By Airman Amanda Lovelace | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Airmen who work in the restricted area at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, will have a new place to store their cell phones on their way into work beginning in June.
Two automated cell phone lockers, one for each RA portal, are scheduled to be installed June 1 and be available soon after. This new addition is a direct result of Schriever leadership listening to and addressing Airmen’s needs and concerns.
“Normally, we receive requests from squadrons based on their needs, but this was a little different,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Welch, 50th Contracting Squadron superintendent. “This came as a direct request from [Col. James Smith, 50th Space Wing commander], after listening to the desires and needs of our Airmen.”
Caitlin Hale, 50th CONS contract specialist, began the process of finding a business that could fulfill the base’s needs for cell phone storage in March 2020, as personal cell phones are prohibited in the RA.
“[We] conducted market research to get an idea of how many businesses could provide what we needed,” she said. “[Then, we] posted a solicitation on FedBizOps in order to get quotes from small businesses. Once quotes were received, we reviewed them and ordered them from lowest to highest price. The lowest quote was awarded to the business that included the brand name vending technology that was required.”
The 50th CONS awarded the contract to AutoCrib of Tustin, California, to install the lockers.
The two lockers combined can store over 700 cell phones for members with a RA badge.
“I am definitely excited to use the phone lockers,” said Airman 1st Class Dianna Mulder, 50th Operations Support Squadron student. “As someone who carpools regularly to Schriever, having them will be great. This way if my ride to Schriever can’t take me home, I don’t have to retrieve my phone out of their car before leaving work.”
The process of checking phones in-and-out of the lockers involves five steps:
- Log in by scanning the RA badge.
- Select to store a personal device in either the upper, middle or lower storage location within the locker.
- Select the correct size for the device.
- The machine then automatically selects a bin that fits the required specifications. Place the cell phone in and close the door.
- For retrieval, members will scan their RA badge and the machine will automatically retrieve the correct personal electronic device.
“This will be a huge morale booster because it will allow us to have connection to the outside world during breaks in the middle of a workday,” Mulder said. “Many of us in the RA work long hours in a dark, windowless room. Having that part of the day will give us something else to look forward to. Whether it is talking with our families or playing a phone game, it will allow for a mental break.”
While the lockers can serve as a morale booster for Team Schriever members working in the RA, they’re also an important reminder to make sure phones are left in a secure location before entering the RA.
“This will definitely help prevent people from accidentally bringing their phones in the RA,” she said. “Even people with personal vehicles to store their phones in will see the lockers every morning and be reminded to check for their phone one last time before entering the RA.”
Due to the mission that takes place inside the RA, it’s crucial members don’t take their cellphones inside. The lockers will bring additional convenience, protection and support to both Schriever members and the mission here.