Commander's Action Line

Submissions are anonymous, and you will not receive a direct response. Once addressed by wing leadership, the response to your concern may be posted below, pending subject matter.

Contact Public Affairs for a direct response. 

Recent Submissions

Response to Commanders Action Line received on April 29, 2024, with concerns involving the 319th Civil Engineering Squadron. 

The Wing Commander has reviewed your CAL and thanks you for bringing up your concerns. He encourages you to please discuss these issues with your supervisor or reach out to the Inspector General, Command Chief, or Deputy Wing Commander if you would like further assistance.

Response to Commander’s action line received on April 24, 2024 from a concerned parent regarding the child daycare center.

Thank you for bringing this concern to our attention, we are aware and closely tracking the situation. You will receive personalized response by close of business April 30, 2024.

Active Duty sick call availability
Action Line Question: Is the MDG going to bring back sick call? Or at least authorize military members to go to urgent care since we can't get same day appointments?

I understand supervisors are authorized to grant 24-hour quarters for their troops but a lot of the illnesses going around right now are taking people out for several days at a time. When any of my troops or I call to get an appointment, we get told "there is no such thing as sick call anymore" and the next available appointment usually isn't until days away.

I've had people take leave because they've been given 24-hours (or more) supervisor quarters and are still sick and yet can't get a timely appointment, which has forced some folks to the ER just so they can get seen by a Dr. This is ridiculous and the men and women of the 319th RW deserve better healthcare than what we are receiving.

Action Line Response: The MDG has sick call for flyers.  Non-flying active duty service members will need to call the medical clinic.  If no appointments are available same day, the appointment line will put in a message to the member’s primary care team.  A nurse will call the member back that same day to assess their symptoms, and either provide them with instructions for how to take care of themselves at home, walk them in for a nurse-run appointment (strep, flu or COVID test), or place a referral to an urgent care.  Because military members can have specific requirements (like arming use of force, PRAP, etc), we do need to talk to members and put in a referral for care so that we can obtain records and follow up with the military requirements related to that care.  If military members elect to go to urgent care without a referral, they will be billed for that visit.

Family members can self-refer to a Tricare-approved urgent care without a referral at any time.

There may be times when a patient is provided home care instructions and the next day still feels too ill to go back to work.  In that case, they can call the appointment line and receive another nurse visit/call.   At this point, the nurse and primary care provider can discuss if another set of quarters is needed, and the primary care team can put quarters in at that time.

If members feel that this process is not being followed, please contact our patient advocate at 701-747-5532.

BBC’s leash policy
Action Line Question: Balfour Beatty does not enforce it's leash policy, there are many instances of dogs running around loose even in the middle of the night. Additionally, they do not enforce the banned breed list as there are multiple pitbulls running around loose in base housing. When asked abut this they responded they would put out a policy memo which they did not, or have me write down the addresses with the dogs. I do not know which houses have banned breeds because the dogs are running around loose on base, and many pet owners let their dogs run around loose on base. This is a safety concern as children can not play outside without fear of being approached by a random dog that may or may not be a banned breed on this installation.

Action Line Response: When a new resident moves into housing, they are required to report pets (types/breeds) and have their veterinarian forms completed.  These forms are an attachment to the lease before BBC signs the lease to approve a move in. Both BBC and MHO expect, as service members/target tenants, that both new and current residents should be truthful about what animals/pets they are bringing onto base, as well as letting us know if they get a pet after moving in.  Unfortunately, many residents do not report animals/pets when they move in as they should. If BBC/MHO discovers a resident has a banned breed or over the 2-pet policy before moving into housing, BBC/MHO advises them that they will not be eligible to move onto base.  If this is discovered after moving in this would be a violation of the lease terms.

Without specifics (addresses, neighborhoods, playgrounds, time of day, phone calls made, etc), holding our potential residents responsible will be difficult.  All residents are encouraged to “see something, say something.” If there is an immediate danger (tied to an animal, pet, unsafe, or dangerous situation), residents are encouraged to get to safety, call security forces, and/or call BBC during duty hours for assistance.

Fitness Center Safety Concerns
Action Line Question: 
I’m concerned about safety at the fitness center. Are there any plans in the works to update/upgrade/maintain it?
There’s broken equipment dangling from the walls in the boxing room. There’s exposed, jagged metal where padding should be in the basketball court. Many of the doors are solid and swing outward into hallways where I've almost hit someone or been hit by someone on multiple occasions. The roof leaks by the aerobics room hallway seem to be really bad and went unnoticed so the carpet is soaked. The First Aide Kit on the pool side is just a bunch of expired products and trash… This could be the best in the Air Force if we just gave it some TLC.

Action Line Response: Thank you for highlighting the Fitness Center safety concerns. Like many of the aging buildings on base, the Fitness Center is one in a constant state of repair. Though all facility issues mentioned in your concern had open workorders submitted at the time of the comment, temporary solutions to manage the safety issues until a fix was made could have been implemented in some cases. 

Based on your feedback, the FSS will introduce proactive procedures to mitigate safety concerns until workorders are complete. Also, Fitness Center staff will conduct ongoing reviews to identify potential safety issues such as the outward swinging door and the First Aid Kit which was left there by another organization.

Further, the Mission Support Group has implemented procedures to tackle cleanliness and appearance of facilities across the installation and emphasize repairs where needed.  We ask that our customers treat our facilities and equipment with respect to prevent damage and that they leave spaces as clean as when they arrived.  This will help us to keep our facilities maintained and safe.

Community Activity Center (CAC)
Action Line Question:
The hours that the public is allowed to use the CAC are atrocious. That play area would benefit a lot more parents and younger children if there was 24-hour access like the fitness center. No one watches these kids besides the parents. With the exception of Saturdays, it's only open during work hours and I'm tired of showing up to the CAC at the hours it's supposed to be open, and having the doors locked. I want to see action taken, or some real engagement on how quality of life can be improved for our Griffin community.

Action Line Response: Thank you for your comments on the Community Activity Center (CAC).  The CAC hours of operation are: Mon-Thur 1000-1700 and Fri & Sat 1000-2200.  The hours are posted on the doors of the facility.  If the CAC had to remain closed outside of normal hours, customers are notified by signs posted on the doors, and our FSS Marketing Department posts an email and/or a social media post.  Recently, on 9 & 10 Jan, the CAC was closed to allow for required maintenance and several safety concerns around the play structure.  Signs were placed on the door the week before and Marketing also pushed out information.  Other than those dates, the CAC has been opened as advertised, with the rare exceptions of opening late due to unforeseen circumstances illness of staff member and on one occasion a brief delay due to staff error.

Quality of life is a priority for leadership on our base and community, especially at a remote and isolated location like Grand Forks. 24-hour CAC access is a great idea, and the FSS will evaluate this further.  The hours are not set because we expect staff to observer customers in the CAC, they are aligned to the operations of arts and crafts or the bowling alley.  Employees in these activities open and close the CAC as part of their duties.  There are some risk assessments and potential liability issues that would need to be evaluated and addressed to see if 24-hour access can be implemented. Unfortunately, in the past, CAC users have left the CAC without picking up after themselves, and this will be considered when we decide if the CAC can be made available on a 24-hour basis.

Thank you again for providing feedback, for future questions please contact the 319 FSS Commander, Lt Col Andrew Beidler by email:andrew.beidler@us.af.mil, or through an ICE Comment card at: http://ICE.disa.mil/

SkillBridge
Action Line Question: How is it Airmen are being denied SkillBridge when retiring commanders are allowed to participate in the program?

Action Line Response: The DOD SkillBridge program is an opportunity for servicemembers to gain civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. It is not an entitlement, but an authorized program for military as they separate or retire.

Per the DOD SkillBridge program guidance, unit commanders must evaluate mission impact before approving requests to participate, and they can even recall members from SkillBridge if necessary.  This review is done on a case-by-case basis and timing may affect approval. For example, if a unit is heavily tasked with deployments, it may result in higher mission impact to participate in Skillbridge, and therefore denial of their request would be appropriate, but a similar request at a later date may be approved.  Further, a longer SkillBridge request is less likely to be approved than a shorter one because it is more likely to result in mission impact.  The SkillBridge program also requires that the program result in a high likelihood of employment after completion of the program.

