Twentieth Air Force holds safety down day
By , 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 13, 2016
F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. -- The wings of 20th Air Force held a safety down day on Jan. 11 as part of a periodic effort to maintain a focus on safe operations within the command's missions.
The four wings of 20th AF are the 90th Missile Wing, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming; the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota; the 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and the 377th Air Base Wing, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.
The commander of 20th AF, Maj. Gen. Anthony Cotton, ordered the down day to maintain the focus of the numbered air force on leadership, mission planning and effective communications.
"As leaders we must ensure that every facet of everything we do on and off duty is based on operating in a safe manner," said Cotton. "Taking the time and having everyone take a step back to review is critical in what we do."
Airmen at the four wings spent the day discussing ideas and concerns to ensure the force has the safest working environment possible, as specified in the 20th AF Strategic Narrative. In addition to specific case exercises, the Airmen also discussed Cotton's guiding principles, the four Cs, and how they contribute to a safe, secure and effective mission at their wing.
The four Cs are compliance, commitment, competence and composure.
Compliance ensures that following technical orders and regulations occur at all times; situations can rapidly degenerate when steps are skipped, performed out of sequence or when someone goes 'off-script.' Commitment focuses on demanding exact discipline with yourself and others, while being committed to doing the right thing each and every time. Competence ensures that every Airman is properly trained and knowledgeable at their job, and that everyone strives to be the best at their job and to speak up when they see a potential hazard. Finally, composure focuses on the ability to maintain a bearing that is calm, cool and collected in every situation and aspect of the mission; whether in operations, maintenance, defense and protection, or support.
The Director of 20th AF Safety and Nuclear Surety, Col. Patrick Brown, further detailed the intent of the safety down day for the wings of 20th AF.
"We created a guide for groups of Airmen within the wings to talk about how the four Cs, leadership, mission planning and communication could support their daily efforts to safely accomplish their mission," said Brown. "We presented past mishap scenarios from a variety of missions and routine tasks that lead to damage to Air Force property, and in some cases serious injury or death of an Airmen. Each scenario allowed a small group to discuss the impact of complying with technical orders, providing supervision and making sound decisions based on training."
Brown continued by mentioning that there is usually a predictable string of multiple small mistakes or seemingly unremarkable oversights leading up to tragic events.
"A common theme drawn from many mishap investigations is individuals or groups of people could have broken the connecting links that ultimately lead to an accident, often called 'breaking the accident chain,' by doing the right thing, by mission planning, interacting with others, and through caring and present front-line leadership. That's the real focus of an event like today. To help refocus Airmen to prevent the next accident or mishap by doing all the little things right each day," said Brown.
Normal operations resumed for each of the four wings following the safety down day.