Air Force Loses 19 Airmen During 2007 "101 Critical Days of Summer" Campaign

  • Published
  • By Maj Gen Wendell L. Griffin
I am pleased to report that all, but one, of our Airmen returned to duty following the Labor Day weekend. This year's 101 CDS campaign was another successful one. In fact, it was one of the best ever in the 40-plus years we've been running it. However, this year we still lost 19 exceptional Airmen. Despite these losses, we have sustained significant reductions as compared to an average of 29 fatalities during the previous five year period of FY02-06. You too should be pleased with this accomplishment, because it was a total force effort. 

I am fully convinced the overall success of this year's campaign is directly attributed to the collective efforts of our commanders, supervisors, and personnel embracing our Wingman safety culture, "Airmen taking care of Airmen." Their untiring support ensured the safety message was kept at the forefront. 

Nonetheless, off-duty motorcycle mishaps continued to plague our Airmen. Motorcycle crashes led to six of our 19 fatalities. Five of six crashes were the result of the operator losing control of the vehicle. Commanders, supervisors, and experienced motorcycle riders must continue their vigilance and mentorship of our lesser experienced riders. They must continue to be "Top Notch" wingmen, and intervene when individual's riding practices are known to be of high risk. 

The summer season has come to a close, but risk and the threat of preventable mishaps stays with us 24/7. Every time an automobile or motorcycle is started, a wrench is turned on the flight-line, or an operation is planned, personnel must assess the risk, consider risk options, and take the appropriate action to manage that risk. "Airmen taking care of Airmen" isn't just an Air Force motto, it's our way of life.