Safety review hits commanders, Airmen hard

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shawn Nickel
  • 9th RW Public Affairs
More than 80 Airmen gathered in Beale's Video Teleconference Center March 27 for an Air Combat Command wide briefing discussing deaths which occurred last quarter.

Each ACC squadron commander who had an Airman die from their units gave a detailed account of the death and discussed cause, effect and solutions to prevent future mishaps.

Lt. Gen. William Rew, ACC vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Richard Parsons, ACC command chief master sergeant, led the discussions and proposed questions and suggestions to each commander who gave a briefing.

"These briefings are never enjoyable but we need to hear them and we need to learn from them. Every one of these fatalities could have been prevented by following the rules...every one," said Brig. Gen. McGillicuddy, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. "We have got to get safety engrained in our heads and practice it on every level."

The two hour risk assessment briefing was viewed by group and squadron commanders, chiefs, and first sergeants who each brought an Airman from their units.

"My first sergeant invited me to go and told me what to expect, but I never thought the whole thing would be so impactful," said Airman 1st Class Michaela Thaxton, 9th Comptrollers Squadron customer service technician. "I think it would be great to make it a more widespread event... a lot of things you don't think about all the time get brought to light."

In closing, Rew encouraged each wing commander to continue the briefing at their units to discuss local risks and solutions.

"We dodge a bullet with every DUI that doesn't end in an injury," said McGillicuddy. "It's just not worth it. Go out in your work centers and communicate these risks with your coworkers. We have a duty to the American people to safeguard our most valuable resource, our Airmen. The Air Force is a big family; let's take care of each other."