strike commander provides a continuous, straight forward message on how “morale and readiness impacts our lethality” and how we take care of families is tied to this.  This is a critical role and responsibility we all share in maintaining morale and this nation’s nuclear deterrence effectiveness.  Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and his wife, Mrs. Dawn Goldfein have written that spouse programs are “A vital resource available to command teams to support Air Force families is the Key Spouse Program. This program represents a powerful network of interconnected, educated, service-minded volunteers standing ready to assist with everything from morale and welfare celebrations to crisis management….It is at the squadron level where we succeed or fail as an Air Force,” said Gen. Goldfein about Revitalizing squadrons….This is where Airmen and families thrive. It’s where training and education occurs.”  As leaders, which includes everyone, regardless of rank, is our primary responsibility to facilitate an environment where we can be successful as a community and strong as a nation.

 

Destruction of government property: Based on the jurisdiction of the installation, an act, of deemed criminal and committed by a civilian, would be referred to the Ward County Sherriff’s Office for action. If this is witnessed, please contact the authorities immediately.

Promises of Civilian Promotion: 5 USC 2302 contains prohibited personnel practices of hiring employees within the Federal Government, which includes, but is not limited to, discrimination, nepotism, giving unauthorized preference or advantage, influence, deceive or willfully obstruct candidates for employment, etc.

It is inappropriate to give the perception that hiring is based upon “who you know” and can be accomplished without following the Federal Government’s strict rules and procedures.  This perception leads to inaccurate information, grievances, and potentially missed employment opportunities.

For information on the federal hiring process, please contact the Civilian Personnel Office for assistance.

Promises of Military Promotion:  Both enlisted and officer promotions are managed through boards or panels where multiple board members contribute to a member’s promotion selection according to strict procedures.  The Enlisted promotion process is described in AFI 36-2406, specifically paras 4.19.13-4.19.15, and the Officer promotion process is described in AFI 36-2406 para 8.1.4.1.1.  No spouse can influence a member’s promotion, and for any spouse to claim otherwise would call into question individual integrity and that of their military spouse. 


Last year (2017), my son was at the Annex and they went on two to three field trips a week. This summer (2018), the June schedule shows only two field trips for the whole month. I am curious on why that is. The price did not change but it seems the services have.

 

In 2017, SAC planned 8 field trips and 4 guest speakers for the 12 weeks of summer. The trips included the base bowling alley, pool, fire department, Margie's Art & Glass and a farm visit among others. The guest visitors included Project Yes, Honor Guard, and others.

In 2018, SAC has 7 field trips planned and 6 guest speakers for the 12 weeks of summer. The trips include the base bowling alley, pool, Huey Tour, Air Traffic Control Tower Tour, Scandinavian Heritage park and others. There are two trips planned for June, four trips planned for July, and one trip planned for August. Guest speakers include the fire department, Minot police, vet clinic, SERE, CE, STEM demo, and others.

Field trip calendars are released monthly to parents. The field trip schedule is based upon availability of time/space of the visiting locations, required staff to child ratios, and weather. SAC coordinators chose to hold a majority of field trips in July 2018 as during this month we have the highest count for daily attendance (i.e. more youth get to attend). Additionally, by July youth have had time to acclimate to the program allowing for calmer and more enjoyable field trip experience for the youth as they are typically comfortable with summer camp teachers and knowledgeable of summer camp expectations. 


Why isn't there a family changing room at the gym? My son is too old to go into the ladies locker room with me which is understandable however, I don't feel comfortable with him going into the men's locker room by himself. Is there anything we can do to have a family changing room in the gym?
 
 

There is a family changing room in the fitness center. Room 404 is located in the back of the facility near the indoor pool and has a sign stating it is the family changing room.  The fitness center also has a sign in the front lobby identifying all areas, to include the family changing room.  If needed, please don't hesitate to ask an Airman at the front desk for directions. 


A spouse mentioned to me that she was unable to get her military ID expiration date renewed on time because the base policy is that the AD member has to accompany her, but because her husband goes out to the missile field, he wasn’t around. Then when he had time to go over the system was down. So they were told to call the next day to see if the system was up before they came over….so they did and the system was up, but she was told that the office was closed. It was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon. So the concern is that services isn’t providing hours of operation that are convenient for the AD member and/or spouse especially if the spouse works. The other concern was that the AD member had to be present because base policy, but a marriage license and a current valid ID should have been enough. The spouse had not encountered such resistance to helping the spouse at other bases as she did here at Minot. The spouse does not care to give her name or specifics such as time date etc. because she fears retribution on her husband. 

