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9th RW Safety office wows ACC inspectors

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., -- The 9th Reconnaissance Wing Safety Office was awarded an 'outstanding' rating Jan. 28 following the ACC Directorate of Safety, Program Management Evaluation by ACC's Safety PME Team

The six-member team scoured every aspect of flight, ground and weapons safety and happily labeled their findings with the first 'outstanding' rating in more than 13 years.

"We worked harder on this investigation than any of us remember doing," said Col. Sid Mayeux, ACC director of safety. "We started 'peeling back onions to find a bruise' and there was nothing. When looking at the program you have to ask yourself, 'Is it really that good?' We were blown away and the people at Beale are supported very well by this program."

Compliance, quality and timeliness of investigations, hazard abatement, education and training of programs, risk management and motor vehicle training were all areas of Beale's safety program which were analyzed by Colonel Mayeux and his team.

Colonel Mayeux said the 9th RW safety office did many things great in all areas of the inspection and emphasized particular aspects of each program.

"This wing does a better job than any other wing we've seen at analyzing weapon mishaps, inspection information and building trend data to be able to forecast future mishaps," he said.

The supervisor safety guide, used to brief personnel on hazards in the areas, was better than any other they've seen in ACC. The courses, presentations and informational material for Beale Airmen to understand the hazards of traffic and the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program are "best practices" for Beale.

"Wing and squadron leadership, from the top down, take personal ownership of safety here in a very positive manner," said Colonel Mayeux. "They try to make sure Airmen know it so they can hold each other accountable. The risk management and leadership engagement in safety is extraordinarily positive and we see that at our level."

The colonel said the safety office was ready for the inspection when their books were opened. Safety personnel were able to display how each aspect of the safety program worked and were able to "walk the walk" with spot-on documentation with a high attention to detail.

As part of the overall inspection, Colonel Mayeux rode in a T-38 Talon to get a different look at Beale and the surrounding areas. As part of this ride, Colonel Mayeux experienced first-hand the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard and Mid-air Collision Avoidance programs which coordinate aircraft flight patterns and schedules with the movement of birds and other aircraft such as local crop dusters and civilian aviation enthusiasts.

"Beale Air Force Base is a national asset in terms of combat capability and strategic capability and safety is doing its part to preserve that," said Colonel Mayeux. "If there's something about programs at other wing's which they would like to improve, this is a good place to come visit to see a benchmark of how to do it."