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908th COVID-19 Updates

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

This article will have the most up-to-date information for the 908th Airlift Wing members and Families. Check back daily for any updates as they will be found on this page.

(Last updated at 1510 on April 8, 2020)

Financial Readiness

The DoD FINRED (Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness) landing page containing COVID-19 resources is now live. As content is finalized/approved it will be added here. Any new links for additional resources will also be updated as appropriate.

https://finred.usalearning.gov/News/COVID19-Resources

CDC Extensions

Due to COVID-19 impacts on career development course (CDC) end-of-course (EOC) testing availability, Air University has processed a 90-day extension to all current CDC enrollments.  Unit training managers must continue to track and manage CDC requirements in accordance with AFI 36-2651. 

Additionally, they are working to manually extend students who were expired as of 16 Mar.

CPI Green Belt eLearning Telework Opportunity

We cannot be the same, think the same, and act the same if we hope to be successful in a world that does not remain the same. – John Maxwell.

With many of us teleworking to combat COVID-19 now is a great time to complete some eLearning.

Green Belt Academic eLearning is ideal for developing more green belts within our organization, and to further growing current green belt and black belt knowledge.  To learn more, click here.

From the Commander

Wing,

The Chief and I wanted to pass along three items this morning.

Maxwell-Gunter Public Health Emergency

Today, March 6, 2020, Col. Pat Carley, commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing declared a Public Health Emergency in accordance with applicable Air Force and Department of Defense Instructions.  This declaration will not impact most of you on a day to day basis from the situation we already face; however, it does give Carley, the Installation Commander, certain authorities that he and his team may need going forward to effectively combat the pandemic on the Installation.  The intent of this declaration is to ensure we can collectively take care of our Airmen and their families while allowing leadership to make informed decisions on how to continue conducting their missions to best of their ability within these confines.  These measures are critical to defeating this virus and returning to normal operations.

Cloth Face Coverings

Effective immediately per the Secretary of Defense’s direction in Reference to Secretary of Defense Memorandum, “Department of Defense Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings”, 5 April 2020 to the extent practical without significantly impacting mission, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities are required to wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of physical distance in public areas or work centers (does not include or apply to a service member/family member’s personal residence on a military installation).  Definitely applicable to those that interact with customers such as DeCA, AAFES, and Hunt Mnx while in houses…and to those that have mission essential tasks/functions with individuals working in close work spaces.

This includes all:

Total Force Military Personnel

DoD Civilian Employees (including Non-Appropriated Funded Civilians) – subject to the conditions set out below

Family Members

DoD Contractors

All other individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities

If you have any questions, please contact your chain of command.

Ask the Commander

For those of you that don’t know, the wing does have an Ask the Commander program, and now might be an excellent time for you to utilize this program.

The wing website has been updated with a new section specifically for the Ask the Commander program.  You can see the new page with answers here.

In addition to the website, there are still multiple ways to submit your questions.

You can email the PA org box at 908aw.pa@us.af.mil 

You can send a your question through the message portion of the wing’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/908AW/

You can send your question through the contact us portion on the wing’s website at https://www.908aw.afrc.af.mil/Contact-Us/

You can send your question through the wing app under the currently named “suggestions” section.

Or you can stop by PA and ask your question in person.  Take advantage of this opportunity to get the facts and a straight answer directly from me.

Chief Cornett

Chief Cornett should be in this week full-time to help us out.  Things are moving very fast, stay in contact with your supervision and chain of command to stay on top of the constant changes.  We are doing a great job as a wing taking care of each other while at the same time preserving our ability to execute the mission.  Continue to Aim High Airmen!

Election Updates

There have been a lot of changes regarding the current election season/cycle. To find more information, please click here.

Upcoming Unit Training Assemblies

As all of you should know, there will not be an in-person April UTA. Units are developing ways for you to perform up to two IDT periods remotely during the month of April. Please contact your leadership/chain of command for more details as each unit will be different.

The May UTA has been moved from 2-3 May to 16-17 May, please revise your personal schedule and plans accordingly, no 40A will be required. If circumstances require, we may have to further adjust the dates. As always, contact your supervision if required.

