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Letter to Airmen - Back to basics

  • Published
  • By Lt. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II
  • Commander, 18th Air Force
Mobility Airmen,

Now that combat operations in Afghanistan have officially come to a close, and we transition to new operations around the world, we must re-energize our focus on the basics essential to keeping us out of trouble.  It's time to re-evaluate how we safely accomplish our local and global mission.

Like many sporting events, there are opportunities between periods to re-evaluate how the team is doing. "Time Outs" bring the team together to refocus their approach to accomplishing a task.  I was recently briefed on a few safety mishaps that warrant the entire mobility enterprise taking a collective "Time Out" to refocus and examine how we operate.  As such, I have directed each wing to conduct a safety down day with emphasis on getting back to basics.

Basic airmanship is at the very heart of what we do every day.  My challenge to you is to go back to your first day on the job and reexamine the tactics, techniques and procedures the way you did as a new lieutenant or airman.  Re-learn them; they are important for you to safely accomplish your mission.

During your wing's safety down day review the safety mishaps that affect your community for the hard lessons learned.  Be sure to take a good look at the proactive tools available to identify and report issues before a mishap; they work!  Finally, have frank discussions about the challenges all Airmen are facing, and look for innovative, rather than inventive, ways to address them.

Safety is a responsibility that I take very seriously.  America entrusts its husbands, wives, sons and daughters to our Air Force so I ask you to take safety seriously too.  If the situation doesn't feel right, call "Time Out" and re-evaluate how to safely accomplish the mission. You have my full support in doing so.

Thank you for what you do every day.  It is my honor to serve beside you!