PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Beginning Jan. 24, 2019, all 21st Space Wing customer service functions on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado will close the fourth Thursday of every month for wing-wide training initiatives.
The initiative sprang from a directive by Gen. David L. Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, who emphasized a return to readiness posture during an annual wing commanders’ conference in September 2018, said Col. Kirsten Aguilar, 21st Mission Support Group commander.
Col. Todd Moore, 21st SW commander, charged all group commanders with developing a way to maximize training opportunities while minimizing the impact to customers, Aguilar said.
“We asked the group commanders across the wing to find a common time that we could shut down operations for training and readiness,” she said.
Peterson AFB’s medical and dental clinics will close, along with the 21st Medical Group Pharmacy, the Peterson AFB Legal Office, the 21st Comptroller Squadron finance office, Peterson AFB’s military and civilian personnel office, and the base’s Visitor Control Center, Aguilar said.
“Our customers, especially our retiree population, sometimes travel far distances to come to the base to exercise their retiree benefits,” she said. “If everyone is closed at the same time, we can help ease the burden on our customers.”
The initiative will especially benefit members of customer service-heavy functions — such as the 21st Force Support Squadron, the 21st Contracting Squadron and the 21st Communications Squadron – who can’t easily carve out job training time in their standard work days, Aguilar said.
“In a customer service function, you can’t do on-the-job training at the same time you’re trying to do your job,” she said. “Especially with our young Airmen, we need to make sure we give them ample time for training.”
Each unit will have a training plan targeting goals and objectives for each training day, Aguilar said.
“Deployment readiness is an important component,” said Lt. Col. James Ulrich, 21st Medical Support Squadron commander. The training will give members of the 21st MDSS a chance to practice carrying out their clinical mission in an austere location with different equipment and supplies, Ulrich said.
“All of our people need to be prepared to get pulled and deployed at any point,” he said. “This drill day is a great opportunity to really focus on some of those skills that are more wartime related.”
Being able to train with the entire wing makes a big difference, Ulrich said.
“If we just do a MDG training day, that’s only going to train us internally. It doesn’t train us on how we would correspond and communicate with the emergency operations center and MSG,” he said. “We do a lot of things together, but if we have separate training days, we don’t actually get to practice that.”
Previously, Airmen serving in customer service functions had to stay past standard duty hours to conduct training, Aguilar said.
“Our wing commander has recognized that our Airmen need to be trained and ready, because the nation depends on us to be prepared to fight tonight,” she said. “To have the time to dedicate to that is very refreshing.”
For a full list of customer service functions impacted by the wing-wide training day, see below.
• The satellite pharmacy at the Base Exchange will be closed.
• The Peterson Military Treatment Facility will be closed.
• The Peterson Dental Clinic will be open for normal operating hours.
• The Schriever medical and dental clinics will be open for normal operating hours.
Wing Staff Agencies
• 21st Comptroller Squadron, to include the budget and accounting offices and the financial operations customer service office (military/travel/civilian pay) will be closed. For any emergencies, personnel can contact the 21st CPTS command section at DSN 834-8125.
• The 21st SW Information Protection office will be closed.
• The Judge Advocate office will be closed.
• The 21st SW Inspector General will close from 1- 4 p.m. for training.
• The 21st SW Chapel will be closed.
• The 21st SW Public Affairs office will be closed.
Force Support Squadron
• The 21st FSS Military Personnel Flight will be closed. Food operations will be consolidated to Colorado Pizza. Food operations at the bowling alley, golf course and Club buffet will be closed.
• Food Operations in buildings 1, 2, and 225 will remain open.
• The Aragon Dining Facility will remain open.
• The Fitness Center will remain open.
• The 21st CS Communications Focal Point will be closed to all customers. Customers who are not participating in training day (such as mission partners, contractors, or other entities) who require CFP/Communications assistance, may place a remedy ticket in. In the event there is an emergency, please contact your units Cyber Security Liaison or Cyber Security Administrator.
• The 21st CS General Officers Communications will be closed. Customers who are not participating in training day (such as mission partners, contractors, or other entities) who require GO Communications support will be notified days prior to training day. In the event of an emergency, GO’s front office staff may contact GO Communications at 719-554-6483 for assistance.
• The 21st CS Defense Red Switch Network will be closed. Customers who are not participating in training day (such as mission partners, contractors, or other entities) who require DRSN support will be notified days prior to training day. In the event of an operational emergency, DRSN customers may contact 719-556-0230.