Grand Forks AFB’s Education Office looked at Skillbridge data over the last two years and found that of the 136 applications received by that office, 132 were approved.  Disapproved requests were mission-related.  It is recommended that anyone applying for SkillBridge talk to their supervisor and their commander before applying to see if it can be supported, but only the commander can deny participation in SkillBridge.  If a request is denied, the Airman should be offered an explanation and conversation on whether a modified request could be supported. 

For other questions regarding the SkillBridge program, please contact the 319 FSS Education Center or review the SkillBridge website at https://skillbridge.osd.mil/.

Warrior Inn/Temporary Lodging
Action Line Question: I understand that lodging has closed, but is there no way to moved beds/Airmen displaced from the dorms to the lodging building? My guess is some Airmen don't have cars. Some don't have GTCs. Some just doesn't their paychecks/savings on Christmas gifts or trips home over the holidays...

Action Line Response: Unfortunately, the Warrior Inn is not in a condition fit to house personnel even for a temporary time. If the option was available, it would have been the first course of action. The contingency rooms maintained for situations such as this were also affected by the water outage, leaving the decision to move airmen in town as a final course of action.

The safety, health and wellbeing of the affected airmen was at the forefront of the decision to relocate to commercial lodging facilities in town or with friends and family. Wing leadership worked together to produce a solution that caused the least amount of disruption and burden on our youngest airmen.

Airman Dorm Leaders, frontline supervisors, First Sergeants and unit commanders are maintaining close oversight of their personnel and ensuring their airmen were aware of every avenue and helping resource at their disposal. Airmen experiencing hardship during this time, or who have concerns they feel are not being addressed, are encouraged to contact the Public Affairs Office at 319rw.pa@us.af.mil or submit a Commander’s Action Line to have their message channeled directly to the Wing Command team.

On Base Roads

Action Line Question: Will the roads on base be salted?

Action Line Response: The roads on base have been sanded and salted at intersections, turns and inclines. These areas will continue to be treated through the winter. Rain before snow and wind can make it difficult to treat the pavement quickly and efficiently. Road salt begins to become ineffective when temperatures reach about 15 degrees and below, making its use challenging for this area. If you see roads and/or parking lots that need plowed or treated, you can submit a request through the appropriate number below:

On base schools: 701-746-2205
Main base/flightline: 701-747-4271
Base housing: 701-594-8003

Response to CAL Summited About Multiple FSS Issues.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. The Force Support Squadron is committed to delivering a great experience to our customers and while we are disappointed when we hear we sometimes fall short, we appreciate all feedback (positive or negative) to improve customer experience.

As with most base movie  theaters, this was an Exchange (AAFES) run theater which was closed by them because it was not profitable.  The FSS is working to stand up a program that will provide second-run movies at no cost on a regular basis.  We expect to be able to offer movies in locations like the club, the swimming pool and the theater.

FSS leadership acknowledges there are issues with marketing overall within the squadron and on base that includes updating facility hours, advertising building opening and closing, and new programming as well.  The FSS website is down due to a contractual issue affecting multiple AF bases. The good news is a new and improved website is being built and will resolve open time confusion. FSS leadership and activity managers are unaware of any early closings (reference to the bowling center), they will follow-up with the activity workers to ensure facilities do not close earlier than advertised unless in extreme circumstances (broken water lines for example).

The fitness center is a great resource for the base and we want it to be a place that all Airmen and their families can use to stay resilient, fit and healthy. Children are authorized in the Fitness Center with adult supervision/legal guardian within designated areas based on their age. We understand how mixing children and active gym users in one building can impact and present a safety concern for both patrons and children. One area the Fitness Center is investing in is the Parent-Child Area (PCA) that will help separate families from other patrons. With its current location the PCA does not allow adequate space for parents with children to conduct classes if they wanted to participate. Fitness staff are realigning resources to move the PCA into the old Alpha Warrior room to improve safety.  The spin classes are held in the rock wall area to allow participants to supervise their children in the PCA area.  When the Alpha Warrior room is refitted to be a larger PCA area, spin classes will be moved into that room. 

The Fitness Center staff is unaware of children using the track to ride their bikes, this is prohibited and appears to be an isolated incident. The Fitness Center staff will monitor to ensure no one is brining bikes into the fitness center or riding on the track.

Thank you again for your concerns, our Force Support Squadron leadership, activity managers, and fitness staff will continue their efforts to be vigilant, address any safety matters, and do our diligence for you and each customer that walks through our doors to the best of our ability. Any questions or follow-up can be addressed directly to the FSS Commander, Lt Col Beidler, at andrew.beidler@us.af.mil

Fitness Center 24-hour Access

Action Line Question: (Received Dec. 8, 2023) Is there an ETA for when the Fitness Center's 24-hour access with work again? Doors do not unlock when the card reader flashes green after being scanned.

Action Line Answer: The 24-hour access system broke the evening of Dec. 7, and the 319th Force Support Squadron team finalized a plan of action Dec. 8. The ETA for restored access is Monday, Dec. 11, due to the system contractor being unavailable for repairs until then.

To mitigate this, the 319th FSS is manning the Fitness Center at the hours listed below to ensure patrons have ample opportunity to exercise. The 319th FSS understands how important fitness is, especially in the winter months, and is prioritizing this issue to ensure it's resolved.

Friday Dec. 8: manned until 7:00 pm
Saturday, Dec. 9: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, Dec. 10: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

As of 10:30 am, Monday, Dec. 11, 24-hour access is restored and the Fitness Center is operating under normal hours of operation. Visit the front desk to register for 24-hour access, or ensure your registration is current.

Gate at RV Lot

Action Line Question: When will the gate at the RV parking lot be fixed?

Action Line Answer: Unfortunately, the winter elements have taken a toll on the RV parking lot gate over the years. A work request has been in for some time to fix the Tilt-a-way-Gate and a local contracted company, the only provider in the area, is not available to fix it until the end of the year at the earliest.

The contract for use of the storage lot includes this statement: “Vehicle owners are responsible for parking and securing their own vehicles to prevent theft or damage to the vehicle.” Further, it states: “If the gates are left open or sealed shut due to an electronic failure of any type, Outdoor Recreation Staff will have repairs done as soon as possible, but are not responsible for opening the lot or fixing the system after hours.”

The FSS understands the frustration with not having a working gate and will do better to communicate these sorts of issues with RV lot patrons. The installation is itself a relatively secure location, however if any patron is uncomfortable with the current state of the lot gate, they may remove their items to an off-base location.  However, we cannot guarantee a space will be available if the patron decides they want to return after the gate is repaired.

Update Dec. 20, 2023: The gate at the RV lot is now repaired. 

319th SFS Members Performing Duty at Cavalier SFS

Action Line Question: Why are 319th Security Forces Squadron Defenders performing rotations at Cavalier SFS not receiving BAS? There's not dining facility available at Cavalier SFS and members are expected to bring the food they'll need for their entire rotation. 

Action Line Response: Security Forces leadership conducted a review of all Defenders assigned to Cavalier Space Force Station (CSFS) Security Detail and confirmed all should be receiving Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS).  They also advised these Defenders to review their Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) to ensure all proper entitlements are being received. Any first responder (not just those assigned to CSFS) assigned to the 319th Security Forces Squadron who believes they are not receiving the appropriate entitlements (e.g. BAS, Special Duty Pay) should contact their supervisor or unit First Sergeant with LES for assistance in correcting.

Fitness Center Locker Room Concerns
Action Line Response: Thank you for reaching out to us. The 319 FSS Fitness and cleaning teams take great pride in their work. We are happy to hear you are pushing yourself to fitness excellence, especially following a swing shift.

To avoid the locker room confusion going forward, we will work with the contractors to close the locker rooms during cleaning. They clean during periods of low foot traffic. Signs will be posted during the short duration of each cleaning M-F between 2200-2300. We apologize if this is an inconvenience, but it appears to be the most effective and efficient option for both customers and staff.

Recommendations for the Fitness Center are welcome and may be submitted through the FSS ICE program:  ICE :: Grand Forks Air Force Base (disa.mil) (if you would like a follow-on response, please include return contact information). Please let the Fitness Center Team,  Squadron Commander or Commander’s Action Line know if you have any other comments or questions in the future.

Commercial Gate Trees
Action Line Question: While the Main Gate is closed, please consider trimming the trees back so it's safer leaving the base. Visibility when turning North or South is not clear if you stop behind the white line.

Action Line Response: Thank you for bringing this safety hazard to our attention.  Our Grounds Maintenance Contractor has trimmed the trees near the main gate.  Feel free to reach out to the Commander's Action Line or contact the 319th Civil Engineer Squadron Customer Service section at 701-747-5210 if you have similar concerns in the future.

Skill Bridge Process

Action Line Question: The Education Center needs to come up with a way to cover when counselors are on leave. My skillbridge application was approved on 5 May by my supervisor.

The counselor I was working with has been on leave and the other two available counselors will not further my skillbridge application because my counselor "will be back soon."

It is not acceptable to have applications of this importance stagnant for a week or longer. The companies we are working with are waiting for the application approvals in order to further the military transition plan. Please look into why they cannot cover for one another when leave or other circumstances arise.

I am certain there are more Airmen that this affects.

Action Line Response: Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention. It is the intent of the Education Center and all FSS activities to have the customers they are working with to feel respected with the necessary customer service at their time of need.

We apologize you did not feel the attention in your case was tended to in a manner that fit your SkillBridge (SKB) program timeline.

Each of our counselors take each case seriously and are working the timeline of the Airmen, including all factors of separation, retirement, house hunting and more that might affect their life at the time and near future.

At the time of the initial brief, for continuity of service, Airmen are assigned an individual counselor to work their SkillBridge application. If there was an urgent need, it would have normally been discussed at the time of the one-on-one initial brief. If the counselor for an individual Airman is unavailable, due to leave for example, and the SkillBridge application is urgent, it is pushed to the Education Services Specialist or Education Services Officer for action.

We are tracking your initial brief was conducted on 24 January.  The next follow up was on 3 and 5 May.  On 5 May the Education Center opened your online application in the Air Force Virtual Education Center (AFVEC).  Your online application was signed by your supervisor on 8 May. The Education Staff did not receive your online application in their AFVEC queue until 8 May.  The Education Center and Commander signed off on your SKB application, completing the process on15 May. We are tracking your relocation leave begins on 8 August.

We understand companies have their timeline, we also have requirements, and with those requirements we work expeditiously to ensure each Airmen’s needs are met. We apologize that you did not feel your needs were met.

Our Education Teammates are here to serve you to the best of their ability, and they do not take this charge lightly. Thank you again for your concerns, we will do our diligence for you and each customer that walks through our doors.

Dining Facility Concerns

Action Line Question: I have been stationed here for almost 2 years and have seen a dramatic decrease in the quality of the dining facility, especially pertaining to the availability of menu items for breakfast and midnight meals.

I understand shipment supply was an issue during covid protocol, but it has not improved at all since the beginning of normal base operations. Is this a known issue and is anything being done to improve dining options for those who are restricted to a meal plan?”

Action Line Response: Thank you for reaching out to us concerning the options available to All “A”irmen during each meal period; the health and wellness of our Airmen and the facilities they live, eat and use for recreation are a top priority for base leadership and the 319th Force Support Squadron. This week the feature restaurant and sandwich bar in the Dining Facility were closed due to a waterline issue, but this was quickly worked with the 319th Civil Engineer Squadron and has now been reopened.

Supply chain issues are not unique to North Dakota, these issues are continuing globally, but we are maximizing the quality and variety of food offered in our facilities as our food contracts will allow. The feature restaurant changes menu options every month and a half to ensure there's a rotating menu for our meal card holders so they can enjoy a variety of options. Additionally, since 2019, meal card holders have had the option to utilize the Food 2.0 program allowing them to use their meal card at the Starbucks in J.R. Rockers, the J.R. Rockers Restaurant, as well as the Bowling Center. Food 2.0 is intended to allow meal card holders the option to dine in facilities other than the DFAC without causing additional financial strain on our Airmen.

Recommendations for specific foods or cuisine themes are always welcome to be submitted through the DFAC Comment Cards or FSS ICE program (preferred methods; please include return contact information), and the Commander or Command Chief's Action Lines. Please let the Dining Facility Team know if you have any other comments or questions. Thank you.

Mosquitoes at FamCamp

Action Line Question: We are enjoying the FamCamp except for the mosquitos. We stay at the FamCamp every year visiting my mother-in-law. For the past several years there have been propane-powered Mosquito Magnet machines deployed throughout the base and they did a great job eliminating the mosquito problem. One of them was near the FamCamp. We can't step outside our camper or take a walk without being swarmed by mosquitos. It would be great to have them back.

Action Line Answer: The 319th Civil Engineer Squadron began fogging for mosquitoes on May 23, 2023. There is a work order for mosquito magnets to be placed at FamCamp. With these actions, we hope to see a significant decrease in the mosquito population to make being outdoors more enjoyable. Thank you for your feedback, we hope you enjoy the remainder of your stay at FamCamp. 

Commissary Access Concerns

The Commissary on Grand Forks AFB is managed by the Defense Commissary Agency, not the 319th Reconnaissance Wing.  The submission related to the Commissary was referred to the Defense Commissary Agency, Director for the West Region for review and coordination.  If the West Region Director provides a response, it will be posted here if deemed appropriate for public release.

Basketball game concerns

Action Line Question: I highly encourage the use of Security Forces are present at all basketball games taken place at the GFAFB gym. Basketball games are bottom line out of hand. When people are fighting, throwing punches, pushing, shoving, verbally assaulting each other, female spectators are swinging at players after the game, being carried over into the common areas. YES, there is a problem. March 9th 2023, 6:05 p.m. I thought this was a Military Base, with Military and Civilian Dod employees. I thought there was Military Bearing in the Military, I guess I was mistaken. We all read the rules before the season started, yet no one follows them, well I do. It all starts with the reefing, they don't make the right call or don't care, then the coaches are supposed to step up and be accountable for their teams actions, they don't step up, then I believe FSS should intervein, when things get out of hand, they don't, people are supposed to get suspended or banned from the league, they don't. You see, there is no accountability. You can look at the video of the basketball games and what happens. I mean if your having an A1C, trying to take charge of basketball, maybe that is the 1st issue. Who runs the gym, FSS? How high does that rank structure go? At one point I was sharing a story of a shoving tackling match that happened on the basketball court, he said, If I was there and witnessed that, I would've made a phone call and something would have happened. I am retired Military after 22 years, I work and play sports at the GFAFB. this isnt anything new, I hope this is NOT the normal over there

Action Line Response: Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention and you are correct, I expect each of my Griffin teammates to conduct themselves with proper military bearing and to be examples of our three Core Values: Integrity First, Service before Self, and Excellence in All we do.

I am saddened by your report of an altercation at one of our intramural basketball games. As we know competition can bring out the best in people, but sometimes it can bring out negative emotions and behaviors as well.

I have asked our 319th Force Support Squadron fitness center staff and leadership to review the surveillance footage and determine a way forward to help mitigate future conflicts. The findings were disheartening; as you stated, some people let their emotions get the better of them. However, I was encouraged to see that some of our Griffin teammates stepped in to deescalate the situation.

In order to minimize future misconduct, our FSS teammates developed the following initial lines of efforts (LOE) to reduce the risk of these incidents happening in the future:

LOE 1: FSS will revamp how both coaches & sports representative meetings are run and will re-emphasize sportsmanship as a key pillar of the intramural program. They will highlight the consequences of failing to adhere to the code of conduct laid out in the bylaws. Additionally, coaches & sports representatives will be advised that they are responsible for the actions of their team and fans. Should their behavior be deemed in violation of the bylaws, the game can be declared a forfeit and their team given a loss.

LOE 2: FSS is implementing training for referees (with certified teammates) in all intramural programs. FSS will ensure coaches provide 2-4 volunteer referees for training to ensure compliance and confidence for volunteers adhering to the games. FSS will keep a documented list of trained referees to ensure accountability. Teams that do not provide referees will be given forfeits in accordance with bylaws and briefed at the coach/referee meetings.

