Focusing on your Quality of Life

Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, 48th Fighter Wing command chief master sergeant, addresses the audience during a wing all-call Sept. 1 at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. Rendon recently chartered a Quality of Life initiative where experts in continuous process improvement conducted forums to hear concerns of Airmen, civilian personnel, and spouses.

Chief Master Sgt. Ernesto J. Rendon, 48th Fighter Wing command chief master sergeant, addresses the audience during a wing all-call Sept. 1 at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. Rendon recently chartered a Quality of Life initiative where experts in continuous process improvement conducted forums to hear concerns of Airmen, civilian personnel, and spouses. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Abby L. Finkel)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- How many times have you heard the phrase, “We recruit Airmen and retain the family?” As an Airman who recently celebrated my 25th anniversary in the U.S. Air Force, I can tell you two things with absolute certainty. First, I never imagined that I would turn a four year enlistment into a 20 something year career. Second, the outstanding quality of life the Air Force provided me and my family made it easy to reenlist over and over again.

Those two fundamental points shape my view, and as your command chief one of my responsibilities is to ensure you have access to the best training, professional development, and quality of life possible.

Thanks to committed professionals who are laser focused on meeting our community needs, I sincerely believe we do all of these things well at the Liberty Wing – yet I know there is always room for improvement.

That is why Col. Evan Pettus, our wing commander, empowered me to charter a Quality of Life initiative where experts in continuous process improvement conducted forums to hear your concerns. The team facilitated three large focus sessions comprised of active duty, civilian personnel, and spouses.

So what did we discover?

Bottom line – we’ve got some work to do! The team took your feedback and packed it into the following categories: Health and Wellness, Commissary, Services and Family Support, Dormitory Living, Food Services, and Recreational Activities.

Within each category you gave us plenty of ideas and your Mission Support Group has already taken steps to make improvements.

For example, the Military Personnel Flight expanded operating hours during the normal work week to better support Airmen and families. Additionally, on Saturday, Dec. 2 the MPF customer service section will open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and will issue ID cards and unlock CACs for members unable to visit during normal duty hours. Based on community demand and use of service, expect this to continue once a quarter.

We also acknowledge that our base guide and newcomer packages could be better, so we’ve appointed a team of experts to review our videos, website, and mobile app. They will report findings and work with responsible agencies to update all products, so newcomers can be better prepared for this assignment and will know exactly what to expect upon arrival in country.

For our dorm residents, I have established a Dorm Improvement Council made up of Airmen representing each dormitory building, the unaccompanied housing manager, First Sergeants, and our Civil Engineer leadership team. Our first meeting was held in October where we identified several action items, and I look forward to our follow up meeting next week to check on progress.

Our Non-Appropriated Fund agencies continued focus on recruitment has allowed us to re-open Pinkerton’s and our CPI team is actively working with our Child Development Center staff to explore creative ways to recruit more Family Child Care providers and fully staff our CDC so we can reduce wait times for families in need of child care.

You’ve spoken and we hear you! These examples are just a few of the many things your leadership will continue to work on as we strive to take care of the Airmen and their families who make up the world’s greatest Air Force at the world’s premier Fighter Wing. Stayed tuned for more updates…We are Liberty!