Questions, answers from Townhall meeting

  • Published
  • By Airman and Family Readiness Center
  • 35th Mission Support Squadron
The first town-hall meeting for family members of more than 700 servicemembers deployed for the current Air and Space Expeditionary Force Rotation was held June 21 in the Mokuteki Ballroom.

Housing renovations
Q. I'm residing in a housing unit that is scheduled for renovation. The other units in my building are already empty. How soon will we be told that we have to move?

A. The Housing Office sends out notifications 60 days ahead of time. You will have about two months advance notice.

Short-notice deployment extensions
Q. My husband just received a short-notice extension to his deployment. Can you tell me anything else about this?

A. Misawa currently has two Security Forces teams that are impacted by this deployment extension. The extension has been applied to Security Forces across the Air Force. The original need was for an extension of 90 days. That requirement will be split among SFS across the Air Force and the actual extension for each member is expected to be no more than 45 days.

Drugs on playground
Q. My child found some drugs that were left at a playground on base. The ER did a great job helping my child, and the drugs were later identified as Japanese tranquilizers from off-base. My question is, why weren't parents made aware of this danger? There hasn't been any public awareness campaign or anything.

A. This incident has been discussed at All Units and is a topic at Roll Calls across the base. Wing leadership will discuss with Public Affairs what other avenues can be used to advise the public. In response to this incident, Civilian Engineering and Security Forces have been advised to increase their policing of the Base Beach and the base parks. The Base Appearance Team has also been advised to increase emphasis in playgrounds.

Publishing information on public website
Q. Since the base newspaper stopped being published, it is really hard for off-base residents to get information because they don't have access to the Commander's Access Channel or the Services Channel. Can the slides from those channels be posted on the base's public website so off-base residents can get them?

A. There is some information on the CAC channel that is too sensitive to put on a public website, but most of the information could probably be posted. Most of the information can be found on the public webpage under News Notes and Leisure Notes in the Briefs section. Other sources of information include the Airman and Family Readiness Center's Spouse Connection and unofficial sources such as 

Getting a Teen Passport
Q. Why do you have to show a Teen Center membership to get a Teen Passport?

A. Teen Center membership is not required for a Teen Passport. You only have to have an ID and a copy of your sponsor's orders. SVS leadership will meet with Youth Center staff to ensure the proper information is getting out.

Graffiti on playground
Q. My children have noticed that there is a lot of graffiti on the playground equipment at "Rocket Park" and the park by the Chapel. Can we do a community service project and have the base provide the materials to remove the graffiti?

A. Yes. The Civilian Engineering Squadron is responsible for the maintenance of the housing playgrounds. If there are issues that need to be fixed, just let CES know. But yes, CES will certainly allow the base residents to do a service project.

Vandalism at new playground
Q. There has been some vandalism at one of the new playgrounds. Teens have been pulling up and destroying the rubberized mats in the playground.

A. CES will address it. Additionally, if any vandalism is witnessed or noticed, please call the Security Forces at 226-4358 so they can respond.

Veterinarian after duty hours
Q. A week ago, I saw someone run over a cat after duty hours. The cat was severely injured, but not killed. I tried to contact the Veterinarian, but there was no response at the after-duty hours number. I contacted the Security Forces, and everyone else I could think of, and no one would respond to help. I kept getting passed off. The cat eventually died. How come I couldn't get help?

A. SVS and CES will get with the Veterinarian to make sure the after-hours contact numbers are functioning. CES will make sure the SFS and Command Post have the CES Pest Management contact information. Pest Management will respond to any animal issue, and can be contacted directly or through the Command Post.

Loud people coming through the gate
Q. I live by the Main Gate and my bedroom windows face the gate. We regularly have drunks walking back on base being very loud and vulgar. They wake us up at night and say things I don't want my kids to hear. The gate guards don't do anything. What can be done?

A. SFS will train the gate guards, including the Japanese guards, to address boisterousness of people walking on and off base. SFS will also beef up patrols at the front gate during peak hours of foot traffic.

Extended deployments, separations
Q. I am married mil-to-mil. My husband is one of the Security Forces that has been extended on deployment. Now it looks like he won't return until after our dates of separation. His date of separation can be moved back because of his deployment extension, but mine can't. I'll have to separate before he gets back. What happens to my command sponsorship? Will I have to go back to the states without my husband?

