Jacksonville, NC --
Col. Timothy M. Salmon, commanding officer Marine Corps Air Station New River, along with his staff hosted a Town Hall meeting at the air station theater Oct. 8. Below are the questions and answers provided from the night’s event.
DODEA School Policy
Q: I would like to know why dependents of retirees living aboard the air station are not authorized to attend Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) schools, and who can we contact to try and change that? My husband has retired and we are living aboard New River Air Station, and I would just like to know if there is a reason for this decision, and if there is a way to petition for a change. I currently homeschool both of my children, one is in 2nd grade and one a high school freshman. I was extremely pleased with their education from the DODEA schools here and would love to have the opportunity for them to continue. (We are currently exploring full time DOD opportunities as well.)
A: According to Dr. Aldridge Boone, superintendent of Camp Lejeune DODEA schools, the DODEA policy states in order to attend the schools, you must live aboard the base and be either on active duty or a full-time civilian worker for the base. New River and Camp Lejeune hosts a special circumstance because retirees and contracted civilians are now authorized to live aboard the base. Living aboard base is one part of the equation to having access to DODEA schools. Perhaps bring the situation up with MCCS explaining the desire and criteria for the schools. The policy question has been sent up to the DODEA representatives at HQMC. Please call our school liaison 910-449-4702 for more information and to explore more education options.
Possibility of a TriCare representative at MCAS New River
Q: Is there a way we can get a TriCare liaison office or representative at the branch clinic? It would help streamline the need at Camp Lejeune as well as shortening the lines while providing a representative on the air station for Marines and Sailors stationed aboard New River.
A: The New River clinic is aware of a desire to have a TriCare rep aboard the air station. Due to the smaller station population and limited space in and near the clinic, it makes more sense to keep the consolidated TriCare offices we currently have. The population is smaller aboard the air station, but it doesn't decrease the range of representatives needed for the division of coverage offered for the people with TriCare. One of the things we are looking at is space utilization for our clinic because currently, we have a space and size limitation preventing us from getting a TriCare rep. Thank you for the question.
Q: The newly completed running trail is nice, but is there any way to keep the flies away?
A: Yes, there are plans to get the area treated for flies and mosquitos in the near future.
New facilities and transportation
Q: I’m in awe of the new facilities being built aboard the air station, but curious how it will all be tied together. How are you planning to make provisions for Marines without cars?
A: We have contracted a $3000 road and sidewalk study for proper access to new space. This study allows us to put together how our personnel will be traveling to and from their destinations, as well as help us plan the best and safest way for people to travel.
Tennis or basketball courts in officer housing
Q: What is the feasibility of getting tennis or basketball courts in officer housing?
A: That request has never been brought up before. It is a great idea. We will look into it.
Staff noncommissioned officers’ Club
Q: Are there any plans to update the SNCO Club?
A: There are plans to upgrade the SNCO club. Money is the question right now. At this current time, there are no plans for dining there.
Q: Why are all ranks living in SNCO housing, and why are they paying less than I do?
A: Since the Marine Corps privatized their housing with Atlantic Marine Corps Community and Lincoln Military Housing, there have been several occupancy concerns. The main goal of these companies, as a business, is to keep the homes filled. Therefore, they introduced a method called ‘waterfall’ which allows junior enlisted, civilian contractors and military retirees to live in base housing if the home is not filled within 30 days. The waterfall method increased home occupancy from 86 to 94 percent. There is currently a $200 pocket deal for SNCOs moving into base housing at McCutcheon Manor aboard MCAS New River where they pocket $200 of their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) for moving there. In order to stay tied to the local markets, AMCC does competitive marketing out in town to set the waterfall rents to those families who do not receive BAH. The management policy states the privatized housing companies must collect full BAH from those who receive it. For more questions or concerns please fill out an ICE comment online found at www.mcasnewriver.marines.mil or contact Kristin Vauiso, MCAS New River AMCC at 910-219-6461 for more information.
Q: I have cloudy water concerns.
A: About five years ago MCAS New River constructed a new water treatment center which uses a method called ion exchange to treat the water aboard the air station. The old treatment was done using lime. Lime has been used for centuries as a water treatment method and is completely safe to use. However sometimes lime can build up inside of pipes. Sometimes whenever a tap into a water line is done, it pushes new water through the system. This may also push some of the lime build-up on the pipes through. If this occurs, the water may appear slightly cloudy. To clear the water, open up all the faucets and let it run until the water is clear. If you do have a water concern, please contact public works at 450-9972. They will come out, do a test and run your pipes. All the tests aboard MCAS New River have indicated the water is safe to drink. More information about drinking water sampling and compliance information, including information for local service areas, view the base’s Consumer Confidence Reports accessed at: www.lejeune.marines.mil/OfficesStaff/EnvironmentalMgmt/AnnualReport.
Noise from highway
Q: The new officers’ housing is very nice aboard New River, but it is quite noisy being off Highway 17. Are there any thoughts to putting up a sound barrier?
A: This is a new concern and very good feedback. We can look into it. Any other questions about housing can be directed to Kristin Vauiso, MCAS New River AMCC at 910-219-6461 for more information.