AFSOC Safety Day

(U.S. Air Force photo graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

(U.S. Air Force photo graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)


Editor’s note: The following messages come from Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold, Commander Air Force Special Operations Command, and Maj. Charlie Mauzé, 27th Special Operations Wing chief of safety.  


The winter holiday season is upon us and history tells us this is a critical mishap time period -- second only to the summer months. As we approach the New Year, please be proactive and seek out opportunities to make this season safer. AFSOC's record for preventing off-duty mishaps is noteworthy; I am convinced this is a result of direct leadership involvement at every level, strengthened by people practicing good risk management both on- and off- duty. 


Proactive safety and a just culture are key components of an effective safety management system. Collectively, these initiatives serve as a foundation within our command to prevent future mishaps, promote mutual trust and foster an environment that denounces toxic leadership.  As such, I am asking all applicable AFSOC personnel to complete a survey to further enable AFSOC's efforts to provide specialized airpower for our nation. This survey will take no more than 15 minutes and will give us a good barometer on how the force feels with respect to our command's safety program.                


The survey period will be from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31; however, the intent is for all units to complete their surveys on our safety down-day.  In addition, we recommend all members be required to take the "driving safety" survey located on the site.  All surveys should be completed by Jan. 31; our wing and group safety offices will be standing by to assist and answer questions.


Unit commanders will receive a detailed debrief from a team of safety experts who will interpret the results and provide recommendations. Commanders will also have on-going access to their squadrons' results, and can compare their unit against MAJCOM or Air Force results, as well as previous results if they have participated in the survey before.


I need your help in the coming year to maintain our readiness and preserve our assets. We have a world-class safety program and our personnel are the foundation for continued safety success. 


-Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold

Commander Air Force Special Operations Command


There you have it Air Commandos; Jan. 4 has been designated an AFSOC Safety Day.  As we return from the holidays, this will be an opportunity for your unit to examine safety trends over the past year and discuss mishap prevention through proactive risk management. 


The morning schedule for Safety Day will follow a set of topics and events prescribed by the wing and accomplished within individual units; the afternoon schedules will be separately determined by those units.  Lt. Gen. Heithold's intent is for all personnel from every mission area to provide safety feedback via the Air Force Combined Mishap Reduction System.  Please set aside time in your schedule for your folks to accomplish this survey. Unit safety representatives have received instructions on how to initiate and track these surveys and provide you with results upon completion.


The wing continues to experience a number of mishaps attributed to sports and recreation activities, both on- and off-duty, as well as a number of slips, trips and falls. Major contributors are injuries sustained during squadron physical training, and from the official and recreational use of off-road vehicles. 


As you build your afternoon schedule for the day, take these into consideration and discuss with your team as appropriate.  Also ensure that you spend a couple of moments covering winter driving safety - last year's major snow events demonstrated just how treacherous road conditions can become in and around the local area due to a lack of snow removal equipment.


Additionally, for those units equipped with other government motor vehicle conveyances, such as Gators, Mules, Rangers, etc., please take time to review the newly revised wing guidance on these vehicles. While the guidance is still in draft form, it will soon be integrated into the Cannon Air Force Base Instruction 31-116. 


As you finalize your respective unit's plans for the Jan. 4 safety day, please do not hesitate to contact the Wing Safety Office if your unit safety representatives require additional guidance or briefing materials. The 27th SOW safety staff looks forward to enabling your unit to safely accomplish your many missions in 2016.      


-Maj. Charlie Mauzé

27th Special Operations Wing chief of safety