A. Talk with your first sergeant. When one mil-to-mil spouse separates, command sponsorship is automatic. It just requires some paperwork that can be taken care of at MPF. The first sergeants have dealt with this type of situation in the past and can help walk you through it.

Child Development Center hours of operation
Q. The Zeamer CDC conducted a survey some time ago. Are the hours going to change or not?

A. The Zeamer CDC hours will not change. The survey did not show a need to change the hours of operations. The Yoiko CDC will be open on PACAF Family Days to accommodate all base personnel that are required to work on those days.

New playground in 800 housing area
Q. Is there any plan for a new playground in the new 800 housing area? There is a playground in the old 800 housing area, but parents can't see their kids from their home if they play there.

A. There are no current plans for a new playground, but CES will look at the possibilities. The old 800 housing is marked, but not yet scheduled, for demolition. It may be possible to move the playground equipment.

Moving to a larger house while pregnant
Q. Why can't expectant families move to a larger home while they are still expecting?

A. The Air Force regulation states that the Housing Office can pay for a move to a larger house 30 days before the due date. Each case is determined individually based on individual circumstances and the availability of housing. Do-it-yourself moves can be done early if housing is available. CES will ensure the Housing Office staff is providing the correct information to customers.

Demolition of boarded up housing
Q. Is there any plan for demolition of the boarded up housing on base?

A. The Government of Japan funds the building and demolition of base housing. Generally, the GOJ does it one-for-one where they will demolish a building as another is built. The Wing leadership is looking for other sources of funding. If other funding is found, we may be able to demolish the buildings sooner than the GOJ would otherwise to it. 

Renovating the Bong Theater
Q. When will the Bong Theater be renovated? Will it be a multiplex?

A. CES has plans for the renovation of the Bong Theater. The renovation will remove the long covered stairway and add conference rooms. The plan is for the theater to become the Bong Training Center. There are no plans for Misawa to have a multiplex.

Give Parents A Break Night
Q. What are the age requirements for Give Parents-A-Break?

A. Parents with children 6 weeks old to school-age qualify for the program. Call the Yoiko Child Development Center at 226-4666 to find out when the next night is and how to sign up.

Getting on the housing list
Q. I have a friend who is a single, active duty member. She is pregnant. How soon can she get on the waiting list for housing?

A. Single, active duty expectant mothers can get on the housing waiting list when they are six months pregnant.

SVS Passports rules
Q. My husband is coming back in the middle of the month. Can we still get a SVS passport for that month?

A. SVS passports can continue to be issued until seven days before the end of the month.

Family emergencies
Q. If I have a family emergency, how can I contact my sponsor?

A. The sponsor can be contacted through their respective unit at Misawa. The squadron leadership here will coordinate with the downrange unit. Documentation of a valid emergency is required before a member can be returned from their deployment. The American Red Cross is considered a trusted third party. Notification of family emergencies should be communicated through the Red Cross.

Power of Attorney
Q. What happens if my sponsor is extended on deployment past the expiration dates of the Powers of Attorney?

A. Deployed spouses can get another Power of Attorney downrange and can then mail or fax it back to you. Deployed personnel have access to legal services while deployed.

Official passports
Q. How can I get an official passport for my new baby if my husband is deployed?

A. The MPF can help you with this.  Call 226-3962 for more information.

Shuttle bus runs to Tokyo
Q. Can SVS run buses to Tokyo two times a week instead of only once?

A. SVS recently did a survey, and a final decision is still pending. SVS must consider the costs involved, as well as Japanese laws related to professional drivers and mandatory rest periods. SVS is also looking at increasing trips to Tokyo seasonally.

Club dues
Q. If my spouse left without deferring Club dues, how can I do it?

A. All you need is a power of attorney and a copy of the deployment orders.

No base newspaper
Q. Why is there no base paper at Misawa while other PACAF bases still have them?

A. Base papers across the Air Force are being phased out due to budgetary issues. All base papers will eventually be electronic. Some bases with robust off-base commercial advertising may continue a little longer, but eventually they will phase out as well.