LOE 3: Our sports program manager and fitness staff are aware that it is their responsibility to maintain an atmosphere of respect and dignity and are empowered to address concerns as they happen, to make necessary calls to mitigate situations, and to contacted security forces if things turn violent. If the atmosphere of respect and dignity is not maintained, penalties will be enforced, which may include removing a player from the game or facility, removing a fan from the facility, or declaring a forfeited game.

LOE 4: FSS will continue its efforts to seek funding for certified intramural referees from higher headquarters, however that would be a long-term solution.

I encourage all Griffins to step in to help de-escalate the situation, taking safety into consideration. If that is not possible, I recommend you reach out to our security forces team to assist in the de-escalation.

The Sports Program at Grand Forks is one of the best I have seen in my time in the Air Force and is a key pillar of building and maintaining our resiliency. Thanks again for taking the time to bring this concern to our attention and for helping to make Grand Forks AFB a better place for all our Griffin teammates.

Auto Skills parking lot

Action Line Question: Auto Skills parking lot is extremely icy and very dangerous to walk on. Can something be done about this safely hazard for patrons using this facility?

Action Line Response: The parking lot was cleared last week, (before the current storm), and additional salt was added.  The facility manager also had snow melt provided that they could use at entrances. The lot also was cleared again this morning after the weekend's storm. 

Fitness Center Town Hall Summary

The 319th Force Support Squadron fitness center team extends a thank you everyone who came to the fitness center town hall and submitted questions to make our community better. Below is an update on the questions that were submitted.

Question 1: Is there an intent to replace the run-down kettle bells in the gym next to the court? They are all flaking. I would like to see dumbbells in that room like the main weight room below the cardio area. I would also like to see more than 5 benches as there are very limited options to do free weights. I know space is limited, but there needs to be availability of dumbbell and bench equipment to more than 5 people at a time.

Answer 1: Each year the fitness center staff works with the Air Force Services Center to requisition replacements for equipment that is broken or has reached the end of its service life. The fitness center team has added kettle bells to our submission to replace the equipment that is damaged.

Our fitness center team continues to review the organization of each room to determine the most efficient use of space. While we cannot reorganize at this time, the Fitness Center team will continue to seek opportunities to make better use of the space. If you have ideas of how to make better use of the space, I encourage you to reach out to the Fitness Center NCOIC, Tech. Sgt. Robert Carter at 701-747-5324 or robert.carter.23@us.af.mil.

Question 2: We'd love to have family swim in the evenings. There isn't a ton to do once my husband comes home. The CAC and pool are not available for us as a family to enjoy. We love both facilities, but it would be great to have family time together at these facilities once my husband is off work!

Answer 2: The fitness center team is currently working on this problem. They are looking at options to allow the pool to be open longer hours for lap swimming and realign resources to allow for additional family swim time. We intend to make changes soon, so please keep a lookout for those updates.

In the interim, if you are looking for a location to take your family to enjoy time in the water, the community center in housing has an indoor splash pad available to base housing residents and outdoor playgrounds available to everyone with base access. The fitness center field house is also now open 24/7 for families to enjoy.

Additionally, the CAC now offers weekend sessions every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Your 319th Force Support Squadron leadership team is working with the Air Force Services Center to possibly open the CAC 24/7 through a waiver process. More information regarding 24-hour CAC access will be released as it’s available.

Question 3: Can we put nonslip mats in the locker room to the pool? It is very slippery, especially if you have multiple kids with you.

Answer 3: The safety of our Griffin team is of paramount importance to your leadership and Fitness Center teams. The FSS Outdoor Recreation team and Fitness Center staff are looking into purchasing mats for the pool locker rooms. Until we can get the mats and have them installed, I highly recommend you wear shower shoes to provide additional traction and prevent slips / falls.

Child Care Availability

Action Line Question: Our son has been going to the CDC for almost two years now. I retired less than 6 months ago and my husband is civil service. We just got told today our son is getting kicked out of the CDC because I have a very low preference and there are people on the wait list with higher preferences. I understand there is a wait list but I’ve never been told that they’re able to kick our child out of the center just to put another one all because I retired.

This is the second time that this has occurred to our child in the last couple of years. He was originally going to an in home daycare through the FCC. He was there about 4 months when we were given a 3 day notice of his termination. They stated that there was a child with disabilities that was going to attend and that he was no longer allowed there. When we asked about the 2 week notice in the FCC contract we were told by the FCC director that it was her fault and that our child could still go the following week with the child that had disabilities even though it was against the rules. We brought our son still because we had no other option and the environment ended up being hostile so I ended up taking vacation to watch my son.

We are extremely upset that this has occurred to us now twice with our son when he only has 7 months left until he goes to school. This is the type of environment that leads to mistrust and concern throughout the FCC and CDC.

Action Line Response: Thank you for bringing this important issue to my attention. Please know that quality childcare is one of or wing’s top priorities and supports our objective to “Develop Exceptional Leaders” and the FSS’s priority to “Care for Airmen.” It was with a heavy heart that our FSS teammates had to issue five notices to families who meet the priority criteria for supplanting.

I understand your frustration with the priority categories. Please know that those priorities are set at the Department of Defense level and are designed to support those members with the highest childcare needs. The highest priorities are for single Airmen and active duty military to military. When we reapplied the Department of Defense priority levels, there were five families (five children) whose priority dropped. Our Child and Youth staff exhausted all options to bring four families (five children) with higher priorities into the program without having to supplant any children. 

Our community, in Grand Forks and here on Grand Forks AFB, is struggling to meet the childcare needs within the local area. However, locally on GFAFB, our FSS Child and Youth Team continues to have success in recruiting premier talent. Effective 9 Jan 23, they were able to open an additional infant room and increase the number of children that can be accommodated in the school age program. We have also made some strides in recruiting new Family Child Care (FCC) providers and we expect to make an announcement in the near future. We also continue to bring on new staff with the intent that we will soon be able to open new CDC rooms.

Our CDC teammates take great pains to overcommunicate and provide our families with timely information. This includes where families are on the priority list and on the wait list for care.

We have taken steps to ensure what happened in your case with the FCC will not happen to other families. This case was unique in that the child who came into the household did have very specific needs that could not be met in either Grand Forks city childcare or in the CDC.

Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. We will continue to use every option we have to expand childcare support to all families on GFAFB.

Warrior Inn Closure - Reservation Cancellations 

Action Line Question: I made reservations to stay at the Warrior Inn for February 2023, the reservations were put in via phone in August of 2022. No one informed me the Warrior Inn is apparently now closed?

I called multiple numbers to try and verify the closure since the 319fss.com directory still shows the Warrior Inn listed as being open 8am - 4pm. The phone message on the Warrior Inn's phone also says they are still operating during these hours and makes it sound like they're still open.

A message needs to be put out and the 319fss.com needs to be updated to reflect this closure! Customers with reservations after the closure also should have been notified. I now have to try and find alternate lodging options. Had I not called I would've driven all the way to Grand Forks AFB to try and stay in a hotel that's not even open.

Action Line Response: I appreciate you taking the time to bring your concern to my attention. Unfortunately, we were notified by Headquarters’ Air Force in October 2022, that based on a business case analysis, the lodging operations were being divested at GFAFB. FSS leadership designated November 30, 2022 as the last day of occupancy. This allows the base to transfer the equipment and facilities efficiently from Non-Appropriated Funds to Appropriated Funds.

Upon notification of termination of lodging operations, our Lodging Staff e-mailed and/or called all patrons using the contact information they provided to notify them their reservations were cancelled. We apologize that you were not contacted, and I have asked our  staff to relook at all cancellations to ensure we have reached out and notified each client.

I want to thank you for mentioning the inaccurate information listed on our 319 FSS page. I have asked our FSS website team to correct this error as soon as possible.

Finally, if you are willing to provide you information to the 319 FSS leadership, they will investigate your specific case and provide you a response back as soon as possible. You can reach the FSS leadership team at 701-747-3463.

Child Development Center Payment Backlog

Action Line Question: Can the commander assist with the billing backlog issue with the CDC? Families have not been charged for the entire month of December despite being consistently reminded to provide updated payment information. The CDC’s response is that they don’t have the go ahead or program information from their contact at their headquarters who is overseeing the transition. They are saying they’re undergoing weekly ‘training’ on the new system, but not able to go live with it yet.

