Before returning to flight test operations, Team Edwards testers welcomed the new year with the annual Back in the Saddle briefing Jan. 6 in the Base Theater, focusing on safety, teamwork and mishap prevention.
Back in the Saddle combines mishap reviews with informational briefings to get useful information out to the workforce. Throughout the morning briefing, personnel had the opportunity to hear about lessons learned in 2013 from those at Edwards and throughout the Air Force.
The Back in the Saddle briefing also helps mitigate risks associated with what is known as the “January Effect,” during which there is an Air Force-wide increase in the frequency of mishaps.
Following the holiday season, Back in the Saddle is an annual program that helps the Edwards community shift their focus back to safely and effectively accomplishing the mission.
Unlike in the operational world, the unconventional nature of flight test lacks fixed rhythm to help personnel re-acclimate after holiday downtime.
The Edwards test community faces unique challenges as they settle back into the flight test mission.
It is an important briefing for Edwards personnel, who are given only one day to get spun up before returning to normal flying operations. For the safety of those involved and the success of the mission, it’s important that operations personnel have their heads back in the game, ready for the work ahead.
By beginning the year with a focus on safety and mishap prevention, it ensures that the flyers, engineers, maintainers and airfield operations personnel are fully prepared to handle everything from the normal to the unusual as Team Edwards looks ahead to another successful year of flight test in 2014.