 

The spouse is only required to produce an 1172-2 signed by the sponsoring military member and two forms of ID in order to renew her ID card.  We are in the process of standing up a new Online ID Card renewal system that will slash time required to be in the MPS, but we are still working out bugs.  When fully operational, members can follow the instructions at the bottom of the response below to digitally sign the DD Form 1172-2 online. Below are the steps for any sponsor to digitally sign the DD Form 1172-2 with the link, providing they have the correct Java software installed on their computer.  We expect to begin publicizing this option in June. 

Sponsor can certify the DD Form 1172 on line:
The sponsor (CAC holder or Retirees can create a DS log-on) can access the DMDC website here:  https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/self_service/rapids/unauthenticated?execution=e1s1.  Click “Replace ID" next to dependent name, certify the DD Form 1172 for the dependent who is renewing his/her ID card. 


Is it a conflict of interest for Youth Center employees to be paid by Studio 47 at the same time? What if they are working on Studio 47 issues during their duty days at the Youth Center? Is this even legal? 

  We have received multiple inquiries via the access line and other avenues regarding Studio 47. We take each inquiry/allegation seriously and want to avoid any perceptions of impropriety or conflict of interest to ensure all CYS programs are operating above board and in good standing. We engaged with JA for a comprehensive legal review and determined that the Studio 47 Competition Dance Team was mischaracterized and not operating according to Air Force instruction. Though CYS staff are permitted to volunteer as teachers and coaches, mirroring the sports program, they cannot be paid as both contractors and employees. 

To ensure compliance and to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest, we immediately (effective 30 April) terminated all contracts and prohibited CYS employees from receiving pay as a Studio 47 contractor. This in no way has or will diminish the level of service or quality programs provided to our loyal customers. 

Going forward, our CYS staff has a better understanding of the guidance and we'll ensure the program operates as other youth program traveling teams.  5 FSS leadership will enforce compliance by prohibiting contracts between the Youth Center and CYS employees who are already earning compensation as regular employees.  Additionally, the YP/Sports Directors will ensure the program follows all regulations/AFI 34-144, including memberships, ensuring monthly participation fees are paid, ensuring parents/instructors follow all code of ethics/policies, and programmatic requirements are maintained while head coaches/instructors handle all fees/payments in regards to uniforms, travel fees, competition fees and anything outside the scope of YP programing.
 


Are there plans for improvements to the half sidewalk next to North Plains?  Children have to walk through the grass or on the street during winter months. 

  The property in question belongs to the Minot School District and is not managed by BBC nor the base. The school district has no plans to put a sidewalk in that location. There is access to Roaming Road through the sidewalk that runs south of the school.  


What is the policy on use government computers, equipment, etc. especially in relation to using government equipment to communicate via email, FB, Twitter, etc.?
   
  Per AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communication, Airmen are allowed to use social media for self-expression and repost publicly released information; however, guidance states that Airmen must not post any defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, abusive, profane, threatening, hateful, racially, ethnically, or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material.  Airmen (military and civilian) have limitations associated with freedom of speech; as such, DoD members are required to abide by certain restrictions associated with military/civil service and thereby maintain good order and discipline.  Failure to comply with these directives is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice or civilian equivalent judicial processing. 


Why is BBC able to act with deceptive and illegal practices completely unchecked? I have heard from several families that they are charged for replacing damaged items such as carpet, medicine cabinets, sod etc. at move out and then these items are not being replaced before the new resident moves in. Also, they are not consistently replacing carpet that has pet stains/damage due to “not meeting life expectancy” or replacing severely worn carpet that is “after life expectancy” because they claim it is in “good condition.” It is unfair to the families being charged for damages not being fixed/replaced as well it is not fair to the families moving into a home and paying all of their BAH when there are notable damages, disgusting carpet, or damaged lawns etc. We deserve better! 

 

Thank you for an opportunity to address these concerns.  These types of broad vague statements/complaints are very hard to address without details.  We truly believe that statement that we do not fix repairs that are paid for is false.  We are closely monitored by the Air Force Housing office and they conduct Quality Control (QC) for the majority of our move-in ready homes.  The QC office are specifically looking for paid damages and repairs that are not completed, and they seldom find any.  Yes we’re sure it does happen from time to time; but when it is brought to our attention by our Air Force partners or a new resident moving in, we promptly take care of it.