This is the worst time of year for this to occur being as it’s in the middle of holiday season and right after Christmas. As of now, my spouse and I will be charged approximately $750 at once for daycare, and we aren’t in the highest category. One missed payment is okay, two is frustrating, and three is unacceptable. As of now, we will be charged at least 4 payments at once if it is not resolved before the 15th of January. There is no end resolution date in sight according to the CDC.

Action Line Response: I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns regarding the changes in billing at the CDC. CDC’s AF-wide are migrating to a new centrally managed payment processing system. We know of only one individual at the AF Services Center who is able to initiate charges in the new system. They have committed to begin processing December payments no later than 31 December, and we've asked them to confirm they will meet this date. The CDC cannot resume processing charges using the old system, because it would result in duplicate charges - under the old system and the new. CDC leadership says all parents were notified this transition was coming and were encouraged to set aside funds as there might be a delay in processing charges, but it appears the delay will be no more than one month.

If you have any follow-on questions or concerns, please contact your Mission Support Group Commander, Col David Castor at 701-747-3389 or by email at david.castor@us.af.mil or your Force Support Squadron Director, Mr. Robert Hubbs at 701-747-5503 or via e-mail at robert.hubbs.1@us.af.mil.

Medical Group Closure During Exercise

Action Line Question: Why are we rescheduling appointments during exercises? Are medical appointments not considered a real-world priority? I arrived to the clinic 15 minutes early to be met with locked doors and no signs indicating a closure.

I received a call 2 minutes before my appointment time for a notice of a need to reschedule. How is this taking care of our Airmen? Some appointments can take weeks to be seen and some family members and Airmen come from off base to be seen. I also saw an elderly man, likely a Veteran, walking away from the locked doors back to his car (in 10-degree temperatures). A call 2 minutes before the appointment time just to be rescheduled is not professional at all.

Medical appointments need to be exempt from exercises. Airmen, family and veteran's health should be priority over an exercise. Clearly today, it was not and is becoming a trend with this base.

Action Line Response: 30 patient appointments were impacted by the Active Shooter exercise. WIT and the MDG Sq/CCs are evaluating and addressing root causes of preventable disruption in future exercises; some degree is expected due to the exercise.

Due to the nature of the exercise, neither the clinics nor appointment line were aware of the closure, and it was not communicated to patients who were inbound to the MTF.  During lockdown, patients could not hear the giant voice, and did not know why the clinic doors were closed.  The appointment clerks did not have clear direction for how to respond to patients who called them with questions, resulting in some patients being directed to come back to the still closed building, and others being rescheduled for another day. 

The squadron commanders have collaborated with the Chief of Medical staff, and in future events, have provided more clear direction to the appointment line. These plans include clinic staff, rather than the appointment line, calling patients to either work them into the same day schedule, or reschedule for a different day.  In rescheduling, the team will prioritize acute needs like mental health evaluations and pre/post deployment care over more routine needs, but will make every attempt to get patients back into the clinic the same or next day.  In this exercise, most mental health patients were seen the same or next business day, with one being rescheduled several days later.

From the WIT hotwash, WIT will work with the MDG to align larger exercises to the MDG training day, or to communicate the larger exercises in enough time for the MDG to move their training day to accommodate, and thus reduce disruption of patient care.  MDG WIT will coordinate to place information on the entry/exit doors so that patients are aware of an exercise, and the MDG procedures for working patients back into the schedule or rescheduling.

Fitness Center 24/7 Access/Long Weekend Closure

Action Line Question: With this being a four-day weekend, compounded with a snow day (making it a five-day weekend) how is it practical that the fitness center is closed with no 24-hour access for all of these days? 

Families and individuals in this isolated environment struggle. The fitness center is one of the few things that need to remain open. It is not only a fitness thing, but also a mental health thing. This facility is a life saver in freezing temperatures.

Moreover, why does FSS and the gym staff have more time off than anyone in the wing? How can the Force SUPPORT Squadron be closed for business for 6 days?. Please help the members of this wing who live on the installation maintain their sanity this winter. Please keep this facility open! 

Also, please do a true investigation on how many times an incident like this happens on long weekends. Look into why, more often than not, the 24 -hour access does not function on long weekends and “snow days.”   

Action Line Response: Thank you for voicing your concerns on the Commander's Action Line. I completely agree that physical fitness is a critical component of resilience, especially during our long winter. It is my full intent to make our Fitness Center available 24/7 for Airmen and families.

In not having a contingency plan to quickly re-open the Fitness Center, we failed to provide you the support you deserve. Should something like this happen again, I'm committed to ensuring we keep the Fitness Center open and available.

I know there may be concerns regarding Fitness Center access during the upcoming holidays - please visit the Fitness Center during staffed hours to ensure your 24-hour access is working properly.

RV Storage Security

Action Line Question: When will the gate at the RV storage facility be fixed? 

Action Line Response: Thanks for bringing this concern to my attention. Unfortunately, there is only 1 company in our area that works on these gates and they are headquartered out of Fargo. The FSS Outdoor Recreation Team has been working with the repair company since the issue was identified. The repair company has had issues getting the needed parts to repair the gate.

The good news is the parts are in and the repair company will be here in early Jan 2023 to repair the gate, assuming North Dakota does not vote with a snow storm to disrupt the repair team’s abilities.

Thank you again for reaching out with your concern and we are glad that we will soon have a resolution to the issue and return the RV Storage Lot to a proper security level.

New Commercial Gate Hours

Action Line Question: In regards to the recently released PA message about the change to the South Gate hours, what is the reason? Was the increased traffic flow that will flood the front gate considered in this decision?

A large portion of the base workforce uses the South Gate to expedite their access to west-side work centers and diverting them to the front gate (which already backs up down CR 3) will increase the traffic and time required to access the base during both the morning and afternoon commutes. When adding commercial traffic to that, especially in the morning before 0800 and the impending inclement weather in the fall/winter seasons, I can see significant delays being caused.

Having that gate open from the 0700-0800 and 1600-1700 period is a very nice option and will be sorely missed.

Action Line Response: Thank you for your question. We are empathetic to those inconvenienced by the change to the South Gate hours, but this was an operational decision.

Our primary driving factor behind the decision to shorten the gate hours is to make more effective use of our Security Forces manpower in executing our integrated defense plan. We conducted a study of non-commercial traffic from 25-29 April 2022 during the potential closure hours. The study showed that the main gate could handle the increased traffic flow with only minor impact to commute time/distance during peak traffic.

HPCON Status/COVID-19 Updates

Action Line Question: What HPCON are we in? Some facilities say Alpha, some say Bravo. Is the Grand Forks AFB Covid page up to date? Why are some offices in fulltime remote or hybrid status while others are not?.

Action Line Response: The 319th Reconnaissance Wing Covid page is continually updated to reflect the current HPCON. Covid-19 cases in the region are tracked, analyzed and compared with Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control guidance. Base leadership is briefed weekly on the local Covid rates, and Public Affairs updates the Grand Forks AFB Covid page.

If you see an outdated HPCON sign at a facility on base, please inform someone working there so the sign can be updated.

In accordance with the latest Department of Defense Force Health Protection guidance, published Aug. 29, 2022, installation commanders can take additional precautions for select personnel and medically vulnerable populations, including remote or hybrid duty statuses.

The enforcement of teleworking capabilities as stated within the HPCON Bravo notification is dictated as “mission needs,” and is no longer specifically required. Following updated CDC and FHP guidance, mask wear is not required in buildings on base as long as the community stays in Medium or Low Covid-19 levels. There is one notable exception to this policy – masks must be worn at all times inside any Military Treatment Facility.

CDC Hours and COVID Leave for Child Care

Action Line Question: Why does the CDC open at 0700? We have loads of single parents in the wing that are mission essential and are being punished because they cannot find childcare before 0700.

Also, certain mission essential commanders are informing subordinates that they must take leave if cannot find childcare. How is this taking care of our airman? How is it fair that senior NCOs and Officers are not required to do the same?

Finally, why are mission essential commanders making subordinates take leave if they cannot find childcare at short notice due to a positive case at the youth center? It is not our fault that the Youth Staff cannot follow Covid precautions.

Action Line Response: Thank you for raising your concerns regarding the availability of Child Care and the impact COVID positive cases are having on our Airmen.

