20 AF command chief tours SFG, focuses on safety
By Airman 1st Class Jason Wiese, 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 13, 2013
F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. --
The 20th Air Force command chief toured 90th Security Forces Group facilities and visited defenders Aug. 7 and 8.
Chief Master Sgt. David Nordel, 20th AF command chief, attended guardmount, a morning formation for security forces; visited the 90th SFG armories; and observed the safety driving course used to train Airmen for winter road conditions, all with a focus on learning about the group's safety practices, said Chief Master Sgt. Shawn Drinkard, 90th SFG chief enlisted manager.
The presence of 90th SFG defenders in the missile field is integral in keeping the nation's nuclear deterrent secure, as they and their predecessors have done for 62 years without fail, Nordel said.
Maintaining a safe deterrent requires defenders to use every tool at their disposal safely, Drinkard said. It is key to the effectiveness of the 90th SFG.
Nordel's visit is aimed at standardizing safety practices and training across the 20th AF's constituent wings, the 341st, 90th and 91st Missile Wings.
Leadership at every level is required for a safe mission, Nordel said. Airmen should not be afraid to point out unsafe practices, even those performed by those who outrank them. In this way, Airmen can fix safety issues before mishaps occur and group leadership has to get involved.
Weapon safety is a concern for defenders Air Force-wide. Sometimes, because security forces are around weapons so often, they can get complacent. That's something they must avoid allowing to happen, because it can lead to accidents, Nordel said.
"It's the same reason the snake charmer gets bit by the snake," he said.
Life in the missile field is relatively uneventful, and this can be difficult for young Airmen eager to defend critical national assets, he said.
However, this is exactly how it is supposed to be, Nordel said. Defenders should always remain alert so potential adversaries are too afraid to take any hostile action in the missile complex, any other secure area or against missile convoys.
"Nuclear security is not just about passing inspections," Drinkard said. "It's a daily culture of compliance and everyday excellence. That's our goal -- to instill that mindset across the group."