Carpet is a major factor in a community this large.  Our operational documents with the Air Force set a 5-year life span on carpet.  After the 5-year period residents are not held responsible for normal wear and tear or minor pet damage associated with their carpets.  Residents are not required to have their carpets professional cleaned at move out if they have pets and the carpet is older than the 5 year life span.  Occupants are held responsible for gross negligence or willful neglect damage to their carpets regardless of the age.  Even though our operating documents spell out a 5-year life span it is not economically feasible to replace all carpet in our 1,606 homes every 5 years.  If a carpet is in good condition, does not have topical stains, pet damage or odors we may not replace carpeting as long as it is still serviceable and presents a good appearance.  This is done on a case-by-case basis and the decision to keep a carpet older than 5 years is a concessions of opinions from leasing staff members, maintenance managers and black light/UV results.  If a carpet is determined to be serviceable, when a new resident moves in they are informed of the age of the carpeting in the home.  This is not a foolproof process though and we may still end up replacing carpeting in homes after new residents move in if the carpeting is creating problems for the new family.  There have been instances where we have charged residents for carpet replacement but it was determined during the maintenance process that the carpeting could be repaired or cleaned.  Each time we have refunded the difference in the costs to repair/clean verses the replacement cost we charged that outgoing resident.

The other broad complaint mentioned was yard work.  North Dakota has a unique and often times diminished growing season.  We very rarely charge residents for pet damaged yards, we have done it, but very few times.  Depending on how long the time between residents and how many years of pet damage to a yard, there often is not enough time for a yard to take root and grow.  We inform residents of the condition of their yard at move in as well as discuss it directly with them when they are doing their walk through introduction to the home.  If a yard is bare we ask them to keep an eye on the yard and if it is not "growing" we will return to the yard to re-seed or fertilize as needed.    I would suspect the biggest complaint we get regarding yards and paid damages are referring to winter and pet debris removal fees.  When a resident moves out in the winter and they have dogs, unless their yard is free of snow and we can visually see that there is no pet debris in the yard we charge each resident a minimal "winter pet debris" removal fee of $55.00.  We keep track of each address and in the spring when the snow has melted we have our vendor go down the list of addresses and clear the yard of debris and repair damage that was under the snow.  Yards do get missed when residents are dishonest about their pet ownership.  We allow new residents that move in during the winter to call us in the spring (in a reasonable amount of time) and our vendor or our employees will do the yard clean up.  This is one of the most difficult areas to monitor when you are managing a pet friendly community with 1600+ homes and you are dealing with old debris, new debris, snow accumulation, etc.

We meet with first sergeants regularly, attending first sergeant breakfasts, first sergeant off-site training, etc.  When occupants have issues with damage charges, carpet costs or the condition of their home when they move in we work with them directly or through the first sergeants.

Often times visiting the homes as a team so everyone can see what we are basing charges on or if new home conditions require attention.

BBC stands ready to give tours to concerned Commanders through our homes to help everyone get a better understanding of our Community and the homes our service members are renting.


I went to visit my son at Minot Air Force North Dakota building and I see the condition in which all of these Airmen are living. It’s really disappointing because when I’m walking I see trash outside and I see it’s there for a long time.  I start walking inside and it smells terrible. I see holes in the walls, missing doors, and bugs in the light fixtures.  This building needs to be evacuated and remodeled because it’s really disgusting living in this place.  Airmen deserve living in better conditions - not in an old building that smells badly and with missing, broken items.   It’s not safe for this Airmen living in this condition.  I’m going to post everywhere Facebook, Instagram and more so the community can see what condition our Airmen are living in.   Really disappointed to see my son and the rest of Airmen living in these conditions.   Please we need to remove and put them in a nice clean and safe building.  It’s not right what you guys are doing with these Airmen. 

  We appreciate the notification on this matter and have taken immediate actions to address the cleanliness at this particular dorm.  We visited all of the dorms and were please to find that not all were in this condition.   We have initiated a review of incomplete repair requests for all dormitories on Minot AFB.   Those work requests will be prioritized for completion.  We are also starting a campaign to educate and remind Airmen living in the dorms as well as leadership that everyone has a responsibility to help maintain our Airmen's living quarters.   We encourage all residents to report concerns to the Airmen Dorm Leaders at 723-7284 for immediate action.  Airmen living in unaccompanied housing are a priority to the leadership on Minot AFB.  We focus efforts to ensure all Airmen have a safe, secure, and quality environment they can be proud of.  Again, we thank you for the notification, and the opportunity to improve housing for our Airmen. 