The safety, stability and health of our families are always on the top of my mind and a focus area for your wing, group and squadron leadership. While our FSS has struggled with manning shortages in our Child and Youth Programs, an issue the Air Force has struggled with over the last 3 years, my intent is to develop and find new solutions. I have directed 319 FSS leadership to complete a childcare review, with the direct purpose of developing options to expand hours and increase availability. This review is due to me in early October.

In the meantime, I encourage Airmen and their families to reach out to our Child and Youth team at (701-747-5033 or 319FSS.FSY.YouthEducationSvs@us.af.mil) to determine available options for outside current CDC hours. For example, we do have Family Child Care providers who specifically provide care early in the morning and in the evenings.

There is some good news on the COVID front. The latest CDC guidance recommends a close contact of a COVID positive member to monitor for symptoms and wear a mask for 10 days, if the member is vaccinated. The new guidance no longer requires the member to isolate or quarantine for 5 days after exposure. This change will limit the impacts that one positive COVID case will have on Child and Youth Program’s need to close certain rooms to care.

Finally, my #1 priority is taking care of our Airmen. I expect all leaders in our Wing to have the same focus. Please communicate your issues with your chain of command to determine reasonable accommodation that will allow your unit and you to complete the mission while taking care of your families, reserving leave for extenuating circumstances.

Club Food Complaint

Action Line Question: Can the command have someone look into the food quality/cooking processes at the club. Specifically, based on multiple experiences, I have placed to-go orders for myself and the family just to get back home and notice the food is under-cooked (still raw in middle and border-line cold). Also the beef tastes terrible there but it could be because of it being under-cooked (Bowling Alley is the preferred location as it's much better food quality). Also the club pop machine's coke, diet-coke, and sprite taste a little off. I think not enough syrup is getting mixed-in but it could also be the water.

Action Line Response: First, thank you for your comment and bringing this to our attention.  Your feedback is vital to our success. We will take this as a learning experience, opportunity for improvement and are deeply sorry that you had a negative experience at our Club. This does not come anywhere near our standards of food quality.  Please, again, accept our sincere apologies.

We take our food quality, handling processes and temperatures very seriously.  Based on your feedback we will introduce additional proactive safeguards to prevent undercooked food with increased spot-inspections and temperature checks to ensure food safety and quality to our customers.

Additionally, we requested a Coke technician perform a service call on the soda fountain and validate proper operations and mixture ratios.  The technician performed the inspection on 12 Aug but was unable to determine a cause for the “Off” taste you experienced or an inconsistency with the mixture ratio of syrup, water, and CO2.  We will continue to monitor the fountain.

I understand this was an inconvenience to your family, we take our customer satisfaction and experience very seriously and will do everything we can to regain your trust

Individual with Base Access

Action Line Question: On behalf of many individuals, I seek the action of the gentleman who walks around the base with an ankle bracelet. Several (by several, I mean a lot) military members, spouses, and families have spotted him and continue to wonder why this is being allowed. Rumors will be rumors, but most of the base is aware of the offense as to why he has the ankle bracelet on. Thus, continue to wonder why an individual who committed an offense against the UCMJ and local law is allowed on base at all, let alone in facilities with women and children AND even during after-hours. Having this individual walk freely does not align with the Air Force's promise to ensure the safety of military members and their families. Regardless of the individual's status, appeal process, or prior service to the Air Force, he currently holds no benefits; therefore, leadership should be ensuring he is not allotted rights to the base and its facilities. Spouses, children, or active-duty members should not have to walk amongst the base feeling uncomfortable or in fear due to the presence of an individual who has committed such a severe crime. 
On a more serious note, a bill was introduced on behalf of this crime to protect spouses, yet GFAFB leadership is not protecting spouses by allowing this individual to walk freely on base. Because this bill was sent so high up in the Senate, I am surprised that leadership allows this person on base. I would hate to see the uncomfortableness, anger, and fear that spouses feel when seeing this individual on base be brought up to the same Senators who aim to protect us. Notifying Senate that GFAFB leadership is not doing their jobs to make families and military members feel safe may need to be done unless there is immediate change. I trust leadership makes a decision that reflects their care for their military members and their families to ensure we feel safe in our community, GFAFB facilities, and homes. V/R, A concerned military member, spouse, civilian, and many others living on GFAFB installation.

Action Line Response: Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about an airman continuing to access base facilities following both court-martial and civilian convictions.  I understand your concerns.  Please allow me to provide some additional information which helps explain why the airman continues to access base facilities and resources.

Following a conviction at court-martial where a punitive discharge (Dismissal, Dishonorable, or Bad Conduct Discharge) is adjudged, an airman remains on active duty while his or her conviction is reviewed on appeal.  After a sentence to confinement is completed, the airman is usually placed on appellate leave.  An airman on appellate leave remains an active duty member of the armed forces and is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  The airman receives no pay and allowances for time on appellate leave, but the airman and his or her dependents are entitled to medical care, use of military exchange facilities, commissaries, and other military welfare benefits.  After a conviction has been affirmed and appellate rights are exhausted, the punitive discharge is executed.  At that point, the member becomes a civilian and loses the benefits of an active duty service member.

I understand your discomfort at seeing an airman with an ankle monitoring device and prior convictions on base, but rest assured that I am not impeded from maintaining the health, safety, and good order and discipline of this installation.  If you witness or experience any misconduct, Security Forces and OSI are empowered to respond.  The airman remains subject to the UCMJ, and continuing base privileges may be curtailed for cause.  If you observe misconduct or are threatened by anyone on base, please call the 319th Security Forces Squadron Law Enforcement desk at 747-5351.


Mental Health Support

Action Line Question: With an understanding that there are limitations or restrictions from HAF/DoD/DHA, my answer may not be found at base level, however; I feel like it drives discussion.
When completing required IMR items, it's an annual requirement to complete a Physical Health Assessment (PHA) and Mental Health Assessment (MHA). With Comprehensive Airmen Readiness in mind, and an evolving cultural shift towards emphasizing mental and physical wellness, resources and treatment services are becoming more advertised, though not more readily available.
Similarly, there is an observed difference in mandated care between operational and support personnel. Operational personnel are often required to complete an annual in-person assessment, while support personnel complete an over-the-phone or computer-based questionnaire.
1.) Understanding the critical need for support, and being that the support fields generally outnumber the operational personnel, why is there a perceived greater emphasis placed on operations personnel than their support counterparts?
2.) What current efforts are being explored to increase capabilities at Grand Forks, to prevent appointments for mental health counseling being scheduled 3-4 weeks out, after an individual identifies a personal need?
3.) For those with potential ideas for resource/advocacy alternatives, or for those with a given interest in crisis management, what avenues would you recommend that individuals pursue to help design their ideas for potential leadership discussion/implementation?
Thank you.

Action Line Response: Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this matter especially in light of recent events.  Please know that the health and safety of all of our Griffin Warriors is a prime concern of mine as well as our Medical Group and all wing leadership.  To address your specific concerns: 

1) The members that are required to have their PHA/MHA in-person are 2992 holders and have testing and examination requirements that most of our support members do not require; such as hearing testing, color vision testing, depth perception testing, and others that are driven by the needs of their career field; to ensure they are mission ready.  Where in-person examinations are required, the PHA/MHA are also accomplished in-person at the time of the examination and testing.  It should be noted that even in our support areas some members, such as fire fighters, maintenance workers, and other members who have routinely work with hazardous materials, have requirements for testing that other personnel do not.  Our Public Health and Bio-environmental teams evaluate each work center for hazardous exposures and determine what testing is required and at what frequency.  These evaluations are reassessed on a schedule appropriate for the level of risk of each work center.  Further testing and examination requirements for various 2992 holders are defined in AFI 48-123 and are updated on a periodic basis based upon evidence-based practices. 

2) We are actively working with 16AF, ACC, AFPC, and DHA to upgrade the GS positions that are vacant to attract candidates.  Recruitment and retention bonuses, etc. are being used to help in those efforts.  Additionally, new active duty MH positions have come onto the books and are in the process of getting fills.  Further, the medical group is working with Tricare to get more mental health providers to join the network.  Finally, the wing has requested more Military Family Life Consultant counsellors from ACC/AF to help bring the gap in need for our community.

