Air Force Releases Safety Review Findings

"We're taking necessary steps to ensure our Airmen operate as safely as possible in an inherently dangerous business," Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein said.

The U.S. Air Force has released the findings of an Air Force-wide operational safety review. The review was initiated this spring by the Air Force Chief of Staff in light of an increase in the manned aviation mishap rate since the beginning of fiscal year 2018.

According to Maj. Gen. John Rauch, Jr., Air Force chief of Safety and commander of the Air Force Safety Center, the safety review was initiated to help wing commanders find gaps and seams in the following areas of focus: leadership and supervision engagements; training; mission planning, briefings and debriefings; risk management; flightline operations; experience in the force; and fundamental focus. Commanders provided feedback to inform senior leaders of safety concerns.

"This review gave commanders the opportunity and time to focus on ensuring operations were safe by identifying hazards that could lead to mishaps," Rauch said. "Our commander-led forums identified our Airmen's unique concerns."

Air Force safety officials said the review pointed to several potential safety risks, including stress posed by high operations tempos, a lack of time to properly focus on flying basics, mission activities and training, the pressure to accept risk, cultural tendencies to always execute the mission, decreased availability of aircraft, and the potential for complacency during routine tasks.

The findings have been distributed and leaders at every level are using them to address safety concerns and inform safety-related decision-making, according to the Air Force. The Air Force has already begun addressing some concerns, with plans to add support capabilities back into the squadron, enhancing information processes in air crew mission planning, reducing additional duties, and reducing staff requirements.

"We're taking necessary steps to ensure our Airmen operate as safely as possible in an inherently dangerous business," Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein said.

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