The lack of changing tables in the movie theater on base is absolutely sad. Children’s movies are played there and with the recent remodel they clearly failed to budget for something that is a heck of a lot more sanitary then placing your child on a disgusting unsanitary bathroom floor. I would hope that a changing table would be included and installed in not only the women’s restroom but the men’s room as well since men need to change diapers as well!

  Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  FSS has submitted a CE work order to determine safe placement of the changing tables.  They are purchasing them for both the women’s and men’s bathrooms. 


What is the next step to special order an item if HQ deletes an item from inventory?  There has to be a way to go higher.  We are so remote, and the products offered are so limited.  This is a poor quality of life issue. 

  If the item was deleted from the store only (not an item that was completely removed) it can be reinstated for 30 days to allow a customer to purchase a case. If the item has been deleted by the manufacture or the distributor, then it would no longer be available. 


The child to teacher ratio in preschool/toddlers is bad, 12:1 and 7:1.  It’s too many children, always hectic, not a conducive environment for learning. 

 

Thank you for the opportunity to address your concern.  The Air Force clearly defines the child to staff ratios in AFI 34-144, Chapter 12.  Per this Child and Youth Programs instruction, the following staff requirements must be met at all times:

For infants 6 weeks to 11 months of age, there must be no more than 4 infants per staff member at any time and no more than 8 infants per group.

For pre-toddlers 12 months to 23 months of age, there must be no more than 5 children per staff member at any time with no more than 10 children per group.

For toddlers, 24 to 35 months of age, there must be no more than 7 children per staff member at any time (except at rest time)* and no more than 14 per group.

For preschoolers, 3 to 5 years of age there must be no more than 12 children per staff member at any time (except at rest time)* and no more than 24 per group.

*During rest time, the staff/child ratio for children over 24 months of age may double if the majority of children in the room are asleep.

Maintaining the ratios above are a must do for us and in many cases we have extra staff in the classrooms helping out.  Taking care of this number of children is definitely not for the untrained.  Our staff members progress from entry level to positions of greater responsibility through in-depth training, education, experience and competency tests. We pride ourselves on ensuring the right number of qualified and trained staff are available to provide a safe environment and developmental programs for children in our care.  

  Since the hours of operation for the Commissary is set by DECA HQ, is there a way to request them to be more competitive in their hours of availability as stores in town (which is 15 miles away) since we are so remote? They are allowed to charge prices comparable to in town prices, but aren't providing the same service as in town grocers by being closed on days other than major holidays.  Recommendation for improvement: Be competitive with in town stores, and improve service to the base populous as the ONLY grocery store within 15 miles by opening similar dates and hours to in town grocers.  Your initial response stated that they were comparable to other commissaries, but they should be comparable to the grocers in the area, not other air force bases. 
 

 

Per the Defense Commissary Agency (HQ DeCA), upon demonstrating a need, an installation commander would have to put in a request to HQ DeCA to be open on Mondays.  After submitting the request, HQ DeCA would check sales and staffing at Minot AFB to see if it would be possible and cost efficient.  Once data is available that supports the aforementioned sales and staffing criteria, a request to open on Mondays could be submitted.  At this time the data will not support the request.

The commissaries are not allowed to change prices to compete with any other stores. They sometimes order high-demand items in large quantities from a vendor, who in turn “may” mark it down to a lower price.  As a matter of DeCA policy, all commissary prices are set at 1% above the distributor cost except for meat and produce, as they are allowed to mark these items up a little higher to cover for spoilage.  Local operations and prices are not a factor for DecA policy.

 

I travel north and pass by the base every morning around 7:15 for work... as of late there has been an increased amount of vehicles traveling north and stopping abruptly and making u-turns by turning into 184th ave all the while many cars are turning onto the frontage road (which is also becoming an issue) to avoid the line in the north bound lane. Is there any way we can fix this? One of these days it will result in an accident. My family farms and ranches just east of the base and travels 184th ave turning onto 83 every morning/day. I cringe at the thought of my sister in law traveling with my nephews, my mom, my dad or brother getting into an accident because of these travelers making a hasty decision to make a turn to get through the gate faster than everyone else. I appreciate all you do and hope we can make some changes to create a safer travel environment for everyone. 