3) Our agencies are very open to new ideas and as such always welcome discussion whether that be new advocacy alternatives, alternate resources, or training ideas.  There are a few different avenues for someone to get their ideas to leadership for potential implementation, but we’d recommend always starting with proper research first.  Evidence based practices and documented proven success rates help choose and promote programs while also helping us differentiate between awareness and prevention.  Running ideas by your Squadron Resiliency Trainer is a great way talk things over before bringing them to an agency.  Once you believe you have a strongly researched program or resource, you can reach out directly to the Community Support Coordinator (CSC) for more information on how to potentially get that program up and running while personally helping be part of its success!  In part because of our “No Wrong Door” policy, if the CSC believes your program or resources align more fully under FAP, SAPR, A&FR, VPI, or other agencies, you may be referred to discuss opportunities with those specific program managers.  Additionally, you could bring your ideas to the Community Action Team (CAT) meetings.  During this monthly meeting, a diverse group of agencies meet to discuss various issues across base and how to collaborate effectively while working to solve them.  The CAT is always open to new ideas and again you can contact the CSC for meeting time/date/location details.   

Finally, I encourage every Airman to work on comprehensive fitness and resilience by focusing on all the pillars of our life to include physical fitness, faith, mental health, and balancing work and family life as best as possible. Shoulder to Shoulder.


PCS Inquiry 

Action Line Question: I know someone who would like to, and has been trying, to PCS to this base. This person has never heard a word, and the request through Air Force Personnel is about to expire. Anything else this person can do?

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you to taking the time to bring your concern to my attention. It is difficult to give a specific answer to assist the individual your reference in your question without additional details. However, I asked our Force Support Squadron to research your concern. 

If Airmen has a pending request for reassignment and is concerned with processing timelines there are multiple options to check the status of a request.  The member may submit a ticket to the Air Force Personnel Center via myPers to inquire about the status, leverage their chain of command to contact the Airmen’s respective Functional Assignment Manager for assistance, or contact their local Military Personnel Flight (MPF) for assistance. 

Additionally, I highly encourage the member to reach out to their leadership chain, specifically their squadron’s First Sergeant for assistance. Our First Sergeants are the main focal point for assisting Airmen who have reached a block in the road that they cannot navigate and will go above and beyond to help. 

I hope this helps your friend. We are always looking for more talented Airmen to help take the 319th Reconnaissance Wing to new levels and to prepare for the future fight to defend our nation.


CDC Closure Due to COVID

Action Line Question: I have a minor(s) affected by the Covid-19 exposure/closure announced on Wed, Jan 12, 2022. I received an email at work with the CDC notice and within a short amount of time myself/spouse had obtained the minor(s) in care from the facility. While at the facility the front office quickly printed us the notice to take home in fear we may have missed the email since our pickup was prompt. When we went into classroom(s) to obtain minor(s) the instructor(s) had not yet even been notified of the exposures and asked me(us) who?, to which we did not know but their supervision/center had already sent notification to the parents without informing their instructors and we had to reiterate that they request clarification and hopefully we would receive notice of rooms affected. 

I am extremely disappointed in the manner in which this was handled and the protocol for return. Not only were we not notified if minor(s) were in affected rooms by CDC. But there should have been and be contact tracing by Public Health to the CDC. All teachers/instructors and facility members should be tested and confirmed negative on Monday before they can even assess if they are re-opening. Then, the affected rooms and the parents of children within those rooms should be contacted by public health that they were close contact, and then they should go get tested. And/or if the minor(s) are symptomatic then they should also, again, go get tested. 

For families who are unaware if their minor(s) were in a room with direct contact/exposure, who were unaffected, and who continue to be asymptomatic, we not only do not meet current CDC protocol but to require mass testing on Monday morning for the entire population of the CDC is not only improper but it wastes the states already limited resources. Furthermore, there is no direction if the negative test results needs to be rapid test(which is not as accurate) or the 24 hour+ test(which is more accurate) but with mass testing is going to take a longer period than 24 hours to return a group that large. Let alone any other testing they may be conducting within the Grand Forks and surrounding communities. 

To go a step further forcing minor(s) especially, to get an aggressive test when they do not meet the current guidelines to get that test or to be forced to do so to return to paid services is unethical and can create negative medical associations unnecessarily. Also, forcing non exposed families who weren't properly contact traced and asymptomatic kids to go into a large state testing facility and stand in a line/building of those affected and symptomatic just furthers exposure. Please provide proper contact tracing based off instructors/facility members tests, and then notify rooms/families affected and provide clarification on required negative test type required. We would also like clarification on length of reimbursement families will be receiving and for what period of time. Would like to know if they will be reimbursed if the CDC re-opens but state testing results are delayed. 

Also, we have requested more enforced masking policies (which should be required in federal buildings still anyways) as we have seen a large lack of masking within the CDC (at least amongst some of the older classrooms)(even though we are all sick of masking, we are sick of shut downs too). It would be nice if this was increased more. I think there are people who are happy to comply and/or get their children tested but not unnecessarily and are very unhappy with the directives/guidance given this past week. Thank you.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you to taking the time to bring your concern to my attention. I would like to start by stating that the health, welfare and safety of all of our wing’s Airmen and their families is a top priority. COVID-19 continues to be a dynamic environment with the emergence of new strains and the ever changing guidance and recommendations.

Our Child Development Center Staff and Public Health professionals are in constant contact with each other to ensure the safest and healthiest environment possible for our children. There was a positive COVID-19 staff member in every room of the Child Development Center. The Child Development Center Staff and leadership team immediately began contact tracing with Public Health and it was determined that closing for 1 day (20 Jan 22) and having the children tested on Monday, 24 Jan 22, was the best option.

Parents were contacted immediately after this decision was made. The Child Development Center Staff decided to use the normal pick up time vice having families immediately come to pick up their children. This decision was made to give parents and wing leadership the maximum amount of time to make arrangements for child care due to the closure.

Throughout the weekend the Child Development Center Staff continued to provide updates to parents via the e-mail they provided at registration. Once a decision was made to open the Child Development Center in a limited capacity, each parent were called directly to notify them of the availability of care and their status. I am extremely proud of how our Child Development Center Staff and our families, you, have handled this situation and it is a testament to the flexibility and resiliency of all involved.

I would like to wrap up by reminding everyone that the safety of all of our Airman is in our hands. If you or your child are not feeling well, please stay home and coordinate with your leadership and/or supervisory chain. Only together can we reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses and help our nation and our base return to a new normal free of this pandemic.

Once again, I thank you for bringing me your concern and I highly encourage you to bring any future concerns to my attention as well. For the Child Development Center, please keep in mind you may first bring any future concerns to the Child and Youth Program Flight Leaders.


CDC Closure Due to Weather

Action Line Question: Are we getting reimbursement for the Child Development Center closure on 5 January 2022, when the rest of the base was open and working? We pay good money for the care and closing without an official base closure is absurd.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you to taking the time to bring your concern to my attention. I would like to start by stating that the health, welfare and safety of all of our wing’s Airmen and their families is a top priority. With that in mind and the visibility created by the storm, we decided to reduce the Child Development Center’s operations to storm essential personnel and children only. 

Each family is provided with a CDC Parent Agreement when they first enroll their children for care. Parents are required to sign and initial the contract within the Parent Agreement. One of the elements reads: “There will be no credit or refunds given for illness, inclement weather, emergency closing, and federal holidays or days parents choose not to bring their child to the program.” Based on the circumstances and the CDC Parent Agreement, we will not be able to reimburse families for the closure of the CDC due to the storm. This is a similar policy to many local civilian childcare facilities as well.

Once again, I thank you for bringing me your concern and I highly encourage you to bring any future concerns to my attention as well. For the CDC, please keep in mind you may first bring any future concerns to the Child and Youth Program Flight Leaders or to the Child Development Center Director.


