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Safety Day Down
Col. H.B. Brual, 341st Missile Wing commander, speaks to members of Team Malmstrom during a Wing One Airman-to-Airmen safety down day at the base auditorium on Dec. 6. Brual emphasized the importance of personal risk management, how to prevent future vehicle accidents and being good wingmen to each other. (U.S. Air Force photo/Beau Wade)
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Wing One Airman-to-Airmen safety

Posted 12/14/2012   Updated 12/14/2012 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Katrina Heikkinen
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

12/14/2012 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- A Wing One Airman-to-Airmen safety down day was held at the base auditorium on Dec. 6. Col. H.B. Brual, 341st Missile Wing commander, was the primary briefer in all three briefings.

"It's not very often that you spend four hours during a major inspection to bring the entire wing together," Brual said. "The reason I brought you all here today is because we've had some challenges with regard to safety. This topic is so important to me that I felt it was important for us to take a pause because at the end of the day, my number one priority is your safety. You and I have a mission to accomplish at Malmstrom Air Force Base and I'll tell you the truth, we can't accomplish that mission without everyone on board."

During the hour-long briefings, Brual discussed the most recent accidents, to include a Humvee rollover involving four Airmen and a PMV rollover involving five Airmen, both occurring within three days of each other.

"For FY12, Malmstrom had two of the six total GOV accidents in Air Force Global Strike Command," Brual said. "For FY13, which just started, we've already had two."

He then discussed major factors of the accidents.

Judgment and decision-making - should Airmen off-duty be on the road at 1:30 in the morning without sleeping at all that day?

Inexperience and overconfidence - some Airmen are inexperienced drivers and receive their driver's license the day before receiving their GOV license.

Speed for the conditions - speed is always based on the conditions of the road; it's never based on the speed limit on the road. If there is moisture, a little or a lot of snow, the speed limit may not necessarily be 25, 55 or 70 miles per hour, it could be 5 mph or zero.

"We teach you a lot of different things," Brual said. "We train you to not to swerve to hit or miss wildlife, to pump the breaks, don't lock the breaks when it's slippery, wear proper personal protective equipment and always use your seatbelts. Gen. [C. Donald] Alston always told me that on any given day in the missile complex we have 400 Airmen making independent decisions. Those Airmen aren't asking me or their commander or even their supervisors for permission. They're doing their job. What I need you to know is that you all have the authority - you are completely empowered to say 'it's not safe to drive and I need to stop.' You, as the most junior Airmen in the wing, have authority."
Brual concluded the briefings with a short video documenting a recent PMV accident, with commentary by three of the five Airmen involved in the accident.

"Sometimes when we're young we think we're bulletproof," Brual said. "But we're not. Without you, the mission cannot and will not be done. Personal risk management comes down to you. If you don't take care of yourself, who can?"

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