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News > Commentary - Straight Talk: Base operator, national anthem and quelling rumors
Straight Talk: Base operator, national anthem and quelling rumors

Posted 5/3/2012   Updated 5/3/2012 Email story   Print story


Commentary by Col. Stacy L. Yike
66th Air Base Group commander

5/3/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- April showers bring May flowers -- I think we got that backwards this year here in New England! The flowers across base have been beautiful the last few weeks, but they arrived well before May. The downpours we have had the last days have removed the last of the blooms. Ah well, they call it crazy New England weather for a reason!

We have had several questions in the Straight Talk box lately, and I will try to answer some of them here.

Question: What happened to the base operators and why can't I find phone numbers on Centernet and the Hanscom website?

Answer: We did change our base operator service to an automated service consistent with most other military installations across the United States. When you dial 0, you will get an automatic recording to walk you through the most requested numbers on base. (Read VoIP installation nearly complete article)

On Centernet, phone numbers can be found at the "Emergency Phone List" link at the bottom or by searching for "Quick Reference Phone Listing" under the "Quick Links" tab.

On the Hanscom public website, an "Important Phone Numbers" link is included on the right side of the page and individual base services are listed further down on the right. I hope this helps!

Question: I'm an Air Force civilian and have worked at Hanscom since 2004. In the last few months I can't help but notice the number of civilians who fail to stop their car or, if walking outside, fail to pause or come to attention during the playing of the national anthem over the giant voice at the end of the duty day. This lack of respect and proper etiquette when inside the gates of a military installation is totally unacceptable.

I've also noticed that the demographic seems to be under 30, which leads me to believe that some of our folks might not know the proper protocol required.

I ask that you please remind the many folks who work or live on this base the proper etiquette that must be rendered during the playing of the national anthem. I need not remind our community of the blood, sweat and tears that have been shed for "Old Glory" and, despite our God-given freedoms, a momentary pause in our day to show respect to our flag, our men and women in uniform and our great country should come without question.

Answer: Thank you for your thoughts on the matter.

Okay, readers, consider yourself reminded. We recently started retreat formations on the last Thursday of the month to show a more visible sign of our respect for the flag and the freedoms it stands for. Join us!

Question: There have been some rumors around the base that Hanscom is going to be closing.

Answer: Well, I am not sure where you get your news, sir, but you need to change your sources. Hanscom is not closing. I will ensure my loyal Straight Talk readers are always the "in the know" about what is happening here on base. Keep reading your Hansconian and the web (Restructuring Information page) and you will have all the information you need to be confident that the Hanscom mission of providing information systems to the warfighter remains as vibrant as ever.

Have a great week!

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