July UTA need-to-know

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kristen Pittman
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 403rd Wing is conducting its first on-site Unit Training Assembly since March this weekend, July 18-19, for Airmen who need to complete training required to maintain readiness.

The UTA is not mandatory, and telework has been authorized.

 “Since the beginning of this pandemic I have told the commanders that our main mission and goal is to balance taking care of our Airmen, keeping them and their families safe and balancing that with getting the mission done,” said 403rd Wing commander Col. Jeffrey A. Van Dootingh.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are changes Airmen should be aware of as they return to Keesler to protect themselves and those around them.

Members coming from out-of-town will be placed in lodging off-base and will be able to access and exit the base through the White Avenue and Pass Road gates.

Dining will be take-out only, and the Azalea Dining Facility hours are 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“The host base has been really good with us in working to make sure that we can get everyone fed while they’re here,” said Chief Master Sgt. Amanda J. Stift, 403rd Wing command chief.

For any Airman wishing to use Blake Fitness Center, admittance is by appointment only and the hours are 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Dragon and Triangle fitness centers are off-limits.

The Base Exchange and Commissary are reserved for Airmen in Training on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Airmen are reminded that Keesler is currently in Health Protection (HPCON) Charlie.

Per Department of Defense guidance, face coverings are required when individuals cannot maintain six feet of physical distance in public areas or work centers.

Anyone without a mask is encouraged to contact their supervisor and will be provided one.

Chief Master Sgt. Jessica McBride, 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron superintendent, said it is important that anyone feeling any COVID-19 symptoms contact their supervisor and stay home.

All wing members will be screened for symptoms upon arrival, and should they exhibit symptoms anytime throughout the UTA, will be sent home and receive further instructions from their supervisor.

“If you’re confused or if you have concerns, you are not alone,” said Van Dootingh. “Every Airman in this wing, starting with me, has questions, concerns, there’s confusion, so just pause, relax, and ask questions. We’ll get the direction out as best as we can.”