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139th Airlift Wing conducts climate survey

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/Donald Branum)

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/Donald Branum)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- If the climate survey taken by about two-thirds of the 139th Airlift Wing is any indicator, the organization is perceived as an excellent place to work.

Although a few areas of concern were noted, the survey - conducted biennially by the 139th's Military Equal Opportunity office for the commander - reflected unit members as happy with their jobs, co-workers and leadership.

The survey included military and civilian and full- and part-time members of the 139th.
"We're committed to using the feedback," 139th AW commander Col. Mike Pankau told wing members Feb. 5 during an open review on the findings. "We're not going to keep secrets, either.

"If there are major issues base-wide, we will address them."

The survey rated areas across the spectrum of professional and personal concerns, with everything from job satisfaction to trust in leadership to sexual harassment and race and gender issues.

In nearly every category measured, the wing scored higher than the Air Force at large and much higher than the overall military.

A couple of areas of concern related to promotions based on merit and member satisfaction in resolving complaint filings.

More than one quarter of all surveyed marked "moderately disagree" or "totally disagree" under the promotions based on merit category. Anonymous individual comments suggested some believe there is an "old boy" network regarding promotions and hiring, where who you know matters more than what you know.

"It concerns me than more than one-fourth are not pleased with (promotions based on merit)," Pankau said.

Billeting and communication were other areas of concern. Currently, the wing spends about $330,000 per year out of its own budget to house airmen who travel long distances to drill with the unit.

Although not required, Pankau said billeting is "the right thing to do" to help retain quality airmen in the unit who live more than 75 miles from the base.

Despite the concerns, the wing's overall ratings in key areas was exemplary and a source of pride, said Pankau.

"I was very pleased that 67 percent of the wing took the survey," he said, "and overall I was pleased with the results."