No. 1 mission – safety

Col. Timothy Zadalis, 60th Air Mobility Wing acting commander, takes the safety of Travis Airmen personally as he checks the helmet of Staff Sgt. Jon Baumeyer, 60th Security Forces police services NCOIC.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matt McGovern)

Col. Timothy Zadalis, 60th Air Mobility Wing acting commander, takes the safety of Travis Airmen personally as he checks the helmet of Staff Sgt. Jon Baumeyer, 60th Security Forces police services NCOIC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matt McGovern)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- If you never take the time to read the Commander’s Corner or base paper, this is the time for you to change. As you can see by the cover, this week’s Tailwind is dedicated to safety. 

In fact, if you remember one thing, remember that, “Safety is the No. 1 mission!” 

It is not on time take offs, not completing a job faster than an Air Mobility Command metric, and definitely not using your experience to cut corners! 

I am sad to announce that for the second time in 60 days we have an active ‘Class A’ Safety Investigation Board at Travis. 

In the last six months, we have had a series of safety lapses. We have lost an Airman and had another base employee suffer serious injuries. It is a trend that each of us need to address and change. 

This year marks the fifth year fighting the Global War on Terrorism. The workload and operations tempo is high and all the talk of force cuts does not make it any easier. With that said, we cannot and will not compromise safety by cutting corners to get the mission done. 

By the way, the mission is more than flying, loading, protecting and fixing airplanes. It is everything we do from the fitness center to the K-9 handlers to the clinics. It’s active duty, Reserves, civilians and dependents – the entire Travis family! 

To make sure safety continues to be our No. 1 mission, I’ve invited safety experts from AMC and throughout the Air Force to come and take an outside look at our safety program and culture. We need to find the common thread for why these accidents and close calls continue to happen. 

One thing we have already identified is people working alone. Is there a tendency to cut corners when working by yourself? Do you cut corners and take unnecessary risk when no one is looking? I hope NOT! 

I know the mission will get done, but it’s the people who always come first. Travis and its people are too good to rush and compromise safety. If I had to put it in my own words, it is simply, “Safety First, the People Always and Mission Success will Follow!” 

Throughout this week’s Tailwind, you will see a variety of safety articles and tips. Please take the time to read them and pass the word on to others. Whether it is on the job, out with friends or at home, we need to constantly keep safety at the forefront of our minds.
Airplanes are going to move, the mission will be taken care of, but safety needs to come first! Everyone on this base is a safety officer! It is not only a job, it is a state of mind!