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AF leader praises Saber safety
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, Air Force Chief of Safety, speaks with Col. David Julazadeh, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, in the 52nd FW headquarters building Dec. 12, 2012. Woodward toured Spangdahlem AB to familiarize herself with daily 52nd FW safety operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo/Released)
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AF leader praises Saber safety

Posted 12/21/2012   Updated 12/21/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/21/2012 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- The U.S. Air Force Chief of Safety visited Spangdahlem Dec. 12, 2012, as part of a familiarization tour.

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe Safety Summit takes place at Ramstein Air Base this week, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward took the opportunity to visit other air bases in the local area to get a feel for wing safety operations.

"I like to foot-stomp the term combat capability, because sometimes just saying, 'Be safe' doesn't quite convey the message adequately," Woodward said after hearing how the 52nd Fighter Wing attempts to reduce mishaps across the wing. "And the [52nd FW Safety office] is doing a great job here."

Safety professionals from across USAFE meet at the annual summit to exchange program ideas, initiatives and best practices. Woodward built into her schedule time to visit Spangdahlem to experience firsthand the safety office's vision, values and mission.

She met and spoke with Airmen from safety's four functional areas: weapons, ground and flight safety; and human performance. The representatives briefed the general on the wide gambit of Spangdahlem's operations, which includes support to the four major geographically separated units. Safety bases their efforts off of their newly formed mission statement -- to provide a safety-focused leadership that leverages the full resources of the wing to enable leaders at all levels, saves lives, preserve combat capability and accomplish the mission.

Wing safety offices aim to make a difference at their base level, but the overall goal is to raise awareness and reduce mishaps service wide, Woodward said. This is done with proactive safety initiatives.

All safety offices collect data, she continued, but it is what the Airmen do with the data that makes safety campaigns more powerful. Innovative thinking -- like the Saber Driving Course -- can improve awareness and effectiveness of safety programs.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Steven Singleton, 52nd FW Safety and native of Houston, presented to Woodward the initial demonstration of the course. Instructors have taught more than 3,300 Spangdahlem military drivers, age 26 and younger, since the program's inception in 2007, reducing the amount of automobile mishaps by 40 percent.

"This is just an amazing program" Woodward said. "It's great to have a training opportunity like this in your backyard."

Woodward finished her tour after visiting the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II simulator and the base control tower.



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