COMUSAFE extends holiday wishes

  • Published
  • By Gen. Tom Hobbins
  • USAFE Commanders
Another holiday season is upon us. As you spend well deserved time with your family and friends, I ask you to keep safety in the forefront of your thoughts. Reflecting on last year's holiday season, we had 20 reportable mishaps between thanksgiving and new year's. These incidents covered a wide spectrum of incidents to include sports and recreation, on-duty, pedestrian, and private motor vehicle mishaps. A lack of focus on safety was a common thread in all of these incidents, most of them preventable.

Admittedly, it is easy to get distracted with the excitement of the holidays in addition to your responsibilities at work. Planning a family get-together, taking a holiday vacation, buying gifts, decorating your home, travelling abroad, etc., can all distract you from the mission and your wingman duties. Distractions lead to accidents and accidents are a sure-fire way to ruin a great holiday. Take a minute and make a vow to yourself, your wingman and your family not to be in that situation.

when I prepare for a mission, I completely clear my mind and think about performing my duties and nothing else. If I become distracted, it could potentially cost me my life or the life of my wingman. Distractions while driving your car, working in the sheet metal shop, transporting munitions, playing basketball, or even cooking a thanksgiving turkey are no different.

Wingmen, if you see your friend is distracted to the point of losing focus on his or her duties, speak up. While the holidays are a time of joy and fellowship, they also can be a time of stress and depression. Be mindful of the signs and do not be afraid to act if you see a fellow airman in need. This is the time to be on top of your game as a wingman!

Supervisors, look for distraction in the workplace and stay engaged with your airmen. If you see them losing focus, address the issue immediately. It's never too early to take action when an airmen's life is at risk. Each safety incident greatly impacts our ability to complete the mission.

USAFE is nearing the end of another successful year fighting the global war on terrorism. The air force needs each and every one of you at your best. During this holiday season, relax and enjoy tıme with friends and family. Stay focused on what you are doing and make responsible choices that will ensure the safety of you, your loved ones and the entire USAFE team. Have a safe holiday season!