Defense Department Hosts First Joint Safety Council

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  • Department of Defense

Maj. Gen. Jeanie Leavitt, Department of the Air Force Chief of Safety and Commander of the Air Force Safety Center, chaired the inaugural Department of Defense Joint Safety Council at the Pentagon on Aug. 26. The JSC originates from the National Commission on Military Aviation Safety recommendation to provide a dedicated focus on operational safety challenges, as well as augment existing safety programs by helping “bridge the gap between commercial aviation practices and military aviation realities.” Congress endorsed the NCMAS recommendation, authorizing the JSC in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act. The JSC will integrate with the Department’s existing safety governance process, which will provide a conduit to elevate operational safety recommendations to the senior Department leaders.

Representatives from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard Bureau, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense convened to review the JSC Charter and FY 2022 NDAA-assigned tasks and discussed specific JSC focus areas and objectives through calendar year 2023. The JSC is scheduled to meet at least quarterly regarding safety of military operations (including aviation, afloat, ground, and tactical vehicles) and related regulations and policy reforms, such as safety data standards and safety-related maintenance, supply chain, personnel management, and training challenges.

The JSC integrates an operationally focused advisory body into the Department’s reinvigorated safety governance structure and reports to the Defense Safety Oversight Council, which is chaired by the Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness, Honorable Gil Cisneros. Reporting to the DSOC ensures a pathway for safety topics to reach the highest echelons in the Department, through the Deputy’s Workforce Council and Management Action Group.

"The Joint Safety Council provides DoD a dedicated structure to ensure military operational safety remains at the forefront of Department risk management decision-making – the JSC establishment further enhances the Department's commitment to continuously improve its safety program and protect and preserve the safety of our service members and civilian personnel," said Cisneros.

Each JSC member provides the subject matter expertise, support, and information necessary to collaborate on operational safety policy, recommendations, studies, safety management systems implementation, and outreach with civil and commercial safety programs.

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