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Maintaining a safety attitude

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
Editor's Note: This is part of an ongoing series focusing on the sections that form the F.E. Warren safety office.

Helicopter support, here, overseen by the 582nd Helicopter Group, is crucial to ensuring the 90th Missile Wing's ICBM force is safe and secure. Though flying comes with risks, there are a multitude of procedures in place to mitigate those risks and protect people and resources.

It is the responsibility of 582nd Helicopter Group flight safety officer, Capt. Michael Carter, to provide the tools and information to ensure the safety of people in the 582nd HG, 582nd Operation Support Squadron and the 37th Helicopter Squadron.

"Flight safety embodies the attitude for aircraft crew in operations," Carter said. "It's just like anything on base; you're trying to mitigate risk, you're trying to maximize efficiency and you're trying to do that without getting anybody hurt or bending any metal."

The focus of the squadron is to provide air support for the Airmen maintaining the security of the ICBMs. The flight safety office helps instill a culture of safety in everything they do.

Maj. Todd Springer, 37th HS interim director of operations, said that safety is incorporated at every level of planning and execution.

"There is nothing that we should be doing that is not tied directly to mission impact, and flight safety is directly part of that," he said.

Carter divides the flight safety office into three areas to assist with accomplishing the base mission: operational risk management, bird and wildlife strike hazard program and mid-air collision avoidance.

The squadron has gone more than a decade without a major incident and continues to promote a culture of safety within the ranks of their new Airmen, whether that's through inspections or teaching Airmen ways to be safe.

"When we get a young aircrew member pilot or flight engineer, we are going to take them and we are going to make them better every day," said Lt. Col. Todd Ivener, 37th Helicopter Squadron commander, "I think being a professional in anything we do is our job-- to make sure that we accomplish the mission effectively, but also safely. We teach everyone to do that."

Maintaining a high level of safety is an important concept throughout the entire Air Force. The safety office is responsible for providing the means to keep our Airmen safe. At the 90 MW the first line of defense in preventing an incident from happening are the Airmen and their leaders that work to keep the ICBM force safe and secure.