As of today, April 2, 2020, the June through September UTAs are still scheduled as planned: June 6-7; July 11-12; August 1-2; and September 12-13.

Telework Threats

As more and more of you are teleworking, some of the platforms and services used by people are becoming potential targets for teleconference hijacking. Please be mindful of OPSEC concerns and remember that majority of the things being used are not secure and everything is under a potential threat for attack.

Yellow Ribbon

Currently the next scheduled Yellow Ribbon event is May 15-17, 2020 in Jacksonville Florida

Click here for registration.

April UTA

The following is to clarify the below release from the commander yesterday. The training plan for the Telework UTA is still being assembled. Please stand by for more guidance from your chain of command. Also, there is no need to worry or rush for you to put in a request to reschedule the April UTA. Please wait for more guidance from your chain of command on how to accomplish a potential reschedule.

Update from the Commander

Wing,

As I sit down to write this update Maxwell AFB is in “Lightning within five miles” and under a Tornado Watch; and those are the two most normal pieces of information that I could report to you over the last three weeks.  It’s been almost two weeks since I gave you an update, things have been changing very rapidly but I believe this is a good time to pass along some info. 

My notes tell me the first communication I sent out to you was on 13 March.  Our top priorities then are the same today; ensure the health & wellbeing of ALL our members and stay ready to execute our mission if our country calls upon us.  We have cut way back on travel, training courses, meetings and a physical presence at work all in the name of minimizing potential exposure to the virus as we respect social distancing techniques. 

The wing hasn’t been tasked yet, but I’m waiting for the call to come in soon.  I suspect we will be asked to provide medical assistance and airlift – probably a combination of the two in the form of aeromedical evacuation missions.  More to follow about that.  In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to stay healthy, take care of your family and be ready to execute when you are called upon.

Many of you have learned the hard way that the Air Force IT systems have been overloaded with teleworkers.  At the same time, we are being bombarded with cyberattacks and fishing expeditions.  Be careful!  This IT situation is getting better but we all need to be mindful of what each of us can do to minimize the stress on the systems.  Don’t stream audio and video, use the AFNet verified links for OWA webmail access vice VPN, make your e-mails and attachment files as small as possible.  We at the wing are using our public website, Facebook page and 908th App to provide information to you in order for you to minimize .mil e-mail and networks usage.

We made the decision to not have a full-service UTA on 4-5 April.  The unit commanders were given discretion to use the four training periods to maximize training.  I’ve included new guidance to provide an opportunity for EVERY Airmen to have the ability to participate in two UTA training periods during the month.  Each unit will develop training plans on how best to execute training, document completion and record in UTAPS for credit and pay knowing many of our members do not currently have access to .mil computers or networks via CAC readers.  In short, two telework UTA periods in April.  The other two UTA periods can be used for in person training at a later date. 

Please stay in contact with your supervisors.  If you aren’t using your .mil e-mail account, please provide a civilian e-mail account so they can send you documents, training files, etc.

A final decision hasn’t been made regarding the May UTA but I think there is a very good chance we will reschedule from 2-3 May to 16-17 May with June UTA staying at 6-7 June.  Like everything else, as the situation evolves, we will re-assess and make adjustments.

In closing this long note a couple of reminders.  The health and wellbeing of you and your families are our top priority.  Be a good wingman, check on each other and let us know what we can do to help.  Second, be ready to execute the mission when we get the call.  Aim High 908 AW!

908 AW Key Spouse Facebook group

Please check out the 908th Key Spouse facebook group for great resources for our members and families during this time.

Antivirus Home Use Program (AV HUP)

The DoD Antivirus Software License Agreement with McAfee allows active DoD employees to utilize the antivirus software for home use. Home use of the antivirus products will not only protect personal PCs, but will also potentially lessen the threat of malicious logic being introduced to the workplace and compromising DoD networks. Contractors are excluded from using the software at home or on any other system not belonging to the DoD.

