Last Date Updated: April 1, 2014

NEWS BRIEFS

Commander Calls Scheduled
Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, commander of the 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio, is hosting three commander calls: Monday, April 7 10:30-11:30 a.m., JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Evans Theater; Tuesday, April 8, 2-3 p.m., JBSA-Lackland, Bob Hope Theater and Wednesday, April 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m., JBSA-Randolph, Fleenor Auditorium.

IMCOM announces change of command
Lt. Gen. David Halverson assumes command of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command April 8 during a 10 a.m. ceremony on MacArthur Parade Field, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Halverson takes over for Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter, who has served in the position since November 2011. Halverson’s comes to IMCOM from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., where he serves as deputy commanding general. As well as IMCOM commander, Halverson will also take over the role of the Army’s assistant chief of staff for installation management.
IMCOM handles the day-to-day operations of U.S. Army installations around the globe. Army installations are communities that provide many of the same types of services expected from any small city, such as fire, police, public works, housing and childcare.

Hardee Road closure
Hardee Road between Stanley and Scott Roads will be closed to through traffic from March 3 to July 7 in order to complete repairs of the roadway and sections of the sidewalk. Motorists are encouraged to follow the detour route to Schofield Road. The parking lot north of Hardee Road will remain open and accessible. Construction will occur in two phases. For more information, call 808-6335.

USAREC Requests Recruiters Return
Former detailed recruiters can earn a $4,000 bonus if they reclassify to MOS 79R and return to U.S. Army Recruiting Command. NCOs must be a staff sergeant or sergeant, have less than 12 years time in service, and currently be in an overstrength or balanced MOS. Time of service as a 79R must be a minimum of 36 months. See your career counselor for more information

Demonstration of the New Employee-Manager Portal
As a part of the Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service marketing strategy for the new Employee-Manager Portal, Defense Connect Online will host a demonstration at 7 a.m. and noon every Friday through March 30. To connect to the DCO, visit https://connectcol.dco.dod.mil/r7z4nfv0s0u/. The sessions last about 15 minutes and participants must have headphones or speakers connected to their computer to hear the presentation. There will be no telephone dial-in for the presentation. The demonstration will focus on the presentation of employee and manager information and functionality. For more information, call 221-2526

Military Tax Assistance Centers Now Open
The Military Tax Assistance Centers on Joint base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston are now open through the tax filing deadline of April 15. Those eligible for services include active duty service members or their dependent, or a military retiree or their dependent. Civilian employees and contractors are not eligible for services unless they fit into one of the above categories. “Gray area’ retired reservists are not eligible for services until they begin receiving retired military pay. Taxes are completed on an appointment-only basis at two tax sites: the main site located at 2271 Reynolds Road (in the 502nd Force Support Group Legal Office trailer) and the Sand Antonio Military Medical Center site (located in the basement near the lost and found office). To make an appointment at the main site, call 295-1040. To make an appointment at the SAMMC MTAC site, call 916-1040. When calling to make an appointment, people will be given directions on where the site is located and what needs to be brought for the appointment.

The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
Workshop is for those who want to feel more comfortable, confident and competent in helping to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. ASIST is open to all Department of Defense cardholders, including family members, and meets the Army requirements for suicide gatekeepers. All ranks are encouraged to attend. ASIST is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes small group discussions and skill practice based upon adult learning principles. Training will be conducted the last Thursday and Friday of every other month at Dodd Field Chapel until the end of fiscal year 2014. Attire is civilian clothes, with no uniforms. FY2014 training dates are: Jan. 30-31, March 27-28, May 29-30, July 24-25 and Sept. 25-26. For more information, call 221-2093.

Online Tutoring Available
All kindergarten through grade 12 students in eligible military families can access an official Department of Defense tutoring program at http://www.tutor.com/military. The site provides expert tutoring to military families in all core school subjects at no cost. Students work one-on-one with a live tutor online for help from homework to essay writing. A student and tutor work together in a secure and anonymous online classroom that features an interactive whiteboard, file sharing and instant messaging.

BAMC Behavioral Health Seeks Dog Team
The Department of Behavioral Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center is looking for a qualified and dynamic dog team (dog and owner) to aid in the department’s health care mission. They will help provide animal assisted therapy/animal assisted activities to the patients on the inpatient psychiatric ward. 
Interested owners must be able to present all necessary certification documents at the time of interview.  The team’s certification must be issued by a licensed evaluator applying a nationally recognized curriculum and must meet several criteria. Call 916-1011 or 916-2096 to set up the required interview. 

School Safety Tracker App
In an effort to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment for students and staff, the Fort Sam Houston Independent School District has introduced the FSHISD Safety Tracker App. The app, available for iPhones and Android devices, allows users to submit safety concerns they might have with the district and our schools. Users can submit text messages, images, or video and the submissions can be anonymous if desired. School administrators will receive notification of the submissions and will review all tips entered through the system. Directions for download can be found on the district’s website at http://www.fshisd.net.

