White Sands Missile Range Garrison Commander Col. Dave Brown hosted the installation’s first Community Information Exchange at the Post Theater Nov. 7.
The exchange was created as an information exchange outlet where representatives from every organization at WSMR talk about upcoming events and address any issues the community may have.
“The community is our main target audience here,” Brown said. “The information is not getting to the families that reside on White Sands so that’s why we set this up. It’s an attempt to inform everyone on the installation on what is going on. We want to be transparent and open up the lines of communication.”
“I wanted to make sure we provided the right functional experts to answer your questions,” Brown added.
McAfee Health Clinic
WSMR McAfee Health Clinic Commander Lt. Col. Brian Weisgram stressed the clinic’s capability as a clinic and not an emergency room.
He said if someone feels they are having a heart attack, a seizures or if have been bitten by a snake, they should call (575) 678-1234 immediately.
“Every minute you take to come to our clinic is a delay in that one hour response time,” Weisgram said.
He also talked about the success in the current flu-shot campaign. Flu-shots can only be given to anyone who is a Tri-Care beneficiary.
The clinic will have reduced hours for the holidays, the hours will be posted on the clinic’s website and in the newspaper.
Weisgram asked patients to ensure the clinic will be open during the time they plan to visit, especially for prescription refills they may need before going out of town for the holidays. Lastly, Weisgram announced the arrival of a new clinical psychologist who started seeing patients Nov. 2. With the new clinical psychologist’s arrival the clinic now has a full behavioral health team. He also added the clinic is currently under contract negotiation for another family practice doctor.
Susan Ribail, AAFES retail business manager announced Veterans Day Holiday hours for the Post Exchange from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Subway will also have reduced hours from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Free coffee will be offered on Veterans Day at the Post Exchange and Military Star Card holders will receive 15 percent off any food purchase.
She also advertised the exchange’s shuttle program where customers can request an item that is in the catalog, but not at WSMR, and the item will be brought in from either the Fort Bliss or the Holloman Exchange, free of charge.
White Sands Housing
Jennifer Dixon, White Sands Housing manager, said housing demolition will be completed at the end of November 2016.
They are also currently working on exterior panting in the Trinity neighborhood and are about 75 percent done. Exterior painting will continue in the Pershing neighborhood homes.
“The goal is to conduct exterior painting on all legacy homes,” she said.
Starting at the end of November, Dixon said they will begin to plant in the front lawns of the Patriot neighborhood.
She said the Patriot neighborhood is the only neighborhood with the built-in irrigation to be able to support plants in the front lawns.
However, she said they are looking at different ways to be able to provide plants to other neighborhoods without an irrigation systems.
The resident satisfaction surveys were completed in June and, based on survey results, Trinity and Patriot were “A” listed. She said they had a 67 percent response rate which is a 200 percent improvement from last year.
“We are working very diligently to do all the best that we can for our residents and make this a really great place to live,” Dixon said. “We can’t fix or change anything if we don’t know what’s going on. It allows us to do the things that we’re doing now, like painting and planting. Those five minutes that you take can benefit the community greatly.”
Dixon also responded to some questions she received through Facebook. Residents are able to have their houses sprayed for bugs every 30 days. She asked for residents to document which bugs they are seeing inside the house and report it to pest control before they spray. Lawn maintenance requests have been taken since Nov. 1. Dixon said residents should call the front office for either request.
Housing is open to civilians, Department of Defense civilians and civilian contractors.
International Hotel Group
Keith Forbes, WSMR IHG general manager, provided some general information on the hotel. All rooms are pet friendly, however, there is an additional $75 fee. The fee is associated to cleaning the room after the pet visit. Shot records must be updated before a pet can stay in the hotel.
The hotel rates are based on the per diem rate in Las Cruces. Holiday rates will be at $60 before Thanksgiving until after New Year’s. Anyone with access to the installation can stay on post.
Public Affairs Office
The last Missile Ranger will be printed Dec. 15, for the holiday break, however since the current printer has canceled the agreement to print the newspaper there may be a longer gap.
The PAO office is working with the Command Group to find a new printer to avoid a long gap in printing. Content will be available electronically.
“We’ve got to move forward and we’re working on trying to establish a mechanism so we can continue to provide you that command information,” Brown said. “Regardless you still have electronic means by which you can get your information until we can get the Missile Ranger back up and operational. There is a way ahead.”
Articles will still be printed in the WSDM, WSMR’s external website and the installation’s social media sites.
The office has also reduced uprange tours due to a reduced workforce and will not accept new requests until the beginning of the year. Inclement weather information, in terms of late starts and canceled work days, will be posted on the WSDM page, WSMR external website and social media. Local radio and news stations will also be notified of inclement weather updates.
WSMR Spouses Club
Christina Brown, club member and coordinator, said the club is organized primarily through Facebook. The club currently has 78 members. The members meet once a month for a social outing.
“We don’t have bylaws, there’s no constitution there’s no bank accounts,” Brown said. “We’re an isolated installation so it’s just a way to reach out and spend some time together.”
The club is open to all military branches and DoD civilians. Brown said the club is a child-free group, unless you are nursing a child up to six months.
Family Morale and Welfare
Steve Zagar, WSMR FMWR director, said five organizations fall under FMWR and over 300 events and classes are conducted each year for those five organizations. However, he said if someone has a good idea for an event that they have seen been successful in another installation, he is not opposed to trying it.
The golf course will officially close Nov. 15.
Paninis are now offered at the bowling center and the Frontier Club will be getting a pizza machine within the week.
MWR will close Dec. 9 with the exception of the Frontier Club, to conduct required training.
Directorate of Public Works
Jose Gallegos DPW director, talked about the importance of not feeding coyotes, especially when they are near housing or organization buildings. Currently, his employees are working on parking-lot maintenance at building 102. They are also working on a crack-seal project along Aberdeen Avenue. The Aquatics Center will also be replacing the filtration system, scheduled to be completed May 1.
He said if there is any maintenance issue that you spot throughout the installation to submit a work order for it.
The Christmas Tree Lighting is scheduled for Dec. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in front of Building 100. The Christmas Children’s Musical will take place at the Post Chapel Dec. 11 at 5 p.m. The chapel’s holiday schedule will be posted in the newspaper.
Darren Court, WSMR Museum director, said they are currently working on a Frontier Army of New Mexico exhibit where the gift shop and MVD were once located.
“Stop by and look at it, give us your feedback,” Court said.
For the 2017 Vietnam Commemoration, Court said they are looking to create an exhibit of the people of White Sands who served in Vietnam. Contact George House, at (575) 678-3358 if you know of anyone from WSMR who served during that time or if you would like to be featured.
Court said they are also always available for guided tours to LC-33.
Josie Tate, management analyst, talked about using the ICE reporting system for what it was intended and not to air out grievances.
“Tell us how our services are doing,” she said. “If we’re doing well we want to know. If we’re not doing well we still want to know.”
There is a three-day response requirement for those who request a response. If you send a complaint or a comment directly to the service provider it goes to the owner of that organization. If you have a complaint about the owner, the complaint should be sent to the command group.
The information exchange will occur on a monthly basis, and based on attendance, may be scaled back to quarterly.