DISA Home Use Program instructions can be found here: https://patches.csd.disa.mil/Metadata.aspx?id=79775 (CAC Required)

Attorney General

The U.S. Attorney General issued a memo March 20, 2020 allowing all federal employees that must work the ability to travel to and from areas that have imposed a shelter in place or lock down orders, curfews or other travel restrictions. Please get with your supervisor/chain of command if you need more information.

Alabama Health Officer Order and City of Montgomery Curfew

On Friday, 27 March, the AL State Health Officer issued an order suspending certain public gatherings due to the risk of infection by COVID-19. The order includes closing many entertainment, fitness centers, sports activities, close contact service providers, and retail stores effective Saturday, 28 March at 5pm. 

Also on Friday, 27 March, the City of Montgomery issued a proclamation establishing a curfew effective 27 March from 10pm - 5am, 7 days a week.

Although the orders do not directly impact 908th operations, we as Airmen and families are subject to them when off the installation in those jurisdictions as all individuals are. Please be mindful of and adhere to state, regional, and local rules and regulations. 

908th FSS

In following with HPCON Charlie recommendations, we will have reduced capabilities in the FSS. Please continue to try to reach members via email or phone when possible, but keep in mind connectivity might be an issue.

PII and Telework

As many of you are teleworking from home, please ensure encryption of any Personally Identifiable Information and be careful not to post on shared drives, sharepoint, or any like locations unless appropriately password protected or encrypted.

HPCON Charlie

42nd Air Base Wing commander, Col. Pat Carley has raised the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to Charlie from Bravo for Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex Effective at 1400 March 25, 2020. 

What does this mean for 908th members and Families? Please contact your chain of command/leadership for more details. For questions about Maxwell AFB, please use the link at the bottom of this page.

If you are self isolating or quarantining, or if you have traveled outside of the United States of America, please inform your chain of command.

Director of Psychological Health

If you need to speak with someone about ways to foster resiliency or coping with emotional concerns, please feel free to call Amy Kemp, DPH. The DPH is a Licensed Master level Mental Health Provider who provides the Air Force Reservist with guidance and support for issues effecting a Wingman’s sense of wellbeing at work and at home. All conversations are confidential. We do not provide clinical diagnosis OR enter notes into your medical record. Our focus is on providing positive support to the individual while maintaining Mission readiness.  

Call: 334-953-5980

Free Meals for Kids!

Effective Monday March 23, 2020 the Maxwell AFB E/M School Meals Program will be offering FREE grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals to ALL children ages 0-18 for as long as the school closure continues.

April Unit Training Assembly

After careful review, and discussions with Command Chief and other wing leadership, we have elected to cancel the April UTA as scheduled. Commanders will determine training and mission priorities and the most effective way to execute the four UTA periods. Work with your chain of command for a reschedule plan.

Currently, there are no restrictions for 908 AW members to participate in a military status that does NOT require Air Force provided lodging. For both military and civilians, if you are not feeling well, or believe there is a risk you may have been in contact with personnel who may have the Coronavirus, please do not come in to work. While at home and at work, please observe social distancing techniques and implement strict personal hygiene practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Additionally, please report any out of the country travel since 28 February 2020 or potential contact with carriers of the Covid-19 virus to your chain of command for our situational awareness.

You can rest easy knowing the 908 AW full-timers are doing a great job this week dealing with this very unique situation. Every decision is based on taking the best care of our Airmen and their families. Together, we will work through this new mission that has come our way and soon will be moving on to the next challenge. Aim High Airmen!

Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities

NOTE: Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program regarding the rules in your state.  https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

The Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19.

Federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19. Please click the above link for more details.

Telework Options

Currently there are three options unit members can utilize for access to work email and other systems used at the office.

1, Outlook Web Access (OWA)

2. Virtual Private Network (VPN) - Legacy VPN (TMG) or New VPN (EURAM)

3. Mobile Devices. 

Please use these only when needed as we don't want to strain our IT system. Also, please try to avoid streaming audio or video when possible.

For information concerning services on Maxwell AFB click here and for information from Air Force Reserve Command and other Government sources click here.