Self-Help Service Unavailable at JBSA-FSH Visual Information
Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Visual Information no longer offers self-help services. For a list of services provided, visit http://www.jbsa.af.mil/library/multimedia.asp or call 221-5453.

Army Substance Abuse Program
The Army Substance Abuse Program is located at 1835 Army Blvd., building 2007, and serves all branches of the military, including active duty service members, trainees, Reserves on active duty and those in the Warrior Transition Battalion. The program office is open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call 295-4094.

Tobacco Cessation Program
Army Health Promotion offers active duty service members and individuals covered under TRICARE help to quit using tobacco. Call 295-2538 or 295-2399 for more information.

Hip and Knee Replacements
The San Antonio Military Medical Center Orthopedic Service announces that hip and knee replacements are available to all TRICARE beneficiaries, including patients over the age of 65. Ask your primary care provider for a referral to the orthopedic clinic at SAMMC if you are a candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery. For more information, call 916-6386.

WHASC e-Health Guide Available Online
The Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center e-Health Guide is now available online at http://www.whasc.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130828-014.pdf. The new guide for military beneficiaries is the source for information on a variety of military health care services and online resources, which include TRICARE, MiCare and RelayHealth programs. The guide includes instructions on how to enroll in several health care programs and a telephone directory for frequently called numbers.

Straight Talk Line
For current, automated information during a natural disaster, crisis or emergency, call the local Straight Talk Line at 466-4630 for Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, 671-6397 at JBSA-Lackland or 652-7469 at JBSA-Randolph.

Commander’s Action Line
The Commander’s Action Line exists to address issues that have not been resolved through the chain of command or an appropriate agency and also give feedback and recognize outstanding people and units. Give a point of contact name and telephone number or email address. To submit an Action Line comment, email the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston public affairs office at usaf.jbsa.502-abw.mbx.fsh-public-affairs-office@mail.mil; JBSA-Lackland at 502abw.paola.inbox@us.af.mil and at JBSA-Randolph at randolphpublicaffairs@us.af.mil.

Army Medical Officer Programs Briefings
The Inter-Service Physician Assistant and Army Nurse Corps Commission Program and other medical commissioning program qualifications and application procedures will be briefed from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 7 in the auditorium of the Warfighter and Family Readiness Center, building 2797. For more information, visit http://www.usarec.army.mil/armypa or http://www.usarec.mil/mrb/aecp.

Warning about OxyElite Pro
The Department of Defense is advising all service members and their families to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration guidance to stop using any dietary  supplement labeled OxyElite Pro. The DOD is participating in an  investigation with the CDC, FDA, and Hawaii Department of Health on the  acute hepatitis and liver failure of individuals who may have taken  OxyElite Pro. As a precaution, the DOD has ordered the removal of all OxyElite Pro products from bases. Service members and their families who believe they have been harmed by the use of this product should contact their health care provider. Health care  providers are asked to report any adverse events related to the use of OxyElite Pro to the FDA MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Reporting Program at http://www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm.

Couples PTSD Research Study
Strong Star is conducting a research study the help couples overcome post-traumatic stress disorder. Participation in the study may help reduce symptoms of PTSD, help couples cope with life’s stressors and re-engage with work and personal relationships. Call 562-6742 or visit http://www.strongstar.org for more information.

Green to Gold Program Briefing
The 5th Brigade Army ROTC conducts a Green to Gold Program brief 2 p.m. the second Monday of each month excluding training/federal holidays at the Post Education Center, building 2248, room 207C. The purpose of the brief is to educate active duty Soldiers on the benefits, options, and qualifications of the Army Green to Gold Program. Call the UTSA recruiting officer at 458-5607 St. Mary’s University recruiting officer at 436-3415 or the 5th Brigade at 295-2005 or 295-0429.

Tobacco Cessation Program
Army Health Promotion offers active duty service members and individuals covered under TRICARE help to quit using tobacco. Call 295-2538 or 295-2399 for more information.

Army Substance Abuse Program
The Army Substance Abuse Program is located at 1835 Army Blvd., Building 2007 and serves all branches of the military, including active duty service members, trainees, Reserves on active duty and those in the Warrior Transition Battalion. The program office is open 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. For more information, call 295-4094.