  The 5th Security Forces Squadron understands military and local concerns in regards to the traffic issues recently imposed on Hwy 83.  Currently the base has a large road construction project underway that has caused us to have most of our base traffic enter the Main Gate.  Our partners at the North Dakota Highway Patrol provide regular patrols on Hwy 83, specifically in that area that you highlighted in your concern, when they are available.   We have re-engaged with them on this issue.  Our relationship with our community partners is phenomenal and they continue to do an amazing job on assisting us when they are able.  The road construction on base that caused us to shift our main base entrance is estimated to end by the middle of August, which will allow us to re-open South Gate to alleviate Hwy 83 traffic.  

 

Can we get parking lines painted again before winter rolls in? Mainly at the places that they are non-existent right now      

-gym

-BX

-shoppette

-commissary

-mdg

-bfifty brew

 
 

Keeping parking lots and streets striped in northern tier climates is a challenge.  Snow and ice cover the striping in the winter months making it difficult to see.  And, our snow removal efforts tend to scrape it off.  Having said that, we do not stripe streets and parking lots every year and none is scheduled for this fiscal year.  We will take this requirement, identify additional areas for striping, and develop a work order to get it accomplished by contract in FY19.  

 
  Hello, I hope this message finds you well.  I'd like to send my friend a care package, but I want it to be a surprise.  Questions: Am I allowed to send a care package? If yes, can I simply address it to the base with his name or are there special directions?   Please help!  Thank you so much. I look forward to hearing from you! 

  All personal mail can be sent directly to our Airmen and the sender would need to have authorized information to do so.  If the address is unknown, due to privacy considerations, we are unable to provide those details.  There are a few options if there is certainty that the Airman is stationed at Minot AFB.  The package with the Airman’s name can be sent to our local Postal Service Center (PSC).  The address is 1000 PSC Box, Minot AFB, ND 58705-5361.  The package will be forwarded to the Airman IAW postal rules.  If the Airman is deployed, the package will remain at the PSC facility until their return.  For long-term deployments, and/or instructions left by the member, the PSC may contact the unit First Sergeant to have the package forwarded to the deployed location.   

  I was weedeating my backyard and noticed the lawn company had skipped the outside of my fence. I called the BBC Management office and was told that I was responsible for the outside of the fence. I told the rep that I’ve lived here for four years and have never cut anything outside the fenced area. I called Maintenance, verified that I am not responsible for outside the fence, and was told they would contact the lawn company. A representative for the lawn company came out and, while talking to him about the overgrown shrubs all over the area, (some cover the air conditioning units and others are as high as the roofs) he told me that per their contact they only have to trim shrubs once a year. He followed up with the comment “bad for them, but great for me”. My question is why are residents expected to keep the shrubs in their yards trimmed, yet BBC doesn’t hold their contractors to the same standard for the base? 
 


BBC Response:  Per our Resident Guide:

Yard Maintenance

The Community Management Office will provide complete yard service for all unfenced yard areas, including the unfenced front and sides of the Home, provided that Resident has removed any personal items that would prevent mowing. Residents are responsible for yard maintenance within the fenced area of their backyards. Shrubs in the fenced area must be trimmed to the proper height of 3 feet so as not to block windows for safety reasons and be neat in appearance. Residents are required to repair any damage to lawns caused by swings, pools, furniture, decorations, pets, etc. Should Residents fail to make repairs by the time indicated on a yard discrepancy notice or prior to final move-out inspection, the lawn will be repaired by the Community Management Office and the actual cost of repairs will be billed to the Resident.

Traditionally our Landscaping Vendor has trimmed trees and shrubs in the fall when the lawn mowing requirements slow down.  When the grass stops growing they transition to a bi-weekly mowing schedule.  The off week that they do not mow they transition to focus on trimming and pruning of trees and bushes.  We started the bi-weekly mowing schedule effective 23 July. 

  Are there any updates to the gate access for the base? The current wait times varies significantly from day to day, ranging from 20 mins to 35 mins; which has a major impact on planning appointments.
 
  Traffic patterns will return to normal after the construction project is completed on Bomber Blvd.  At which time, the south gate will be open to privately owned vehicles, which will alleviate current traffic challenges. 

  Do you guys participate in adopt a soldier for the holidays or anything like that? 

 

It's always been in our culture to extend invitations out to Airmen to give them a place to eat and feel like they are part of a family.  This has been effective as long as there are leaders willing to open up their homes and we rarely hear of an Airman spending the holidays alone (unless it's their choice).

