51 FW/CC answers questions during live 'ask me anything' on Facebook
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The commander of the 51st Fighter Wing, Col. Andrew Hansen, took questions and provided responses to the Osan Facebook audience during a live "ask me anything" style town hall here Sept. 1, 2015.
The question and answers session with the commander lasted approximately one hour. Hansen or "Mustang 1," had many support agency subject-matter experts on-hand to ensure the most current information was provided to the virtual audience.
The following are questions and answers from the event:
Q1-A.: Who is responsible for the facilities at the parking garage track? The drinking fountain has not been working since at least mid-July. A worker stopped me on the track last week and asked why there was no water to clean the rest room. I have not looked but he said it was disgusting.
Q1-B: Also, the tennis courts atop the garage are overdue for resurfacing and new nets. Is this property DODEA's responsibility, and what are the chances of having these repairs done?
A1. This is the first we have heard of the bathroom. We appreciate your candor in bringing this up. We will have CE look into resolving the problem as soon as we can. Currently, DoDEA is seeking funding to replace the surface for the tennis courts. Additionally, the nets have been purchased and should be replaced within the next week.
Q2. What are the chances of allowing kids to accompany mom's to needed ultrasound appts? I have to get ultrasounds every two weeks and making the trip to Yongsan is getting hard. I can have my kids with me when I get the ultrasounds there but I can't here? How is safety any different? Why can't I get the needed medical care here with the proper referrals? I already called radiology and they can and do the ultrasounds I need.
Just to add to your research, the ultrasound I'm referring to is a 10- 15 min exam. Not like the 20 week anatomy exams which can last an hour. It's to check cervical length and is very important for high risk pregnancies in terms of preterm labor. Thank you.
A2. We're very sorry to hear you having a frustrating experience. Unfortunately, we can't provide a very good answer without knowing specifics, which can't be shared in this forum without compromising private, protected health information (PHI). We encourage you to contact the 51st Medical Group patient advocate, the 51st Medical Operations Squadron commander or the 51st MDG commander.
Q3. Are there plans to build a bicycle trail, jogging path or at least a perimeter road around the airfield once the 2nd runway is completed?
A3. We are unable to maintain the needed safety clearance with the new runway addition and its proximity to the river. However, there is a two-year plan to add additional base running paths.
Q4. Has there been any review of the play areas around the apartments on base? Some are pretty rough and broken. The mustang park has broken tables, benches, and the equipment is in various stages of disrepair. The picnic area near the indoor pool has broken bricks and is generally in pretty rough shape. I know fixes have been made as they are brought to attention but an overall review would be nice. Our younger children have limited access to activities such as offered through youth services, broken equipment and unsafe play areas take away another resource.
A4. Thank you for expressing your concern. Based on your suggestion, we will take a look at the play areas. There is a program in place to repair some of the equipment in Mustang Valley and we are investigating other means to improve the play areas.
Q5. Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity. Is there a possibility to incorporate organic food in the Osan AB schools menu?
A5. The USDA is in charge of the food program for all of DoDEA, and there are some specific requirements that must be met according to established food nutritional standards. Unfortunately, this doesn't afford us much flexibility in changing the menus.
Q6-A. Good evening, I have another question: How are we going to do the NEO mandatory evacuations if military member is responding to war?
A6-A. Care for our families during a crisis is a huge priority and we are making a concerted effort to educate families on their responsibilities should we have to execute an evacuation of any kind.
As part of that effort, there will be two, one-hour briefings at the Community Center at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., 18 Sept. The brief will cover evacuation process, finance, alarm conditions, and will be followed by NEO-mask demo. Likewise we will practice our NEO processes from 23-25 October at the Osan High School.
Q6-B. I am a non-SOFA retiree here, can we participate in this NEO training?
A6-B. Absolutely, we suggest you participate in the training and the upcoming exercise.
Q7. I would like some resolution to the lack of youth programs on base. I have been told they are working on new contracts, but isn't there anything that can be done to offer activities for children under the age of 9? All of their activities were cancelled and they have been without activities for three months now. Is there any way to offer the classes our children had last year while we wait for the contract resolution? Additionally, who "owns" this age group? It's not the youth center's or the teen center's primary focus.
A7. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused for you and your family. 51 FSS expects renewed instructional classes for children's activities, to include those under 9 years, to resume in the next month. Likewise, Youth Sports offers sports-related activities for kids age 3 and up. Additionally, there are some programs available at our chapel for younger children, if interested.
