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News > Telephone operator support ends August 31
Telephone operator support ends August 31

Posted 7/31/2012   Updated 7/31/2012 Email story   Print story


by Dianne Moffett
Air Education and Training Command public affairs

7/31/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Telephone operator support for Air Education and Training Command will end at noon, Aug. 31, ending an era for AETC bases.

"Rest assured, service to our customers is still a priority for AETC," said Rebecca Meares-Jones, chief of AETC's Command Services Flight.

Customers at AETC bases will be served through a call tree at each base, directing them to the most frequently called numbers, such as billeting, the medical clinic, the commissary, and the base exchange.

"Some phone numbers will also be available on the web, but unfortunately, complete accessibility to all numbers previously provided by the operators will not be available," Meares-Jones said.

Luis "Sonny" Spanoz, consolidated telephone operator supervisor, said he worked at the facility for 22 years, "it was an outstanding experience and a privilege to work here.

"We helped deployed members, wounded warriors, and family members connect with each other," said Spanoz. "The job provided fulfillment, because I knew it wasn't just a job, it was making a difference to people who were far from home and their loved ones."

"During Desert Shield and Desert Storm, we were often the only connection people had with each other," said Spanoz.

Federal employees at Joint Base San Antonio- Lackland, Maxwell, JBSA-Randolph, and Tyndall Air Force Bases needing to schedule "Meet Me" conference numbers will be directed to a website where they can schedule their own meetings, and will be subject to the availability of lines.

Every month, more than 19,000 lines were requested from all four bases.

Support for deployed and family members calls have been decentralized to the bases. Every deployed member will need to contact their base for information on how to place calls home.

In calendar year 2011, base operators answered 2,182,552 calls while providing 24-hour, seven- days-a-week support to AETC bases.

7/31/2012 7:28:18 PM ET
Wow ...hard to imagine that we will no longer have someone manning the base operator positions. I can remember using my moral call from OSAN AB Korea calling my wife and kids on the weekend. It was a great comfort to hear her voice and talk to my 4 boys. Hopefully this function is automated too
Richard , Schertz TX
7/31/2012 6:23:40 PM ET
So how are people supposed to get the phone numbers they need I as an Air Force civilian employee frequently have to call a base operator to get a phone number for someone I need to contact just to do my job and assist a customer. The number is invariably what would be termed an infrequently called number.With phone numbers not available on base websites too many people unable to be found on the global email address list partly because we don't know the name of the person we need to talk to and organizational email accounts not being checked on a routine basis I've actually received return emails telling me not to send emails to the organizational account since it is not routinely checked how are we supposed to do our jobs and get the information our customers need
Steve, San Antonio
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