Dealing With The Media
If a news reporter approached you to comment on a matter related to the Air Force or your job, would you know what to do? Here are some tips to follow: Think before you speak. Contact your location’s public affairs office first if you are asked to do a media interview and want to do it. If you are approached on the street by a reporter, you will be quoted in the newspaper or appear on the 10 p.m. newscast answering questions that may prove embarrassing. Reporters may also ask for interviews “on line.”
Don’t appear to be the Air Force’s spokesperson; make it clear you are giving your personal opinion during an interview. Don’t try to address Air Force policy issues without first consulting public affairs.
And remember, your right of free speech also means you can refuse to speak. Politely tell the media no, or to contact public affairs. If you are interviewed off duty, make sure you project the image you and your commander want to see as representative of the Air Force.
If in doubt, call Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston public affairs office at 221-1099. For JBSA-Lackland, call 671-2908 and for JBSA-Randolph, call 652-4410.

New Bus Stop
The 502nd Logistics Readiness Squadron begun service to a new stop for JBSA-Fort Sam Houston’s base shuttle. The stop will be located directly in front of Building 2000 and is intended to service customers of Building 2007 and the Army Support Activity area. Current shuttle stops are unaffected by this change and shuttle operating hours remain 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, including holidays. For more information, call 221-9635 or 221-1676.

Installation management career program seeks first interns
Applications for interns in the Army installation management career program are being accepted. Selectees will be part of the inaugural cohort of future installation management professionals.  Interns will collectively participate in a 24-month training and development program. With an initial assignment at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command headquarters on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, selectees must sign a mobility agreement.  The entry grade is GS-07, with potential growth to the GS-11 level at full performance. Go to http://www.usajobs.com and under “keyword search” type “installation management specialist” and/or “Fort Sam Houston.” For more information, call 466-0467 or 466-0475.

Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate
The Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate program provides crisis intervention and support services to domestic abuse victims, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the hotline at 210-367-1213 for assistance.

AFOSI Mobile App
Suspicious or illegal activity can now be anonymously reported directly to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations using a mobile phone application or by texting ‘AFOSI’ and the tip to 274637 (CRIMES) in an SMS text message. Of special concern to Air Force officials are violent crimes against Air Force members, sexual assaults, and drug use. Once downloaded, a video describes the app’s features to emphasize its secure use and value to the Air Force and other community law enforcement agencies.
Individuals can find the app in both the Android and Apple store as “TipSubmit Mobile.” The direct link to the anonymous Internet tip line is https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=1111.

Claims Office Self-Service Kiosk
The Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Claims Office has installed a self-service kiosk at its location in Building 153 on Wilson Way. The desktop terminal is for any service member, Army civilian or family member needing assistance in submitting their claim online via the Defense Property System website. For more information, call 221-2161/1973 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

Military Clothing Sales Offers Free Alterations For Wounded Warriors
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service offers free alterations and modifications for severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers at all 79 Army Military Clothing stores around the world. This Army-led initiative ensures all wounded Soldiers receive free alterations and modifications on all issued uniforms in accordance with the Wounded Warrior Clothing Support Program, to include the Army Service, Combat and Improved Physical Fitness uniforms as well as undergarments. Eligible Soldiers must present an approved Army Form 3078 along with the prescribed modifications by their physical or occupational therapist to receive free services.

Late patient bills transferred to U.S.  Treasury for collection
As of Jan. 30, at the direction of the U.S. Army Medical Command Chief of Staff, patient medical bills less than $100,000 and more than 90 days past due will be transferred to the U.S. Treasury Department for collection. To avoid bills being transferred to the U.S. Treasury, patients with a balance due should contact the San Antonio Military Medical Center Uniform Business Office at 916-8562 to make payment arrangements. Patients unable to pay the balance in full may request a repayment schedule of not less than $50 per month, and not longer than 36 months. Payments may be made by check, money order, cash or credit card. Once overdue medical bills are transferred, the hospital will no longer be able to accept payments or negotiate a repayment plan. The patient will be required to contact the U.S. Treasury Department’s FedDebt Division at (888) 826-3127 to settle their debt with the U.S. Government. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department will apply fees, penalties and interest to debt transferred for collection.

 Bicycle Helmets Required
Anyone who rides a bicycle, tricycle, motor drive bicycle or operates non-motorized transportation such as skateboards, kick-scooters and roller skates on an Air Force installation are required by Air Force Instruction 91-207 to wear a properly fastened and approved bicycle helmet. During hours of darkness, riders are required to wear a retro-reflective vest, jacket or outer garment containing retro-reflective material. In addition, bicycles should be equipped with a white front light (not a reflector) visible for 500 feet and red rear reflector or light visible from the rear of the bicycle from a distance of 300 feet.    

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline
The Army chief of staff and the acting secretary of the Army established the Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline to assist Soldiers and their families a place to share their concerns on the quality of care they received. This organization also provides Army senior leadership with a valuable tool to determine if appropriate resources are devoted to solving medical-related issues in timely and comprehensive fashion. 
The hotline is available 24/7, call 1-800-984-8523, DSN: 421-3700 or email wsfsupport@amedd.army.mil.