There are some sanctioned Adopt-an-Airman programs.  There are also several informal programs in which our Squadrons support our airmen; i.e. host holiday feasts to ensure members receive a traditional holiday meal during certain holidays.  Some of our Honorary Commanders host airmen at their homes during the holidays and other special occasions.

The Minot First Sergeant Council does two targeted holiday events for Airmen.  They solicit our squadrons for members who may be in need during Thanksgiving.  The First Sergeant Council works through the commissary, Operation Warmheart, and other local agencies to solicit donations to create Thanksgiving “baskets”.  These often include meats of the Airman’s choosing and usually a $25-$50 commissary gift card to help create a nice meal for their family.  Additionally, in December the First sergeant Council runs a program called the “Angel Tree”.  They solicit the squadrons for any families in need, whether it be toys, clothes, etc.  The Council puts up a holiday tree in the Base Exchange foyer with angel ornaments which contain a description of what the family member needs.  People will pick these ornaments, purchase the items requested, and put them in a drop box located in various locations around the base.  The gifts are wrapped and delivered to the families.

We welcome opportunities to support our single airmen and/or families.  Any organization who wishes to support our airmen, on station or deployed, should contact our Public Affairs office. 

  If we live on base, the [Active Duty] Sponsor is deployed & [the civilian spouse] gets stuck in town because of weather (snow/ice/closed [Hwy] 83), what resources are available to help me with my child in school on base. 
 

At the beginning of each school year and when a child is enrolled in a school, the Minot Public School District requires the parent to complete contact information for themselves, as well as, emergency contact information in case the parent(s) cannot be contacted. This information is used for routine contacts and in the case of a child not being picked up from school.  The emergency contact should be a neighbor or friend that can pick up the child if the parent(s) are not available to do so.

In the case of a winter storm or other emergency the school will try to complete contact with the parent to determine the best course of action. If they make contact they will keep the parent informed of the situation and what is being done.  If the parent cannot be contacted then the school tries to contact the emergency person to make arrangements to pick up the child.  If the emergency contact cannot be reached usually the school will contact the School Liaison Officer to contact the member’s squadron leadership to see if there may be someone in the unit that could assist.

We all understand that time is critical in ensuring that the child is picked up and that school staff can be released in a timely manner to get safely home and take care of their own children. The school will maintain contact with the parent (if possible) and continue to monitor the situation with them.  If there has been no contact with the parent or emergency contact and/or the school has been unable to resolve the issue they will have no choice but to contact Ward County Sheriff’s office and child social services to pick up the child.

This final action will be placing several more people in harm’s way during a storm and emergency personnel could be needed for other emergencies.

According to school officials the bottom line is communication. Ensure that the information provided to the schools is current and up to date so they can contact you.  Don’t hesitate to contact them if the need arises. Have an emergency contact for situations that may come up to include weather emergencies. If you find that you are a temporary single parent due to a spouse deployed, talk to someone about what actions may be needed in your spouse’s absence. You can contact your unit’s key spouse or Airman and Family Readiness Center for more information.

The very best option would be to work with the First Sergeants to work on the Family Care Plan idea with all deployers who have families remaining in town.  We could only ask that spouses/families make a plan for this.

The only other contingency we could look into would be an emergency Family Child Care (FCC) arrangement, but that would be breaking a number of CYP rules and would 100% be contingent on our FCC provider’s availability/willingness.  Not all providers will just take someone in (not to mention they could lose their licenses, if something happens). 

To ensure we do not break any rules and ensure safety and security of our children, we ask everyone to strongly adhere to weather warnings.  Since the severity of snow storms vary, Minot AFB and the Minot community provide sufficient warnings and time for travel ahead of all snowstorms. With snow storms in our area being both severe and unpredictable, it is feasible that a parent could be delayed for a day or more; therefore planning is key.  Like the school district, all of the available youth programs are required to designate an emergency contact.  This emergency contact would be responsible for picking up the child and ensuring their safety when the parent(s) are delayed or unable to pick up their child(ren). Unfortunately there are no programs that would retrieve a child and care for them for an indefinite period of time. 

  An employee of the Youth Center has a public FB page and inappropriate content on it. I think parents would be upset, if they were to see this FB page, especially when trusting children with this individual.  Who monitors employees at the Youth Center to make sure quality individuals are watching our children?  I think the fact this employee doesn't care who sees what they post speaks volumes. A meme on this FB page that states "sometimes at work I'm afraid I'm going to yell shut the (****) out loud instead of in my head."  The Youth Center is the only place where this employee works... 
 