Q8. Would it be possible to establish a "lemon lot" (used vehicle sales) on base, for sales by owners?
A8. Fantastic idea about a used vehicle resale lot, we are currently looking at options on where to best place it. Many people utilize Facebook as a medium to buy and sell items.
Q9. Re vehicle parking on base, especially around the BX, Checkertails, etc. Are there any plans to expand parking and lots? The main BX lot was just redone, but there is still much wasted space due to the layout and the unnecessary concrete "islands." Would suggest using one way traffic lanes and diagonal parking spots to expand capacity in all areas, if feasible.
A9. Great suggestion on the parking lots. We will take a look at parking lot flow and possible improvements.
Q10. The Belly loyalty program with the 51FSS: the "Repeater Eater" discount cards were a far better value! Any chance of bringing them back?
A10. In ref to the "Repeater Eater" cards, the Belly program has been well received by our young Airmen and families, so there are no plans at this time to reestablish the older card-based system.
Q11. Any possibility of getting the Lt. Dan Band here next year? Really enjoyed seeing and hearing them at USAG Humphreys this year, it was a bit of home.
A11. We will ask Armed Forces Entertainment if there is any possibility of bringing the Lt. Dan Band here.
Q12. Just curious, are there any plans to renovate the Officers Club? The ceiling in the men's restroom leaks when it rains. The E-Club is beautiful and a complete success, though.
A12. We have several FY16 projects that will substantially renovate the Officers Club. Our initial estimate for these initiatives will take about 6 months, but will provide a much needed facelift for the facility, starting approximately January 2016. Checkertails is also slated to be renovated in Summer 2016.
Q13. Is there anymore talk of a Chick-Fil-A opening there? Have plane, will travel from Japan!
A13. It looks like there will not be an Chick-Fil-A opening here. Instead, it will be an Arby's. There is no timeline of when it will be operational.
Q14. Is there an update on the indoor pool being repaired? Mrs. Shirley and Mr. Han do an amazing job at coaching in the summer but there is nothing from Sept-June for swimming. My daughter wants to be on a swim team but the drive to Humphreys isn't an option for us as my husband and I both work.
A14. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the closure of the indoor pool. Due to significant facility infrastructure issues, we had to close the pool two years ago. We are designing a multi-million dollar project to rebuild the interior, but it could be two or more years before we get the money, start the work, and are able to reopen the pool.
Q15. Is there any possibility of off base school busses being allowed to come on base to pick up and drop off children? Also, is there a plan for getting children on base that are being dropped off during an extended gate closure?
A15. The DoDEA Student Transportation Office (STO) at Osan is responsible for school bus transportation of eligible students residing in the bus commuting zone. Unfortunately, to allow off-base vehicles on base, the vehicles would have to be officially registered via USFK and all passengers would have to have been granted base access.
Korean children and teachers that often are on the bus would therefore have to leave the bus, which creates logistic and safety issues. In regards to a plan for extended gate closures, our students riding DoDEA buses are generally not hindered by extended gate closures. Whenever possible, we forecast these closures--due to protests, construction or other emergencies--and during these periods, we process authorized entrants (parents and children) through a primary or alternate entry control point after vetting their identities, as the situation allows. From there, the children would then proceed to their schools. The safety and security of our community is of utmost priority and we will take every reasonable measure to ensure personnel are protected and safe.
Q16. When does the Ginkgo Tree open back up?
A16. The Gingko Tree Dining facility needed significant interior work that required it be closed during repairs. The work was scheduled for the same time as the runway closure and Red Flag deployment to minimize impact as hundreds of meal-card holders were working elsewhere. The renovation work is progressing well and the Gingko Tree should reopen for midnight meal on Sept. 15.
Q17. Hello Mustang 1, I live with my family in Seorakson. I was wondering if someone can look into the sidewalk situation coming up the hill from the commissary steps. If you are pushing a stroller there are almost no sidewalk cut outs for getting a stroller up the hill. For half of the walk you have to push the stroller in the road which is unsafe considering how fast people drive down that hill. If someone just takes a walk from the commissary steps up to the front door of Seoraksan you will see what I mean. It's not stroller or handicapped friendly at all. Thank you for your time.
A17. We understand there is no easy, direct route from the Commissary to Seoraksan tower for anyone pushing a stroller without having to lift it up concrete stairs. The only option is to go out to the sidewalk on Songtan Blvd then come back thru Mustang Valley to your tower. Even though there are sidewalks along the majority of that route, there are a couple places where you would be walking on the street. We will look at the area and see what improvements we can make.