Town hall meetings address plethora of issues



by Christopher Kratzer
Air University Public Affairs


3/11/2011 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- This week, the 42nd Air Base Wing held two town hall meetings at Maxwell and Gunter, using an open forum to allow personnel and residents to address base issues.

The events were held Tuesday at the Gunter Air Force Program Executive Office auditorium and Thursday at the Maxwell base theater. The 42nd Air Base Wing Commander Col. Brian Killough addressed numerous issues, including the family health initiative, the new base access policy, renovations, the base exchange and commissary and on-base housing.

Capt. Douglas Benton, executive officer who facilitated the event, said these forums are a valuable communication tool.

"[Meetings like this] allow the population the chance to sit down and have a conversation with the installation leadership," Captain Benton said. "It allows Colonel Killough to ensure that he and Team ABW are vectored to support all of our customers."

The family health initiative aims to provide better health care to patients by using a team-based care model led by a personal physician. By seeing the same small staff of medical professionals, patients will be able to receive more personalized health care.

The new base access policy deals with the Defense Biometric Identification System, or DBIDS. This system, required by the Department of Defense, uses fingerprint scanning to authorize personnel.

An update was given on the renovation of the BX food court, which is expected to be completed March 24.

The forum also outlined plans for a cell phone vendor and a new commissary at Gunter Annex.

Questions were raised about on-base housing, maintenance and pest control.