Altus ground safety chief wins AETC-level award Published Nov. 3, 2008 By Kevin Chandler 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Air Education and Training Command officials recently recognized the chief of ground safety here as the command's winner of the 2008 Government Employee Insurance Company Public Service Award. Mike Matthews, 97th Air Mobility Wing chief of ground safety, will now go on to compete with winners from other major commands for the Air Force-level award. Mr. Matthews made an impact locally and across the Air Force, advancing safety as a top priority. He pushed to have the summer driving safety slogan printed on all Department of Defense leave and earnings statements last year. He also posted notices around the base to curb prohibited cell phone use while driving. Furthermore, Mr. Matthews began distributing glow sticks to children on Halloween to help prevent vehicle accidents. Since 2004, trick or treating on base has been mishap-free. Motorcycle safety has been a focus area for Mr. Matthews. He supervised the construction of a new motorcycle training range and trained 80 riders last year. Since 2004, there have been no motorcycle mishaps on base. Mr. Matthews has been the chief of ground safety here since 2004, and has 34 years of experience in the field. He was named AETC's Ground Safety Manager of the Year and Altus Air Force Base' s Civilian of the Year in 2005.