Straight Talk: April 9, 2010

  • Published
  • By Col. Charles F. Thompson
  • 66th Air Base Wing Commander
I would like to encourage you and your family to take advantage of your assignment at Hanscom Air Force Base, next to the birthplace of American independence, by participating in Patriot's Day activities in the local area over the next week. These events lead up to Patriot's Day on April 19. It is a great time to enjoy events commemorating American history, as we all enjoy the arrival of spring. The reenactment of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, take place in Minute Man National Park and are especially enjoyable.

We should take time to honor the men and women who participated in those world changing events of April 19, 1775 -- actions that changed the course of history -- and remember those patriots whose sacrifices resulted in an independent nation. Although the total loss of life resulting from the war is unknown, we do know approximately 25,000 American revolutionaries died during active military service. Two-hundred and thirty five years later, we still have patriots defending freedom around the globe. I salute you and your families for your sacrifice and thank you for your patriotism!

There are numerous events over the next week -- many described in the Hansconian -- but I highly recommend you check the Web sites for the Minute Man National Park as well as the towns of Bedford, Concord, Lexington or Lincoln for the latest information.

Questions and Answers
Dear Hanscom Straight Talk, we would like to report an incident that occurred this past Thursday as we were crossing Vandenberg Drive in the crosswalk from Bldg. 1612 to the clinic. A driver heading west on Vandenberg towards the gate was approaching us without stopping. I motioned for him to slow down but instead he noticeably accelerated past us with only about a yard separating us. Fortunately I got his license plate number. I hope that you can prevent a recurrence by notifying the driver and let him know that that kind of driving is not appropriate on the base.

Col. Thompson's Response:
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. We are pursuing the violator via the plate number given. According to your description, the driver's behavior was not simply rude, but reckless and dangerous. I encourage you to formally report this to the SFS Law Enforcement Desk at building 1725 to enable a more thorough follow up. In the future, report any similar behavior to Security Forces as soon as you safely can at (781) 377-2315 or 911 in an emergency.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the SFS strictly enforces traffic law and regulation on Hanscom AFB. The driver of the vehicle in question should heed the rules of the road and exercise a little common courtesy, or they will be ticketed by Security Forces.

I was informed this morning by an employee of Dunkin Donuts that they were told the floors were going to be replaced and that they would only have a 24 hour notice to clear everything out of that space and be closed for a few weeks while the floors are being redone. I am wondering who is going to pay the salary of those employees while the new floors are installed and is it supposed to be such a short notice? Why only a 24 hour notice to its employees? Isn't that what contracts are for, so people can plan on getting other employment or working at other stores in the chain? They also said other spaces will be closed from 1 to 3 months while renovations are done on the entire building, including the BX. I read the Hansconian weekly and, unless I missed it, I haven't seen anything put in there about them closing areas or the BX completely to do renovations. I know at other bases the BX never closed completely and if there were needed renovations, they would block off one area of the store for the work. Can you please tell me if this is just a rumor or a valid point not being told to the base population? If it is going to happen, are there dates that can be told to everyone about the closures?

Col. Thompson's Response:

Yes, the AAFES main store, Burger King and mall area are going to be upgraded. The base is aware of this, as AAFES works closely with command, environmental, fire and CE on any AAFES project. Since they do not have a concrete schedule at this time concerning when different facilities will be closed or how long they will be closed, nothing has been submitted to the Hansconian yet. This upgrade will be done in phases with minimal inconvenience to customers. The BX will never be closed completely due to this upgrade. The whole project is expected to take eight months in various phases.

AAFES does have contracts with all concessions to include Dunkin Donuts. Any closures will certainly abide by our joint agreement, however, since Dunkin Donuts employees do not work directly for AAFES, we do not know how the franchise owner will coordinate with their employees. The 24 hour notice and 1 to 3 month concession closure are simply rumors. AAFES is working hard with their contractor to come up with a schedule to minimize disruptions as much as possible.

As soon as AAFES receives their schedule from the contractor, it will be placed in the Hansconian.