Question: This morning, my daughter and I had a most wonderful encounter with two members of Training Squadron SIX. My daughter, who is 16, is very interested in aviation, and we went to the Monroeville airport to watch the trainers operate. Two members of your Wing, a lieutenant and a major, saw us watching intently and took time with me and my daughter, allowing her to walk around the airplane as they told her about it and answered her questions. These friendly, competent, aviators made a real impression on us and bring great credit upon the US Navy and Marine Corps. We are grateful that men such as these are willing to defend our country, and still have time for a teenage aviation enthusiast.
Capt. Bahlau: Thank you for providing the nice comments regarding the professionalism of the TW-5 aviators stationed at NAS Whiting Field. I have copied the Training Wing FIVE Commodore, so he is aware that his Officers' actions had such a positive impression on you and your daughter...and maybe recruited a future Naval Aviator. Thank you and have a great day!
Question: The speed humps at the entrances to the base are excessive in height. Numerous vehicles, mine included, are hitting these traffic controls. In my own case my car is receiving damage to the exhaust system...No where else in my travels does my car bottom out. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Capt. Bahlau: Thank you for sharing your concern regarding the recently installed speed humps at both the West and East Gates. All our speed humps are within UFC and FDOT specs. However, two of our six speed humps are showing wear marks where vehicles are scraping the surface (we believe this is due to the uphill incline of the road). As a result, we are working on a solution to reduce/shave/mil the speed humps that are causing the issues. Expect to see this corrected in the future. Please let me know if you have additional concerns or questions.
Anonymous: I am in a low riding car and with the new speed bumps, this is putting a strain on my vehicle not to mention the fact that I nearly have to crawl over them and hold up traffic coming on basae and off base. These speed bumps are overkill.
Capt. Bahlau: I have received a few comments about the new speed bumps. First off, I do read these comments, but please understand that I needed to improve our speed mitigation measures as part of our Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection posture. The speed bumps serve a vital function toward inhibiting anyone who would wish to bypass the gate entrance security process with the intent to do harm. I know they slow down traffic...in all honesty, that is their function. If we waited until we had an incident from a "gate runner," before we installed such measures, that would be too late. I go over these same speed bumps every day too. They are an important part of our security posture and I will not remove them. The security of NAS Whiting Field is my primary concern and it is something I will not compromise on.
Anonymous: My concern is the base barber shop. there were two barbers in there before. Now it appears as though one has moved on and we are left with [only one]. This limitation on only one barber is going to be a hindrance.
Capt. Bahlau: Unfortunately, our other barber resigned unexpectedly, leaving us with only one barber for the time being. However, we have already started the process for hiring another barber for the shop. We hope to have someone in the position soon. In the interim, we hope our customers will be understanding of any inconveniences.
Anonymous: Good Morning Sir, I was wondering if it would be possible to get Wi-Fi at the Outlying Landing Fields so we could do homework or our required training on our personal devices?
Capt. Bahlau: The NASWF IT Department is currently working on several IT related enhancements to improve Internet Service to the OLFs for FY 2017. These efforts involve eliminating air cards with true NMCI hard wire connectivity and adding commercial Internet with Wi-Fi access for site users. These efforts involve various degrees of planning and approvals, but are all feasible projects. We will keep NASWF users posted as we work through this process.
Anonymous: Good morning Sir, I was wondering, do the Employee of the Months at the Child Development Center receive a letter of appreciation from you or maybe the MWR Director? Are their names included in the base Employee of the Month nomination. The ladies at the CDC do an aoutstanding job.
Capt. Bahlau: The Employee of the Month program you are referring to is an internal program to the NAS Whiting Field Child Development Center. This program is not based on performance, but is used to showcase the interest and hobbies of every CDC employee. Each month an employee's name is picked out of a hat and that employee's picture, as well as a list of their hobbies and interests are placed on a bulletin board in the center. Once an employee has been featured, their name is no longer placed back into the hat until each employee has been recognized. This is a way to highlight our employees on a regular basis and gives the parents a way to learn more about our staff.
The NAS Whiting Field Command does sponsor a Junior and Senior Civilian of the Quarter progra which awards personnel who have specific accomplishments and achievements during the specified quarter. These individuals are selected from department nominations sent in by their supervisors.
I do know that the MWR Director is beginning a new Monthly Employee Recognition program and this process will begin 1 Oct. 2016. For more information on this process please contact Mary Marcoux, CDC Director or Tom Kubalewski, MWR Director.
Anonymous: I would like to ride my bicycle to and from work, but the shoulders are very narrow. Is it possible to install bike lanes for riders from Rt 87 to the West Gate?
Capt Bahlau: We checked with the Santa Rosa County Public Works Director. It isn't feasible to build bike lanes on that road as the shoulder width required is not available.
Anonymous: When it comes to the way that medical is handled at the Naval Branch Health Clinic Whiting Field, it is understood that the ATCs as well as pilots need to have flight physicals to be able to perform their respective jobs. When in medical for these flight physicals, regardless of the fact that the enlisted personnel are there on or before their scheduled time to try and get in and out, pilots are always pushed to the head of the line in each scenario and it leaves enliste personnel who have to work that same day, in the clinic for upwards of six hours. Many controllers feel as though that is an unfair expenditure of time as they could be in towers getting more positional experience.
Branch Health Clinic OIC: We identified that issue and took action. From now on our Corpsmen are responsible for getting patients in the exam rooms IAW their appointment times and directing the providers to the appropriate, next patient. We believe most members can complete medical check-in within two hours. If it takes longer, the service members should ask for the senior AVT who will expedite completing of that member's check-in. We have opened a dialog with the affected commands to ensure these changes correct the issues.
Anonymous: [Air Traffic Controllers work late hours] and are required to come into work by 1330 to take a Urinalysis. I respectfully request that urinalysis hours be extended to 1530 or 1600 to accommodate the Air Traffic Controllers' working hours.
Capt. Bahlau: Urinalysis hours have been changed to 0530-1100 and 1300-1600.