U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations Tip Line
Report crime or suspicious active to the anonymous tip line by text message, online or download the Smart Phone app. Text AFOSI and your tip to 274637 (CRIMES) or online visit https://www.tipsubmit.com/webtips.aspx?agencyID=1111 or http://www.osi.af.mil.

Waiting List Policy and Termination of Enrolled Children of Unemployed Spouses
Sponsor/Patron must complete the DD Form 2606, Request for Child Care, if child care services are not immediately available. Children will be placed according to the current Family Member Program Priority Enrollment Policy. JBSA Fort Sam Houston Child, Youth & School Services will notify families immediately when slots become available. Call 221-4871.

Priority of Enrollment and Plan for Meeting Additional Child Care Needs
Sponsor/Patron must complete the DD Form 2606, Request for Child Care, if child care services are not immediately available. Children will be placed according to the current Family Member Program Priority Enrollment Policy in this order, wounded warriors, single active duty or dual military personnel assigned to JBSA, active duty military or DOD civilians assigned to JBSA, Reservists on active duty and then contractors. JBSA Fort Sam Houston Child, Youth & School Services will notify families immediately when slots become available. Call 221-4871.

Change with Processing DFAS PCS Travel Order Vouchers
Are you a civilian employee relocating? The DFAS-Columbus office no longer processes civilian PCS vouchers. This function will now be done by DFAS-Rome. For additional details, visit the Fort Sam Houston CPAC website at http://www.samhouston.army.mil/cpac/ or the DFAS website at http://www.dfas.mil/pcstravel/civlatestnews.html.

JBSA FAP CareLine
Reporting procedures for the Joint Base San Antonio Family Advocacy Program CareLine have been streamlined to ensure the easiest access and assistance to those in need of services related to the prevention of family maltreatment in our community. To report incidents of spouse or child abuse and to coordinate an emergency response for victims of domestic violence, call 292-5967. This line is monitored 24 hours per day, 7 days a week.

Customer Care Center at CPAC
People looking for job information can visit the new customer care center at the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Building 144, 2438 Stanley Road. Army civilian employees can also receive assistance with resetting passwords for the Electronic Benefits Information System or completing employee beneficiary forms. For more information, call 221-1425.

Civilian Record Brief snapshot of personnel data
The Civilian Record Brief is a one-page snapshot of an employees’ official personnel data.  To access your CRB, click on the Army Civilian Personnel On-Line Portal page at http://acpol.army.mil/. For more information and to view a sample CRB along with the CRB Quick Guide, visit the Fort Sam Houston Civilian Personnel Advisory Center website at http://www.samhouston.army.mil/cpac/.

Personalized Retirement Estimates Available
Current Army-serviced employees who are eligible for a voluntary/optional retirement within the next five years can now request a retirement estimate electronically through the Employee Benefits Information System (EBIS). To request an estimate, log into EBIS through the Army Benefits Center-Civilian (ABC-C) website at https://www.abc.army.mil and click on the "How Do I...?” button. 

Education and Training Office
The 502nd Force Support Squadron Education and Training Office offers a variety of military testing, including Professional Military Education, Career Development Courses and Defense Language Proficiency testing. PME Testing is conducted on Tuesdays, CDC on Wednesdays, and DLPT on Thursdays. Education and Training also offers Armed Forces aptitude testing such as the Armed Forces Classification Test and Armed Forces Officer Qualification Test. Tests are scheduled on an as-needed basis. To schedule military testing at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, call 221-0852.

Army Benefits Center-Civilian’s  Newest Benefits Tool: eRetirement
Retirement is an important milestone in an employee’s life. The Army Benefits Center-Civilian offers the new eRetirement web application, located in the Employee Benefits Information System, which allows an employee to easily fill out a retirement application. Army-serviced employees, within one year of retirement, can fill out an application on the ABC-C secure website at https://www.abc.army.mil with a Common Access Card and then selecting the EBIS icon or web link. Next, employees enter their Social Security Number and Personal Identification Number. Click on the eRetirement button and complete all the forms listed. Once finished, print each form individually, review closely and sign any applicable forms. Finally, send the application to the ABC-C at 301 Marshall Avenue, Fort Riley, KS, 66442. ABC-C reviews the application closely and sends a letter stating the application has been received. For more information on eRetirement, contact a benefits counselor at 1-877-276-9287 between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Commander’s Action Line
The Action Line is your avenue for addressing issues you’ve been unable to resolve through your chain of command or an appropriate agency.  It also allows you to give feedback and recognize outstanding people and units. Leave your name and telephone number or email address so officials can obtain more information to help resolve the issue. To submit an Action Line comment, email your local public affairs office at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, usaf.jbsa.502-abw.mbx.fsh-public-affairs-office@mail.mil; at JBSA-Lackland,  502abw.paola.inbox@us.af.mil; and at JBSA-Randolph, randolphpublicaffairs@us.af.mil.


More from this edition . . . . .