Take the AETC Holiday and Safety Challenge!

  • Published
  • By General William R. Looney III
  • Air Education and Training Command commander
As we approach the most joyous time of year when many people travel home to visit family and friends, the mass holiday season exodus exposes our military and civilian members, and their families, to increased risks. To reduce that risk, I am asking all members to embrace the AETC Holiday and Exodus Safety Challenge.

As part of our mishap prevention campaign, please take a moment to think about the added risks facing our fellow Airmen during the holidays. AETC has been fortunate over the last three years and not lost any Airmen during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years. This trend must continue.

In contrast, the Air Force as a whole has not fared as well, losing nine Airmen throughout last year's holiday season alone. Operating motor vehicles still reigns as our most dangerous activity. Last holiday season, five lost their lives in motorcycle incidents and automobile mishaps took another three lives. Another sad fact is that Airmen were at fault in all the motorcycle mishaps and two of the automobile mishaps. Driving too fast and loss of control was a common factor. All of these tragic accidents were avoidable if our members practiced personal risk management.

We must all focus on safety and risk management over the holiday season. Common sense and personal responsibility go a long way.

Supervisors and military training leaders should take special care when reviewing the travel plans of our young Airmen. Emphasize how important that their return to duty is to our nation, and ensure all understand that we represent the Air Force even when home on leave.

The holidays are a time to recharge our batteries as we prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities in the upcoming year. However, do so safely. Have a wonderful holiday season!