MARTINSBURG, W.Va. --
The 167th Airlift Wing held an operational safety review day, June 15, as part of an Air Force-wide event intended to assess and discuss safety and gather feedback from Airmen.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein called for the safety review after a series of recent aviation mishaps and fatalities.
Although safety statistics over the past decade show significant Air Force aviation mishaps trended downward, the Air Force's manned aviation mishap rate increased since the beginning of fiscal year 2018.
The 167th’s safety review day began with a commander’s call where Col. Shaun Perkowski, 167th AW commander, challenged Airmen to identify issues that may cause a future mishap.
“This is a great opportunity to talk in small groups, to take notes and to send it to Air Force leadership through our safety office,” Perkowski said during the early morning meeting.
167th AW Chief of Safety, Maj. Randy Wright, who also spoke during the commander’s call, said this was not a standard safety down-day with presentations and trainings, rather, it was a day for discussions and brainstorming.
“There’s always a chain of events that leads up to a mishap. We’re looking at ways to break that chain,” Wright said.
Wright asked Airmen to submit safety concerns or ideas to prevent a mishap through email or via an anonymous comment drop box.
“Overall, I think the operation safety review was a success and we received a wide variety of issues at a variety of levels,” Wright said. “Many of the concerns will likely be mitigated with sustained communication and emphasis on safety culture from commanders and supervisors.”
One of the top concerns voiced during the safety review was the traffic issues caused as vehicles exited the base onto U.S. Route 11 at the end of the duty day. The east gate is now open for 90 minutes at the end of every work day to alleviate traffic at the main gate.
Wright said most of the other concerns will be resolved within the wing and a few issues were forwarded up the chain of command for assistance.