Base Winter Road Safety

Action Line Question: The roads on base are not safe. The contractors are not doing their job and removing ice from the roads. If safety for your active duty and dependents and all the civilians that work on our base, then something needs to change. There have already been staff falls at the end group and parents falling in the CDC parking lot. No matter how many contracts there are, nothing should come between keeping your people safe. There needs to be salt on the roads. It’s only the first weekend of snow and people are sliding across intersections. I am afraid to drive to and from work. I am afraid to walk my child into the CDC. Please do something about this.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for your question.  Our Civil Engineering Squadron manages contractors that provide most of our base snow and ice removal.  Additionally, the Force Support Squadron provides support w/in 50’ of the CDC building itself.  Snow and ice removal is challenging.  Our Airmen, civilians, contractors and dependents safety is extremely important to us.  If you have ideas of how to efficiently remove ice and snow hazards please contact our CES.  The team does their best every year to ensure your safety; but we actively seek better ways to mitigate these threats.


COVID Vaccination Numbers

Action Line Question: Why doesn't the base and DOD report covid vaccination numbers to local state public health? Our local numbers in the county may be better than reported.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for your question.  We share this information with Grand Forks Public Health weekly.  Wing and Medical Group Commanders, have a weekly Institutional partners meeting which includes GF Public Health.


Main Gate Missile

Action Line Question: Are you going to fix the missile at the front gate?

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for your question on the status of our Air Park at the front gate.  The entrance to our installation is one of the more impressive in the Air Force and we take great pride in its presentation while ensuring that the Air Park is safe for our occupants and visitors.  The falling of the top-half of our Minuteman III display is unfortunate and will likely take some time to repair.  Our Grand Forks AFB airmen, while highly trained in the repair of aircraft structures, are not versed in the repairs required to bring this piece of history back to a state worthy of display at our entrance.  The systems on display at our gate are on loan to us from the United States Air Force Museum.  We are coordinating with them on how and where to conduct the repair.  We will likely ship the missile to a United States Air Force Museum facility to facilitate the repair in a safe and accurate manner.  Although undetermined at this time, the timeline could take a year or more to complete.  In the meantime, our airmen are ensuring the remaining portion of the Minuteman III is safe and secure to prevent additional damage while we await the repair.


Leadership Concern

Action Line Question: As a 2nd generation military member, retired USAF/Disabled VET, w/a son now serving making him a 3rd generation military member, as a result of how he was treated today by the leadership of his unit CC I must now say I’m disgusted to be associated with “today’s” military & disregard for seeking the truth & instead being SO quick to blame/punish someone without even conducting at least a minuscule amount of background research. Not to mention not allowing the member to even speak in their defense. Couple that w/being personally attacked verbally & being degraded by using disparaging terms along with cursing the individual while making threats is despicable, degrading of morale, labeling, shameful, & cab be perceived as harassment. Furthermore it’s disgusting that leadership has turned a blind eye & deaf ear to complaints made up the chain to include the IG & no action has been taken against a certain member of this unit that makes life hell for everyone he encounters but because he’s upper management he’s “protected”; part of the “ good ‘Ol boy network” apparently. If anyone cares to contact me regarding this matter please…do so but I do not expect a response simply because I feel that’s the physical makeup apparently of leadership at GFAFB.
V/r,
Disgruntled Parent of an ADAF GFAFB member

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for your service and for raising a son who is willing to serve as well.  As far as the incident you described, I am very limited in my response since I do not know who your son is nor any timeline or context of the interaction with his Squadron Commander.  But as a retired Airman, you know that your son has a few options to address his concerns.  One option is to use his chain of command.  If the individual he is having a problem with is in his chain of command (which it appears is the case), then he can take the issue one level higher.  I consulted with our Mission Support Group Commander and he was not contacted by your son.  Other options available to your son include the Inspector General (IG), the Equal Opportunity (EO) office, or to engage with your local Congressional leadership.   


Golf Course Expansion

Action Line Question: #savethegolfcourse Open the Plainsview Golf Course to the Public... Lets move the base perimeter fence so its between the first/second hole and Alert Road, then cut it south to the current fence 100 yards to the west of the 3rd hole. Then change the driveway to come off the Contractor Gate at Hi-way 2. This bit of work would open the course to the public with out having to access GFAFB, and it would be a short drive for the base populous. Even moving the Driving range to the west side of the course between it and Grand Sky could be phase 2 of this project. Now is the time to get estimates for the work and labor. End of year Funds are coming, and now is the time to plan for next years spending. If it would help, look at Rough Rider golf course for Minot AFB. That course is set up just as described above and dose very well compared to the numbers at Plainsview Golf Course over the past few years.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for your well thought-out suggestion on how to increase access to Plainsview Golf Course while taking into account our Force Protection requirements.  Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) programs are of great importance to our base community and I have asked FSS leadership to take a comprehensive re-look at their MWR portfolio so we can best posture to meet the needs of our Airmen and their families.

Unfortunately, sustaining the Plainsview Golf Course has been a considerable struggle for many years.  Our FSS, MSG, and Wing leadership have worked diligently to solve a myriad of challenges, but fiscal and manning realities mean that we are unable to provide proper maintenance on the course.  While we consider the long-term future of the Plainsview Golf Course, we have opened the course for free play.  So while the experience is not as good as other local courses, we hope the price makes up for it!

Your proposed course of action to place a fence around the course and open it to the public has been assessed multiple times, and most recently in 2018.  We found that the project would cost approximately $1 million.  We do not think this project would be fiscally responsible given our current limited budget and the high importance of other competing projects.  But the good news is there are seven (7) other golf courses within 25 miles of the base so there are plenty of opportunities for our base and local community to hit the links.

Again, thank you for your inputs.  I encourage you to continue providing ideas on how we can make Grand Forks AFB a better place to live and work.


ATV/UTV Operation on Base

Action Line Question: Has GFAFB looked at allowing the base populous to drive registered recreational vehicles on base? The state of North Dakota Allows all ATVs and UTVs to be operated on gravel roads. All resisted ATV's and UTV's can be operated on paved roads with a speed limit of 65MPH or less. There are several bases that also allow operation of ATV's and UTVs on their streets. We see SFS and contractors utilizing ATV's and UTV's every day.

Wing Leadership Response: Thank you for asking the question and allowing us the opportunity to clarify the rules regarding ATVs and UTVs.  Per Grand Forks AFB Instruction (GFAFBI) 31-218, riders can operate privately owned Off Highway/Road Vehicles (OHV) on base as long as they adhere to North Dakota Century Codes 39-24 and 39-29 regarding registration, licensing, safety education courses and equipment.  

However, operation of those vehicles are limited to: 1) the most direct route from their residence to main gate off the installation or 2) the most direct route to refuel at the Shoppette and back to the residence or off the installation.  There is an exception for contractors who are allowed on the roadways in the course of their duties as long as they are compliant with ND Century Code.  An excerpt of the applicable section of GFAFBI 31-218 is included below.

4.2.3.1. (ADDED) Off Highway/Road Vehicles (OHV) are motor vehicles owned, leased, rented or controlled by non-DoD Component entities or individuals primarily designed for off highway use and capable of cross-country travel on land, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain. Examples of OHVs are Side-by-Side, a Recreational Utility Vehicle (RUV), Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV), snowmobiles, construction-tracked vehicles, forklifts, road graders, and agricultural-type wheeled tractors.

4.2.3.1.1. (ADDED) OHVs will comply with North Dakota Century Code 39-24 and 39-29 in regards to registration, licensing, safety education courses and equipment. This information can be found at http://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t39.html.

4.2.3.1.2. (ADDED) OHVs will not be operated on the roadways within GFAFB property except to take the most direct route from their residence to main gate off the installation or, the most direct route to refuel at the Shoppette and back to the residence or off the installation. EXCEPTION: Contractors are allowed on roadways in the course of their duties as long as they are compliant with ND Century Code.


Shopette Operating Hours

Action Line Question: When is the shopette going to open on Sundays again? We're in HPCON Alpha

Wing Leadership Response: The Express closure on Sundays was not due to the HPCON level.  One of the hardest hit areas for the Exchange during the pandemic has been fuel sales.  In order to offset the losses from fuel sales operating hours were reviewed at the Express. The results showed that on Sundays 97% of sales came from unattended fueling and only 3% from retail sales which does not warrant manning the facility on Sundays. AAFES is reviewing the current data as things open up and will work smartly to move facilities back to pre-COVID operating hours.

 

COMMANDER'S ACTION LINE INPUTS AND UPDATES

Notes from the Top