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Hours of operation change following survey
In response to a survey about 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron's operations, hours of operation for many facilities at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., have been extended. Some changes will be done on a 90-day trial run to see if usage warrants making the changes permanent. (U.S. Air Force illustration by Tech. Sgt. Josef Cole)
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We asked, you spoke, we listened

Posted 12/15/2010   Updated 12/16/2010 Email story   Print story


from 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron

12/15/2010 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- The 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron recently conducted a survey to determine customer satisfaction with its hours of operation. More than 400 responded, and we appreciate those who took the time to complete the survey. In addition to information about our hours, we also received a few comments about programs.

Fitness Center
Several respondents requested that the fitness center be open 24 hours. Although we are manned by Air Force standards for 112 hours of operation per week, we are looking at what adjustments will accommodate the need for a fitness outlet. However, several squadrons have established mini-fitness centers because of their expressed need for a fitness outlet during the few hours the fitness center is closed. We highly encourage folks to seek out those facilities if they wish to get a workout between midnight and 5 a.m.

COMMENT: The gym has a room with two metal bars to put feet under for sit-ups. This is great, but it always seems to be full. Can the gym put more of these in that room, or at least a longer bar?

RESPONSE: We installed four more bars.

COMMENT: Open the gym at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

RESPONSE: This will be done on a trial basis in the near future. 

Current weekend hours
9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

New weekend hours
7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

COMMENT: Put weights in the kids' playroom for moms who want to lift free weights.

RESPONSE: We have limited space in the family room. However, there is a weight machine installed that provides a workout on all the muscle groups.

COMMENT: We need a Zumba class at our fitness center.

RESPONSE: Based on user requests, Zumba classes began in September on Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:15 p.m.

COMMENT: Our squadron needed jerseys and cones the other night at about 1:15 a.m., and the gym was closed. We could really use a 24-hour gym.

RESPONSE: Jerseys and cones are available for checkout from the Fitness Center during normal operating hours. Please stop by earlier in the day and check them out to have them available for early morning activities. 

COMMENT: Encourage organized sports activities, and have softball, volleyball, soccer, or baseball leagues of some kind. Even if they were co-ed; or allow spouses to have enough participants. This would help with physical fitness and morale. I know some of these sports exist, but there should be more focus on getting families involved in them.

All of the sports mentioned are already part of our program. These activities are co-ed and spouses are welcome to participate as long as their participation does not prevent a military person from participating.

COMMENT: I would like a three-mile running path on base.

RESPONSE: We have several running routes ranging from two to nine miles. To make the trails more user-friendly, we will consider developing a color-coding system and mark the course accordingly, so runners will know which marker to follow to achieve their desired goal.

Whispering Winds Golf Course
Most comments about the golf course requested longer hours of operation in the snack bar.

RESPONSE: The snack bar is now open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. We will run this as a test for 90 days and then evaluate to see if usage warrants keeping the extended hours.

Old snack bar hours (Mon.-Fri.)
7 a.m. - 1 p.m.

New hours effective Nov. 1 (90 day trial)
7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

COMMENT: I work nights, weekends and holidays, and there is no support for me during those hours. I would like the option of eating at the Chip Shot Dining Room when everything else on base is closed.

RESPONSE: The golf course must operate like a business. As a Cat C facility it is required to make a profit. Experience has shown that the volume of business needed to sustain the hours suggested is not there. However, we are considering alternatives to help people working nights, weekends and holidays.

COMMENT: I play almost solely in the afternoons and have to bring my own lunch as a result.

RESPONSE: Current weekday dining hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends and holidays. For after-hours dining, sandwiches, chips, candy bars, crackers and soda are available in the pro shop.

COMMENT: I would like to see a lower price on twilight golf. $10 is a little much for after 4 p.m. I suggest $5-$6 and half-price carts.

RESPONSE: Most courses that start twilight fees at 4 p.m. have established closing time, such as Luke Air Force Base, which closes at 6 p.m. All golfers must be off the course and have all rental equipment turned in. The Whispering Winds Golf Course twilight fee ($10 green fee and $7.50 cart fee) starts two hours before sunset and for the current fee, golfers can play as many holes as they can get in before dark.

Outdoor Recreation
We received several comments about pool operations; some wanted more lap swim time and others wanted more open swim time.

