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Straight Talk: Base support services

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – During my first few days on the job, I asked you, “What do you want to see improved at Hanscom AFB?”

You responded with more than 100 responses, with topics ranging on facilities, traffic, parking, Force Support programs, human resources, Base Exchange, food options and more. Here are a few answers to your questions with more to follow in future issues of the Hansconian.

Q. Facilities: The routine cleaning and overall appearance of our bathrooms is subpar, can we do something about this?

A. The building facility manager is responsible for ensuring all facilities are maintained and cleaning contracts are in compliance. Your first line of defense is working with your facility manager. They will ensure work orders are in place and will work with civil engineers on prioritization and completion. If you are not getting the support, please bring it up through your leadership.

Q. Ground Maintenance: Our customers judge their experience before they pull in our parking lot. We try to pull our staff away to improve the grounds, but the weeds take over in no time. What can we do to improve our grounds?

A. I encourage all of us to take pride in our facilities and applaud your team for doing so. There is a standard set forth by the Air Force vice chief of staff for allowable grounds maintenance. We’re looking for ways to reduce our maintenance requirements to meet this standard while still maintaining a presentable workplace. Many projects are already complete, such as the base theater and gates. In the interim, work with your facility manager to ensure areas of concern get the attention they deserve.

Q. Traffic: Would it be possible for the base to work with the Town of Lexington to see if a traffic stop sign could be installed at the intersection of Wood Street and Hartwell Avenue?

A. We hear you and we are engaged with the Town of Lexington. We are awaiting a response and will stay on top of this until resolution.

Q. Fitness Center: Given the harsh winters here, the use of the Tennis Bubble is the only place group physical training can occur. However, rumor is the Tennis Bubble, which was wind damaged many months ago, will not be repaired.

A. A contract was awarded and you should see work starting this November and completed soon after, in time for the colder months.

Q. Fitness Center: Allow 24-hour access to the weight machine room in the base gym.

A. We will be expanding the 24/7 Fitness Center in all areas. We recently purchased additional security cameras that need to be in place before we implement. We hope to have the new policy in place in December.

Q. Food Trucks: Can we allow food trucks on base during lunch hours, maybe certain days of the week?

A. Army and Air Force Exchange Service is in final coordination to start a food truck service starting this month. More to come.

Q. Pharmacy Hours: Pharmacy hours line up with probably 90 percent of the base populace’s work hours. In order to fill or pick up prescription, we either need to take away our lunch break, or use duty hours to wait the half-hour or longer to get prescriptions filled.

A. We agree. Pharmacy hours are now 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. To accommodate extended hours with current staffing, the only services available after 4:30 p.m. will be prescription pickup.

Thank you for sharing and continue to funnel comments through your chain of command. Stay tuned as we will continue to share answers with you. I am committed to making Hanscom the benchmark for the Air Force to work and live.