Town hall meeting briefs important subjects, curbs concerns

The commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Col. Phil Stewart, hosts a town hall meeting for Airmen and their families at the Community Activity Center, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., August 14, 2012. During the meeting department heads briefed the new Food Transition Initiative, back to school, the Eagle Eyes program, housing privatization and welcomed questions from guests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

The commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Col. Phil Stewart, hosts a town hall meeting for Airmen and their families at the Community Activity Center, Beale Air Force Base, Calif., August 14, 2012. During the meeting department heads briefed the new Food Transition Initiative, back to school, the Eagle Eyes program, housing privatization and welcomed questions from guests. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel/Released)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- The commander of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Col. Phil Stewart, hosted a town hall meeting for Airmen and their families Aug. 14 at the Community Activity Center.

During the meeting department heads briefed the new Food Transition Initiative, back to school, the Eagle Eyes program, housing privatization and welcomed questions from guests.

"These are all important, pressing subjects we have received questions about and it's important to know what Airmen's concerns are in order to take action on them," said Stewart. "We'll find answers to these concerns. These answers may not always be what Airmen want to hear, but we are going to get straight to the point."

FTI

FTI is a dining program designed to provide Airmen with improved food quality, variety, availability and facilities. Beale will begin to see changes in 9th Force Support Squadron food service operations starting Oct. 1.

"The changes with the Food Transition Initiative will benefit everyone," said Chief Master Sgt. William Davis, 9th FSS chief enlisted manager. "There is going to be some great changes to aesthetics, quality and value for all Airmen."

One of the biggest changes with the FTI is 9th FSS food services will be open to everyone; from active duty to civilian visitors. This includes the Contrails Dinning Facility where civilians and visitors previously could not dine.

Although there will be many improvements from the FTI, Airmen were concerned about food cost rising with the introduction of a private provider.

"I will say prices will go up minimally; however, it's important to remember with the prices going up, quality of food and services will also rise," said Davis.

For more information about FTI visit www.usafservices.com.

Back to school

School starts for most students this week, yet school officials have noticed many parents have not turned in all required paperwork for enrollment. Annette Goodly, 9th FSS school liaison officer, reminded parents, schools do not receive funding until paperwork is submitted.

"Please turn in paperwork, please attend back to school night and please be involved," she said. "Schools need maximum participation to keep funding to provide quality education to our students."

Goodly also praised the Wheatland School District for reducing overcrowding by opening the new Wheatland Elementary School. This will make Bear River a middle school only.

For more information about back to school contact Annette Goodly at 634-3539.

Eagle Eyes

Eagle Eyes is an Air Force wide program preventing terrorism by getting troops and citizens to recognize and report observable terrorist activities.

Office of Special Investigation and 9th Security Forces Squadron officials encouraged Airmen and citizens in communities surrounding Beale to "Observe, Recognize and Report."

"We are an ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) base and we want to make sure we posture accordingly," said Stewart. "I would encourage Airmen to spread the word about Eagle Eyes to our local community partners and civilian population."

For more information about Eagle Eyes visit http://www.osi.andrews.af.mil/eagleeyes/index.asp or to report suspicious activity call the 9th SFS at 634-2131.

Housing Privatization

The 9th Civil Engineer Squadron asset manager, Joni Gerry, along with Balfour Beatty Communities, briefed the progress of housing privatization and construction.

Gerry said construction has begun and several new homes will be move in ready by June 2013 with many more to follow soon after. Concerns were voiced on how many times and where Airmen will be required to move during construction.

Stewart assured Airmen every precaution is being taken to reduce moving and mitigate any discomfort during the transition to privatized housing; however, each move will be treated on a case by case basis.

For more information on housing privatization or any moving concerns, contact BBC by calling 788-9500.