Thank you for the opportunity to share the process under which our Child & Youth care providers are screened before beginning employment with our children.  All Child & Youth providers including our Family Child Care providers undergo the following screenings in addition to a traditional interview process:

1) Current installation records check to include the following agencies:

     - Security Forces Management Information System, Family Advocacy, Mental Health, Alcohol 

       & Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment, and Government Family Housing

       NOTE: This check is completed every 5 years of employment in these positions

2) Installations records checks as above for any installations in the previous 2 years

3) Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry National Conduct Search

4) Child National Agency Check with Inquiries

5) State Checks for current state and any states resided in for the previous 5 years

6) Fingerprint Screening through the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing

7) Proof of Immunization

8) Completed Physical Examination

9) (Youth Center only) Driving records check

While our screening process is very rigorous, we do not typically look at the social media pages of potential employee.  Many of our child & youth providers save been employed in our facilities since prior to the widespread use of social media. 

We have investigated the alleged inappropriate conduct found on this employee's social media account and have counselled them on their personal choices on social media given their public level of employment.  The Air Force has an annual training requirement for all employees on Information Assurance and Cyber Awareness training which includes the use of social media.  Further, FSS will provide remedial social media awareness training for all employees regarding responsible use of social media and appropriate posting.  Additionally, going forward during the squadron orientation, new employees will be trained on their roles as responsible representatives of the FSS, Team Minot and the United States Air Force. 

  Hello, I just had a concern about an individual driving towards base today. I did not get it on video (that would be dangerous to do so). I wasn’t sure how to go about reporting reckless driving. It was a white Kia, ND plates with the word *******. On 83 North coming towards base (in the 55 mph zone), they were weaving in and out of those of us that were going 55; they (I believe it was a lady when I saw her again on base) were going at least 70/75. Very unsafe obviously and not necessary. I’m tired of people thinking they’re above the law. Also another concern is we live on H Street where it’s 15 mph. People are still flying through here at H Street and Shawnee. Our corner is always yelling at folks to slow down. There is only one side posted with the speed limit. I think there needs to be more signage or potentially more SF presence if there is manning to do so. Only for the sake of my children. Thank you for taking time to read my message and hear my concerns.  

  Thanks for your inquiry.  Unfortunately we cannot address speeding off the installation.  Both the ND Highway Patrol and Ward County Sherriff's Office patrol HWY 83 as time permits, as it is their jurisdiction, and they are responsible for speed enforcement off the installation.  The 5th Security Forces Squadron does actively patrol base housing and conduct traffic enforcement.  We will make this area a focus area to deter speeding, and will have our Civil Engineers install more signage as required in order to assist with obeying speed limits.   

  There have been multiple inquiries regarding use of social media.  The following is provided for information purposes. 
 

Social Media is a tool that allows members, home station and down range, to maintain contact with friends and family.  The intent is not to abuse use while working nor as a tool to do harm, bully, or demean any person, coworker, or organization. The importance of upholding professionalism while using social media and maintaining interactions that treat others with dignity, fairness and respect.  The Air Force is built upon the core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. We expect our Airmen to adhere to these core values at all times, to include their behavior on social media.  All Airmen are expected to create and maintain an environment free of discriminatory and inappropriate practices, both on and off duty. This includes conduct on social media websites as well as all forms of electronic communication.

AFI 36-2909, Professional and Unprofessional Relationships, applies to electronic communication and social media interactions by military members, on and off duty. AFI 36-2706, Equal Opportunity Program, Military and Civilian, applies to electronic communication and social media interactions, on and off duty for military members.  Per AFI 35-107, Public Web and Social Communication, Airmen are allowed to use social media for self-expression and repost publicly released information; however, guidance states that Airmen must not post any defamatory, libelous, vulgar, obscene, abusive, profane, threatening, hateful, racially, ethnically, or otherwise offensive or illegal information or material.  Airmen (military and civilian) have limitations associated with freedom of speech; as such, DoD members are required to abide by certain restrictions associated with military/civil service and thereby maintain good order and discipline.  Failure to comply with these directives is punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Article 92, or civilian equivalent judicial processing.

Guidance memorandum AFGM2017-36-29-01 reemphasizes expectations of military standards as they pertain to social media and electronic communication, while providing additional guidance on non-consensual posting of sexual imagery.  We understand we must continue to reinforce our expectations for professional and appropriate behaviors both in and out of the workplace, on and off-line, as well as remain vigilant for behaviors and materials that hinder a professional working environment or harm fellow Airmen.

