Virtual Town Hall FAQs: Part II

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  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Editor's Note: this is part two of a series about the frequently asked questions during January's Virtual Town Hall.

It's here at last...the answers to many of your Virtual Town Hall questions. Thanks for your patience as we searched high and low for the right answers; our subject matter experts worked hard to answer your queries, and in some cases, even the 52nd Fighter Wing commander, Col. David Julazadeh, took to the street to answer them for you.

The questions and answers are divided into four sections: health and fitness, children and youth, housing, and safety.


Q1: Can we make dining on base more allergen-friendly? For example, adding gluten-free options and providing education on gluten allergies to food service employees?

Over the last 24 months, we have worked hard to improve the availability of healthy menu options, to include opening the Eifel Grind (with health-conscious choices such as sandwiches, soups and breakfast items), improved selections at the dining facility, and the addition of the JR Rockers salad bar. Colonel Julazadeh is encouraging on-base restaurants to expand healthy food choices, to include increasing availability of allergen-friendly options, and to make nutrition fact sheets available upon request. Since the number of gluten-free customers is very low, we encourage those customers to communicate directly with the restaurants and food service employees about their needs.

Q2: Can we add additional family-friendly options to the new fitness center? For example, paid child care, weights and strength-training equipment in the family room, and more morning classes?

A: A parent-child area is available in the new fitness center. It affords parents the opportunity to closely supervise their children while working out. Although we have excess fitness equipment, room size limits what can be installed; current demand is for cardiovascular equipment and low weight dumbbells. If you desire something different, please let the fitness staff know and/or fill out an Interactive Customer Evaluation form. Those feedback mechanisms enable us to modify and improve our services. Regarding the variety of instructional class offerings, they are scheduled based on availability of qualified and certified instructors. We will continue to aggressively search for additional paid and volunteer instructors to lead these classes.

Q3: Could additional gym equipment be brought to the fitness room at Bitburg Annex?

A: We were so excited to open our new $24 million fitness center! With that came an additional $500 thousand in new state-of-the-art fitness equipment. As a result, we provided excess equipment to our 52nd FW Geographically Separated Unites that previously lacked gym equipment. Additionally, we rotated some of the older cardio equipment at Bitburg Annex with the more modern equipment from the Skelton Memorial Fitness Center. Should Bitburg not offer the specific equipment you desire, let our fitness staff know or fill out an ICE form, online or at the new fitness center. If we have that item or machine, and it fits into the facility, we'll put it in.


Q4: Can we have more on-base recreational options for toddlers, school age children and teenagers?

A: Based on the current instructional program offerings (gymnastics, dance, 4-H, piano, etc.), before and after school program offerings, variety of summer camps and a comprehensive sports calendar for children of all ages, it would be helpful to specify additional recreational options desired in order to appropriately address the request. If you have a specific recommendation, please call the Teen Center at 06565-61-7545. In some instances, our opportunities are limited to the expertise and certifications of our Spangdahlem population. Although we may have an interest to expand programs, the professionals to conduct and host the classes may not be available within our community.

Q5: Are there plans to build an indoor play center?

A: Based on previous feedback, we identified this need about 1 ½ years ago. Last year, the Officer and Civilian Spouses Club, Spangdahlem Spouses and Enlisted Members Club, and the Bitburg Elementary Parent Teacher Student Association graciously donated funds, time, and equipment to create a child play area for children one to four years old in the Community Center (near the Brick House). 52nd FW Family Advocacy also recently opened a playroom in Building 175, room 206, which is open every weekday from 10 a.m. to noon.

The 52nd FW is continually exploring and evaluating options and opportunities to address this known and recognized concern. Currently, Colonel Julazadeh is working closely with the 52nd Mission Support Group to create an indoor play area for five to nine year olds. To best serve our community, we would prefer that this play area be in a location that our Sabers already visit frequently. For example, one location being considered is the space previously occupied by Subway in the Burger King area of Building 124. Army Air Force Exchange Services is currently evaluating the use of the Burger King facility, so this location is dependent on AAFES final determination and disposition. To that end, we are keeping all options on the table, and we look forward to providing our community with an additional indoor play option in the near future.

Q6: Are there plans to increase pre-school/child care options at Spangdahlem?

A: The new child development center, opening this summer, will accommodate 168 pre-school, toddler and pre-toddler children. The existing infant Child Development Center accommodates 82 children, which adds up to 250 spots for the CDC. This will increase our collective Spangdahlem enrollment capacity a total of 96 spaces. Good news on the way!