RESPONSE: We are sensitive to the need to provide a balance between those folks who lap swim and those who come to the pool for recreational swimming. To provide more flexibility for individuals who desire lap swimming, we will keep a lap lane open whenever the pool is open. Some requested earlier times for lap swimming. Before opening, the staff is required to clean the pool and test the chemicals. This takes around 2-4 hours. To ensure that we properly clean the pool we must see the bottom. Currently we bring the staff in at 8 a.m., and opening any earlier would result in staff trying to work in the dark, which is not safe.

COMMENT: Can you offer swim lessons?

RESPONSE: Providing swimming lessons requires much training and certification, and this year we were unable to find someone who was qualified to teach. We did, however, work with the swimming instructors in town who offered classes for the Cannon community. As we prepare for next year we will once again try to hire someone who has the certification necessary to teach swimming lessons.

COMMENT: Several respondents said they did not know we had a Trap and Skeet Range, while others requested more days and hours for the range.

RESPONSE: We recently installed new equipment and are in the process of certifying its operation. We are currently recruiting additional employees to operate the range, and in the spring we will look at expanding the hours of operation. We will also expand our programming to include shooting competitions, open houses and possibly classes. If you have a group of 10 or more, contact the Outdoor Recreation Center, 784-2773, and they will set up a shoot based on your schedule.

COMMENT: We received some comments about the general hours of operation of the ODR facility.

RESPONSE: Based on the suggestions and a review of current usage, hours of operation have changed, effective Nov. 1, as follows:

Old hours
Monday/Friday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday/Thursday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday Closed
Saturday 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Sunday Closed

New hours
Monday/Friday 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday/Thursday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

We also received comments about paintball. The program has been dormant for a few years, so we will be upgrading our equipment to provide this service again. In addition, we have a project identified to construct an "Urban Warfare" training center that could be used for paintball.

The majority of the comments received about the Library addressed extending the hours of operation. Specifically, there were requests for the library to be open on Sunday.

RESPONSE: The library is operated under a contract with Information International Associates, and this contract is based on the library being open 55 hours per week. As a result of this survey, we are evaluating usage during current hours to determine if low usage hours might be shifted to allow for Sunday operations, and we are seeking additional funding to add more hours to the contract. New hours of operation will be advertised when available.

Community Center
Most comments received about the Community Center focused on extending weekday hours and being open on Saturdays for the balloon shop and ITT.

RESPONSE: As a result of this feedback, we made the following changes to Community Center hours:

Balloon store
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 12 - 5 p.m.

Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday 12 - 5 p.m.

Base Community Center
Friday 8 a.m. - 3 a.m.
Saturday 12 p.m. - 3 a.m.

801 Housing Community Center
Saturday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Cyber Caf├ęs were opened in both 801 community centers and a new game room is being developed in the base community center.

Bowling Center
Most comments about the bowling center focused on extending weekday hours and opening earlier on weekends.

RESPONSE: As a result of this feedback, we made the following changes to Bowling Center hours:

Old Hours
Monday 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday 5 p.m. - Midnight
Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

New Hours
Monday 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday 3 p.m. - Midnight
Sunday 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

These changes added 39 hours of operation monthly. Since initiating these new hours of operation we have only seen a few people use the facility during the extended hours. The bowling center, like many of our facilities, must operate like a business. Staff pay, program expansion and facility improvements are made possible by the money we generate, and if the cost of extended hours outweighs the revenue, then it is not cost effective to maintain them.

We continually adapt our programs and review our hours of operation to ensure we are providing quality programs and services while increasing efficiency. Through the funds we generate we are able to upgrade facilities and equipment and improve or expand programs for our customers. As an example, the bowling center is preparing to launch a new program, starting Dec. 15, in which customers will be able to buy a 10-game punch card for only $15 ($1.50 per game), which can be used any time a lane is open. This could save customers a lot of money if used during prime time bowling (cosmic bowling). Once a card is complete, it will be entered in our quarterly drawing for a prize.

The Force Support Squadron takes your input seriously and has made adjustments to our hours of operation in response to your comments. As long as the facilities and programs are used we will continue to offer these expanded hours. Your support is key to our ability to be able to improve and expand our programs.

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