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Kirtland Newcomers

Photo of the Sandia Mountains

The Air Force Safety Center resides on Kirtland Air Force Base, located in the high desert of north-central New Mexico and it occupies a majority of southeast Albuquerque. There are about 500 thousand people living in the area. There are many high-tech jobs in the area with Sandia National Laboratories and the Air Force Research Laboratories.

AFSEC History

After the Air Force became a separate department, the Air Force Chief of Staff designated the Office of the Inspector General to oversee all inspection and safety functions. These functions were consolidated in an inspector general group at Norton AFB, Calif., in the 1950s.

On Dec. 31, 1971, the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center was activated, replacing the 1002nd Inspector General Group. The center was then divided into the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Safety Agency in August 1991. Reorganization of the air staff in 1992 created the Air Force Chief of Safety position, reporting directly to the Air Force Chief of Staff. The Chief of Safety became dual-hatted as the commander of the Air Force Safety Agency. In July 1993, the agency moved to Kirtland AFB due to the closure of Norton AFB.

Following The Blue Ribbon Panel on Aviation Safety in 1995, the Air Force Safety Center was activated on Jan. 1, 1996, when the Air Force Chief of Safety and support staff moved from Washington, D.C., to consolidate all safety functions at Kirtland AFB. The Chief of Safety position was changed from a brigadier general to a major general.

The Deputy Chief of Safety/Executive Director position was created in October 2003 to oversee the daily functions of the center. The Chief of Safety and support staff moved back to the Pentagon in April 2004.

AFSEC Infographic