When choosing to participate in off-duty high-risk activities, Air Force members are highly encouraged, and Air Education and Training Command members are required, to fill out paperwork notifying their supervisors.
Air Force Instruction 91-202, U.S. Air Force Mishap Prevention Program, adopted changes in August 2011 encouraging supervisors Air Force-wide to establish a high-risk activities program, but the program has been in practice for several years at all AETC bases, David Etrheim, AETC occupational safety manager, said.
If members choose to engage in high-risk activities, they must fill out an AETC Form 410, warranting a personal risk assessment interview with their commanders to discuss training, use of safety equipment, rules and precautions regarding the activity.
A high-risk activity is any sport or activity in which an accident could result in serious injury or death. AETC designates bungee jumping, hang gliding, kayaking, motorcycle racing, scuba diving and skydiving as a few activities that are high-risk. There are many more not listed.
“If members are not sure about how to classify an activity, they should ask their supervisors,” Roy Gutierrez, 37th Training Wing occupational health and safety specialist, said. “There’s a continued movement with hybrid sports becoming more popular, as well as growing interest in extreme sports.”
From mixed martial arts and hunting to bronco riding and rattlesnake roundups, Gutierrez said the high-risk activities list “keeps growing.”
After a safety briefing, the commander decides if the member can participate in an activity. The commander may also set preconditions for a particular activity.
According to AF Form 410, the risk assessment “is not intended to prohibit personnel from participating in high-risk activities, but to ensure they are familiar with the hazards and injury potential of these activities.”
The purpose of the risk assessment is also to “determine the physical and mental readiness of interviewees,” Gutierrez said. “It’s an additional tool to ensure mission accomplishment by not letting members put life or limb at an unacceptable level of risk.”
Some airmen have multiple high-risk pursuits.
“I do motorcycle racing and drag racing,” SrA. Brandon Gibbs, 902nd Comptroller Squadron financial analyst technician, said. “I also played semi-pro tackle football a few years back (while in the military.)
Gibbs’ activities needed to be listed on the AF Form 410, but the process is one that not only benefits the person at risk, but the Air Force as well, he said.
“Anything could happen in a high-risk activity, and it’s important for all ranks and ages to inform supervisors and commanders of high-risk activities,” Gibbs said. “It is our responsibility to remember service before self. If anything happens to you, it affects your unit as a whole.”
In AETC, military members who are under age 26 and are departing on leave, TDY or permanent change of station orders must also complete AETC Form 29B for a pre-departure safety briefing on the hazards involving recreational activities and travel by private motor vehicles.
To access the forms, visit the Air Force Portal at https://www.my.af.mil.