Failure to obey the prohibitions listed in the guidance memorandum is a violation of Article 92, UCMJ. While every case must be reviewed based on its specific facts, some applicable Uniform Code of Military Justice provisions regarding disrespectful behavior using social media and electronic communication include:

- Article 88, Contempt towards officials

- Article 89, Disrespect towards a superior commissioned officer

- Article 93, Cruelty and maltreatment of subordinates

- Article 117, Provoking speech or gestures

- Article 120c, Other sexual misconduct

- Article 133, Conduct unbecoming an officer

- Article 134, Behavior bringing discredit on the armed forces or prejudicial to good order and discipline (including communicating a threat and indecent language).

- Adding a disclaimer such as “opinions are my own and not shared by the Air Force” does not mean you can say or share whatever you want. Generally, actions prohibited in person are not otherwise condoned or tolerated through social media or electronic communication.

- Air Force Policy Directive 36-29, Military Standards applies to all military members on active duty in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard (in Title 10 status). Air National Guard Airmen not in Title-10 status, are subject to the guidelines in their state’s Uniform Code of Military Justice.

 The expectation is that all personnel treat others with dignity, fairness, and respect at all times.  All existing standards of professionalism and mutual respect apply to social media and electronic communication as well.

 

The MDG at MAFB is the worst I’ve seen. Wait times, standard of care, accessibility and professionalism of Leadership are all lacking. I have heard from dozens of patients that are disappointed with their care. Whether it’s refusal of a proper assessment and labs because “Adults don’t get that;” excess of 2 week wait for extensive burns, shoulder injuries, kidney infections, dizzy spells, blurred vision asthma exacerbations etc. or lack of follow up on calls to mental health services. (Also several week wait) What’s truly appalling is the lack of attention to these matters from leadership. They rather schedule training days, resiliency days, BBQs and gossip then make sure the Amn and families are properly/timely cared for. Their lack of standards and leadership is proven by wait times, standard of care, accessibility of care and to them as leaders, and appearance of people within the Group. Stop shutting down the MDG and focus on pt care. Stop hiding away and ignoring this disaster.

 

The 5th Medical Group strives to provide exceptional mission support by ensuring that our patients are medically ready and also that our medics are ready to respond.  Through a culture of Trusted Care, which consists of Leadership Engagement, Patient Centeredness, Continuous Process Improvement and a Culture of Safety, our staff and partners are always open to feedback that directs us to areas of improvement.  If one of our valued customers does not think they are getting appropriate care or is unhappy with their experience, we want to know about it immediately.  Our executive staff in concert with our Quality and Safety Officer, Ms. Leisa Peterson and Patient Advocate Ms. Jean Cadell, will investigate any and all allegations, and take the necessary actions based on the findings to correct the issue and put measures in place to eliminate the issue for future encounters.

Our team has taken a systematic approach when addressing access to care and we are pleased to report that our beneficiaries’ ability to get an acute appointment in 24-hours went from an average 1.81 days one year ago down to 0.74 days.  Additionally, to schedule a future non-urgent visit, we were able to reduce wait time from 15.68 days down to 5.69 days.  With support from the Air Force Global Strike Surgeon General’s Office, our staffing issues were solved in our Mental Health Clinic.  Because of that effort, active duty Mental Health appointments have been reduced from 11.65 days to 3.77 days. Effective January 2018, Active Duty family members, retirees and retirees’ dependents no longer need a referral to go to an Urgent Care Center for acute care.  If dependents are unable to get an acute appointment when needed, going to the Urgent Care Center is an option available to them.  Your care is our priority and to increase access, the Medical Group is open with appointments, pharmacy and laboratory services on AFGSC family days and all 5th Bomb Wing goal days.

Furthermore, a key of the installations readiness is our ability to provide dedicated training time for our staff.  Currently the Medical Group is closed a half day, the fourth Wednesday of every month, for medical readiness skills training.   Training as a team, across multi-faceted skill sets, allows realistic scenarios which our medics need to support the mission of both the 5th Bomb Wing and the 91st Missile Wing.  The Medical Group Commander, the Executive Staff and our entire team are dedicated to making a difference in our patients’ health.  We welcome any and all feedback and are confident that keeping the lines of communication open will only make Team Minot stronger and a better place to serve.  Please feel free to contact our Patient Advocate, Ms. Jean Cadell at 723-5206 or Quality and Safety Officer, Ms. Leisa Peterson at 723-5109.