Q7: Would it be possible to do a multi-child discount for Youth Sports and other Child & Youth Services activities?

A: The Air Force policy requires programs to provide a discount for families who have multiple children enrolled in the CDC, family child care subsidy or school age care programs. The family pays the full fee for the first child (highest rate). Other children from the same family enrolled in the program will each receive a multiple child discount of 10 percent. Youth sports, camps and instructional programs do not receive the same subsidies as the aforementioned. Therefore, fees for these programs continue to be priced at the best value to provide the programs and subsequent supplies while intended to meet the established Air Force program goals.

If a child and youth services activity generates a profit, those additional funds are reinvested back into other programs. However, on occasion our programs do not make a profit - for example, the recent basketball season resulted in a slight loss. This varies from sport to sport, based on program costs, equipment, officials, staffing, scheduling, and volume of kids participating. As a result, those programs with higher participation rates offset those with lower participation.

In the fall of 2013, Spangdahlem youth sports initiated a multi-child discount on a trial basis, offering a $5 discount for each additional child. In addition, parents saved over $2,000 through the redemption of their Air Force PlayPass! Also, those with youth center memberships often receive member pricing, which equates to additional savings.


Q8: Why are we only allowed 15 days in Temporary Living Facility when moving to/from Spangdahlem?

A: Inbound service members assigned overseas are allowed up to 30 days in TLF, according to Joint Federal Travel Regulations (Section 4), as long as they file a temporary living assistance claim in 10-day increments. Under extenuating circumstances, it can be approved up to 60 days (but requires major command vice commander approval). Airmen must aggressively house-hunt to be approved for the 20-30 days (last 10-day increment) per Air Force Instruction 32-6001 (section 11.3).

Service members who have permanent change of station order out of Spangdahlem are authorized three days TLA on departure from government quarters, or 10 days TLA when departing off-base housing, according to the Joint Federal Travel Regulations (Chapter 9, Section 4). If there are extenuating circumstances, the service member should contact the Housing office to discuss the limited possibility of a waiver.

Due to the large availability of qualified housing around Spangdahlem, you should be able to find a suitable house within the given time frame. If you cannot find a suitable house within those days, you can move into a temporary apartment off-base, such as the Weidenhof Palace in Speicher, paid by your Overseas Housing Allowance. It's important to vacate TLF as soon as possible, because TLA/TLF dollars are a part of the PCS budget. The more we spend our PCS budget on people living in temporary quarters, the fewer Airmen we can move to Spangdahlem to support the mission here.

Q9: Could the housing office provide the list with the school bus stops like they used to?

A: Yes, the housing office will provide the list to families with school-age children when requested.

Q10: How can I make suggestions regarding stairwell housing improvements? For example, glossy paint, carpet, hydraulic door closures, etc.?

A: If residents have suggestions or comments about stairwell housing improvements, please call us at DSN 452-7488/7133 (COMM 06565-61-7488) or email, for any recommendations or assistance.


Q11: I'm bothered by secondhand smoke next to the Commissary and BX entrances. Can something be done about this?

A: Tobacco use on Air Force installations is restricted to designated tobacco areas (DTAs). AFI 40-102, Tobacco Use in the Air Force, outlines restrictions for the locations of these DTAs. civil engineering, facility managers, and squadron commanders are responsible for determining the location of their DTAs, but must follow guidelines outlined in AFI 40-102 ( For example, DTAs must be at least 50 feet from building entrances and exits, sidewalks and parking lots to prevent others from exposure to second-hand smoke (2.2.4).

Colonel Julazadeh and Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Grengs will address this issue with squadron, group and senior enlisted base leadership, who will in turn address our 52nd FW Airmen. Additionally, Commissary and Exchange store managers will address store employees. "Don't forget Sabers, you also have a personal responsibility to step up and step in," Colonel Julazadeh said. "If someone is smoking within 50 feet of a building entrance or exit, sidewalk, or parking lot...tell them to knock it off. If they don't, get their name and send it to the command chief or me!"

Q12: Entering and exiting the Saber Conference Center parking lot (where Kuhl Beanz is located) is challenging because of trees and bushes obstructing the view. Can someone fix that?

A: 52nd Civil Engineer provided some maintenance to this site the day after the virtual town hall to reduce the obstruction. This is one example of "quick fix" issues brought up at the town hall meetings that were routed for immediate action. Community safety is a priority to us, and if a legitimate safety issue is possible to fix immediately, we'll do it.

You can find past questions and answers from the VTH by clicking here