Straight Talk: Inclement weather issues

  • Published
  • By Col. Stacy L. Yike
  • 66th Air Base Group commander
As I sit gazing out the window at the beautiful snowflakes drifting to the ground, I am reminded of the fact that I have never seen so much snow in my entire life. Good grief!

I have been so impressed with Hanscom's approach to this winter weather. Whether it is neighbors chipping in to help each other shovel out, or walkers out taking advantage of sunny days, despite the sub-freezing temperatures, everyone seems to be managing the chaos with relatively good cheer and a large dose of good temperament.

Communication is key during events like this when the normal processes are disrupted. We are doing our best to let you know what is going on around base, but if you have a question, jump in and ask. Above all, if you need help, please ask. You can always call the Command Post at 781-377-5144 to connect you to any resource on base, whether it be it the chaplain, first sergeant, security forces or any other resource you might need.

Question: Last week's two day closure of the base revealed some discrepancies between the policies that were applicable to government and contractor personnel. For example, it appeared that many government employees had time off or were able to work from home, MITRE employees could either go to the Bedford campus or work from home, but some other contractor personnel, such as those working ETASS [Engineering Technology Acquisition Support Services], were forced to take two days of paid leave.

If this is correct, then why doesn't ESC/PKE [Enterprise Acquisition Division] apply a consistent policy across the different A&AS [advisory and assistance services] contracts? If their work is unclassified, then why is there a problem with having professional employees continue to support the Electronic Systems Center mission from off- base locations while the 66th Air Base Group is hard at work getting the parking lots cleared of snow?

Answer: Although a team environment is fostered here at ESC, first and foremost, government and contractor personnel are not governed by the same rules. Contractor personnel are governed by the terms and conditions of their contracts, and the contractor is the sole entity that can legally direct contractor personnel. The government plays no role in employee and employer agreements and lacks legal authority to take a role. The Enterprise Acquisition Division website includes frequently asked questions that specifically address base closures; however, it is also imperative that contracted personnel communicate with their contracted team leaders when these issues arise. Please, when in doubt, always first check with your contracted team leaders for company policy, your home office and then with your government partners.

Thanks: Many thanks to The Landings maintenance team for helping us out with trash issues this winter. See the letter from Maintenance Director John Tew below:


I have been asked to review the requirement for trash bins to be located in the rear of the homes or in garages during the next few winter months. With the depth of the snow in our yards, and the constant storms, we are changing the ruling on trash can storage as follows.

Effective immediately, you may store you trash bins along the front walkway close to your home if you do not have a gated storage area. This policy will be in effect from today through April 30, 2011, dependent upon the weather. While this change will allow you to store those containers in the front of your home, I am directing that you may not put loose items, extra trash bags, etc., in this location. The bags will freeze to the ground and tear, and animals will tear into them, also.

With all the snow storms forecast to continue, I ask that you remove your bins from the roadside in a timely manner after pick up so as not to interfere with the curbside clean up of snow.

I'd like to take this opportunity also to thank everyone for insuring that your personal vehicles were parked off the street during recent storms.

Thanks Again,