ARI’s; tracked, recorded by USAFE CC
By Chief Master Sgt. Jefferey Antwine , 39th Air Base Wing Command Chief
/ Published October 25, 2006
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- ARI is an acronym used quite frequently at Incirlik and is about to become more frequently used around USAFE. ARIs are Alcohol Related Incidents resulting from individuals cited, charged with or arrested for any incident where alcohol use was a contributing factor under the rules of the USAF. ARIs include all incidents which require an AF Form 3545, Incident Report, with alcohol involved and are entered into a data-base.
The USAFE goal is four or less per 1,000 members, of course, our wing would love to shoot for zero ARIs. Unfortunately, the poor judgment and bad choices often result in damage to people, equipment, or property.
ARIs have had a negative effect throughout USAFE. Our USAFE commander sincerely cares and is concerned about his most vital resources, the members of his command, you and me. USAFE is experiencing a horrible year in terms of ground safety; in fact, this has been the worst over the past 12 years. USAFE has suffered over 10 fatalities with the most recent one occurring this past Columbus Day weekend, involving an Airman in an automobile accident. Additionally, within the first 36 hours of this past weekend, USAFE experienced three other serious incidents, to include an Airman falling from a third floor dorm balcony. Yes, alcohol was involved; this was an ARI. In fact, the majority of the accidents and incidents that occur over the weekends and holidays are alcohol related.
Team Incirlik has been blessed to have low numbers of ARIs and injuries over the past six months. We were not always this fortunate; approximately one year ago, we weren't as focused and our ARIs increased significantly from late winter to early spring.
This was primarily the result of our members reducing the number of weekend trips away from the base and spending more time in the local area; probably letting their guard down and relying less on wingmen due to familiar turf.
As our ARIs increased, so too did the injuries, damage to equipment and sexual assaults. These numbers escalated to the point of Digitcon Delta, making the base alcohol free for a 12 hour period. Our wing commander held a mandatory Commanders' Call to ensure we were refocused, involved and engaged. We quickly regrouped and began our climb back to minimal ARIs. My present fear is that we are approaching that time of the year again, and over 40 percent of the base is new and did not experience the negative ARI impacts and sexual assaults. Hopefully, the remaining 60 percent of us are engaged, spreading the word and working hard to ensure we do not repeat our mistakes.
Can we prevent ARIs, mishaps, injuries and fatalities? Absolutely! There are three things that instantly come to mind, taken from the books of our aviators; the first two are sort of safety valves when the primary one fails. First, be good wingmen; individually, we should wisely choose a wingman that will have our backs and will ensure we use good judgment and avoid bad choices. The second safety valve is a new program, launched base wide known as "The Flight Lead Program." The primary way of ARI prevention boils down to individual responsibility and accountability.
We must use good judgment if/when drinking; drink responsibly, have a game plan, avoid last minute, impulsive decisions and most importantly, know in advance that for every choice you make, there is a consequence that follows.
Our goal is zero ARI's, no fatalities, and no injuries. By meeting this goal we are staying fit to fight and ensuring freedom's future.