GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
U.S. Air Force Col. Andres Nazario, 17th Training Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lavor Kirkpatrick, 17th TRW command chief, hosted a virtual town hall to update Goodfellow and the surrounding community about the future of Goodfellow Air Force Base and to answer a few questions and concerns on April 29, 2020.
Goodfellow’s primary concern continues to be its service members and the local community. Leadership has innovatively worked towards solutions with community partners and subject matter experts to achieve this.
Please find the questions that were asked during the virtual town hall below:
Q: Will students be allowed off base with restrictions?
As of right now, we don’t feel comfortable letting students go off base. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a minimum of two weeks without community spread, and we still aren’t quite there. We will, however, look into opening certain parts of the base soon. The Crossroads is one resource that is already open with limitations.
Q: Is there an estimate on when child care is going to be available?
We are looking at phasing the Child Development Center and School-Age programs back in. We understand that as the city re-opens there will be many people in need of child care. The 17th Mission Support Group is finding ways to expand the capacity at the CDC and will provide more care to families as the COVID-19 situation stabilizes.
Q: Will the defined local area restrictions change?
Wing Leadership is looking at the policy every four weeks. The restriction is to minimize our contact with potential COVID-19 carriers. The 50-mile radius puts us just below Abilene, whose situation is much worse than our own, and keeps our members safe. We are taking a gradual restoration approach to fit our current local situation.
Q: Is COVID-19 affecting classes on Goodfellow?
Our classes are going ahead as scheduled. We have started hybrid courses to get students into their classes sooner. The unclassified portions of the class are done online to minimize the time in a classroom. At Presidio of Monterey, classes have gone entirely virtual except for tests which are still given in person. All classes continue to follow social distancing and other CDC guidelines.
Q: Will graduations open up to families?
We are not at the point yet where we can let families on Goodfellow. Our instructors are finding ways to live stream graduations and are currently testing those methods for future use.
Q: What will the restriction of movement look like for returning deployed personnel?
Please work with your gaining unit to discuss what your ROM will look like. Every returning member will be put on a temporary ROM, but the specifics will vary.
Q: When can retirees access base?
Wing Leadership discusses this every week. They are monitoring the situation and will decide when to open the commissary and pharmacy separately. Meanwhile, the 17th Medical Group is working on many solutions to help retirees get the services they need as soon as possible. A solution should be announced for the commissary within a week and a solution for the pharmacy within two weeks.
Q: How do I get a mask for my student?
Tell your student to talk to their Military Training Leaders, First Sergeant, or supervisor. Our amazing team will be sure to get them what they need. Our community gave us thousands of masks for our members. Additionally, we ordered several thousand more. Masks can also be made by hand or with a 3D printer as long as they follow the guideline on proper wear and color. However, out of uniform, there are no color restrictions.
Q: How can I volunteer at the commissary?
Ask for the manager at our commissary, and they will be glad to help you!
Remember what Nazario and Kirkpatrick said, we aren’t going back to the way things were, we’re moving forward!
For the most recent local updates relating to COVID-19, please visit this webpage https://www.goodfellow.af.mil/Covid-19-Information/
If you have any additional questions, please email us at 17TRW.PA2@US.AF.MIL