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Mitigate Risk Today, Ensure Mission Accomplishment Tomorrow

Safety Graphic

(U.S. Air Force Courtesy graphic by 97th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

Every mission the 97th Air Mobility Wing executes, from flying operations to deploying ready Airmen across the globe, contains elements of risk. However, as a Wing charged with a training mission, we approach risk differently than an operational unit. At Altus Air Force base, three formal training units teach baseline and upgrade courses to operate C-17, KC-135, and KC-46 mobility aircraft across a spectrum of contested operations. So, yes, there is inherently more risk when someone is flying an aircraft for the first time. This necessary risk is mitigated with experienced top-tier instructors and conservative training procedures. We do this because the Joint Force has an insatiable demand for combat aviators. Whether we are forging combat capacity or preparing to deploy, we must remember that, in training, we can always fly the mission tomorrow and we must mitigate risk today. 

Simply put, the 97th AMW command teams and instructor force cannot accept any unnecessary risk that could jeopardize training tomorrow or readiness in the future. That’s where Safety comes in; the Wing Safety office is here to assist commanders to identify and mitigate risk and then communicate what risk cannot be reduced to respective leadership. What does that mean to you? It means you must practice personal operational risk management, stay ready for your mission, and be honest about the hazards you face. Students and permanent party alike—we need every member of Team Altus to incorporate safety into to their mission set and daily lives.

A safe Altus Air Force Base encompasses more than just flight operations; we depend on the support infrastructure to accomplish the mission. Safety is not a static observation but a dynamic discipline and requires constant attention. Similarly, there’s more to safety than just on-duty or off-duty mitigation. Safety is more than wearing protective equipment. In the coming months, Wing Safety will highlight our missions through a safety lens. We know there’s more to safety than wearing reflective belts and receiving a briefing before taking a PT test. In response, Wing Safety will begin the 2019 “More 2 Safety” campaign to provide focus and awareness for safety across all mission sets at Altus Air Force Base. Think about your job, your career field, and your mission—where and how do you mitigate risk? Remember, Safety ensures readiness, and we must be ready to bring the fight to any adversary by reducing the risk we accept today.  

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