Air Force

November 16, 2012

AF safety chief shares vision

by Darlene Y. Cowsert
Air Force Safety Center public affairs
Air Force Week kicks off in New York City
(U.S. Air Force graphic/Corey Parrish)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) — With two months in the seat as Air Force Chief of Safety, Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward does not need a palm reader to get a glimpse at the future.

“It is absolutely essential that safety is embraced as a core value in preserving combat capability,” Woodward said.

The Air Force’s success in reducing mishaps over the past 10 years has leveled off, while the cost of losing a single Air Force asset has grown exponentially. “It’s time to take our mishap efforts to the next level,” Woodward said. “That will be driven by a proactive safety approach.”

“We’ve always practiced active safety by managing known risks and hazards,” Woodward said. “Now, we’re transforming Air Force safety by studying leading indicators of mishaps, while continuing to investigate trailing indicators identified by safety investigations and applying trending data.”

Woodward noted that the transformation would take a concerted effort at all levels. “That’s exactly why a safety culture must be embedded as a core value at every level.”

“Our work as Airmen is inherently risky, but we pay attention to those risks and mitigate the risks as much as possible,” Woodward said. “We’ve done such a good job at reducing mishaps that we’ve made it look easy. It never gets easy; we have to keep looking for ways to further reduce risks by identifying those mishap precursors before the next mishap.”

However, on-duty risk mitigation has improved, Woodward points to the need for a stronger safety culture to influence sound risk management during off-duty hours, when the majority of active duty mishaps occur.

Woodward has served more than nine years as a commander, a third of her career and served twice in combat. “Losing an Airman to something preventable is the most tragic thing,” she said, “I hope to do everything I can in this job to prevent other commanders from having to experience that.”

“Sometimes Airmen take unnecessary risks and make mistakes, particularly during off-duty hours,” she said. “We can’t protect Airmen against bad choices, but we’ll continue to use new methods to train, educate and influence them so they have the knowledge and ability to make good decisions based on risk management.”

“Safety is about preserving combat capabilities,” she said. “If we don’t think in those terms every day — on and off duty — we’re not doing our job.”

Woodward is a command pilot with more than 3,800 flying hours in trainers, tankers and cargo aircraft. As the Air Force Chief of Safety, she is responsible for oversight of development, execution and evaluation of all Air Force aviation, ground, weapons, space and system mishap prevention, and nuclear surety programs and policies.

From her office at the Pentagon, Woodward directs about 150 safety experts and specialists at the Safety Center here who conduct research to promote safety awareness and mishap prevention, oversee mishap investigations and manage, develop and conduct all Air Force safety and risk management courses.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Megan Crusher

Rising Six adds splash of color to drill weekends

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Megan Crusher Runners are dowsed with color by volunteers as they round the last station before crossing the finish line during the 5K Fun Color Run Aug. 9, hosted by the 452nd Air Mobility Wing ...
 
 

B-17 duty was tiring yet memorable

(Second in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) B-17 Flying Fortresses were noisy, cold and reliable, men who flew and repaired them for the 452nd Bombardment Group recall. “It was so loud, I could yell in the pilot’s ear from six inches away and he couldn’t hear me,” said...
 
 

Service members receiving RAND Military Workplace Survey

FORT MEADE, Md. — About 580,000 service members have begun receiving emails or letters inviting them to participate in the first RAND Military Workplace Study, Defense Department officials said. Active and reserve component members in all military branches and the Coast Guard are being invited to participate. “The survey is unprecedented in its scale and...
 

 

452 Aerial Port Support Flight hosts Marine training operation

More than two dozen light armored reconnaissance vehicles, equipment and personnel were transported by the 1st Light Armor Reconnaissance Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California, to launch a training operation at March Air Reserve Base, July 21. This exercise allowed the 1st LAR the ability to apply capabilities and core mission essential tasks learned at their...
 
 
Courtesy photo

HomeStrong USA gives opportunity for free home-ownership to local military veteran

Courtesy photo A volunteer, working with HomeStrong USA, makes repairs on the outside of a home that is being renovated for a deserving veteran. The non-profit organization donates renovated single-family homes to eligible vete...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

BONE MARROW DRIVE HERE SEPT 13 March Top 3 Association is hosting the C.W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, Salute to Life Drive on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 in the grassy area outside the base Fitness Center, Bldg. 465 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. It’s quick and painless! Please join us in...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin