Critical Days of Summer Safety Message

  • Published
  • By Brigadier General O.G. Mannon
  • 82nd Training Wing commander
With summer at the doorstep, I want to reinforce one of my top priorities, safety. As I've said many times, people are truly our most precious resource. To make this a fatality-free summer, each of us must be fully committed to two key principles.

First, we must be real wingmen by watching out for each other and having the courage to intervene when something isn't right. Second, we must consider and manage risk as we embark on our summertime plans.

As the chief of staff emphasized in his Critical Days Safety Message, the Air Force continues to see mishaps in which safety was an afterthought. Most of these involved reckless behavior, misuse of or disregard for personal protective equipment, lack of risk management and failure to follow the wingman ethos.

Good people learning about safety "by accident" is unacceptable. We need to watch out for one another and act if we see someone about to make a poor choice. Our efforts this summer, especially in the areas of seatbelt use, motorcycle safety, long-distance driving and driving under the influence prevention, will pay huge dividends for our wing.

Suicides are another serious concern. The Air Force has lost more Airmen this year to suicides than to traffic accidents. Watch over your fellow warriors and if you see a change in attitudes and behavior, act upon it and intervene. Don't hesitate--get help.

Each of us must be devoted to preventing traffic and alcohol-related mishaps as well as suicides. Always wear your seatbelt, whether as a driver or passenger. Motorcycle riders, please wear your Department of Transporation-approved helmet along with other required PPE, and make sure you have the appropriate motorcycle safety training for your riding experience.

Have a solid trip itinerary before driving long distances that includes rest stops every two to three hours with pre-determined overnight stops planned. Never, ever, drive after drinking alcohol... period! Your commitment to these principles is critical to success.

Barbara and I wish you a fun, relaxing and enjoyable summer--but please, don't sacrifice safety. Each one of you are too valuable to lose to a tragic and preventable accident.