Message from the Chief of Safety

  • Published
  • By Maj Gen Wendell L. Griffin
  • AF/SE
I congratulate all Airmen for logging another successful year in aviation safety. 

After setting the record in fiscal year 2006 for the safest flying year in history, the U.S. Air Force came up a little short of matching that accomplishment in FY07. The Air Force experienced 27 Class A aviation flight mishaps and 14 destroyed aircraft, up from 19 Class A mishaps and eight destroyed aircraft last year. There were setbacks in a few weapon systems and significant safety progress in others, with the overall FY07 mishap rate coming in just below the 10-year average. 

I know we can do even better this year. Our outstanding performance in FY06 shows we have the capability to improve risk management in both operations and maintenance in order to eclipse our FY06 record through appropriate vigilance by our commanders and Airmen. We identified two major trends for FY07 -- human error and engines -- and I believe we can turn those trends around. 

That is my charge to all Airmen. Let's combat those trends through leadership, awareness and training. Safety is critical for efficient and successful military operations. Loss of Airmen, aircraft, or resources through mishaps degrades our combat capabilities just as deeply as losses to enemy action. 

Our commanders are the backbone and leaders for our ultimate success in this area. At Air Force Safety, we promise to do all we can to provide every commander the training, tools and capabilities they need to manage risk and institutionalize improvements in their safety programs. We ask that commanders ensure safety is centered on their radar scope and ingrained in daily operations. 

All Airmen understand that wingmen must cover others' 6 o'clock in both war and peace. Good wingmen never go off duty, and they willingly support leaders, subordinates and peers in protecting our Air Force people and resources. Reinforcing this wingman heritage with every Airman will help our efforts in mishap prevention. 

Let's continue doing business smartly and avoid preventable mishaps. We're on the right track. I challenge every commander and Airman to keep safety integral to mission accomplishment and make FY08 a new record year for aviation safety.