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February - March awards of distinction.

Aircrew Safety

CAPT JOHN D. MCCANN AND CAPT MARK B. RIOUX, 389 FS, 366 FW, MT HOME AFB ID. While flying in support of a night air interdiction mission, with 20 minutes of fuel remaining, their F-15E had a master caution light with accompanying indications of a Utility A Hydraulic failure. This meant total brake loss and the potential of gear collapse during landing. PWC minimums only allowed them to fly down to 500' AGL in the rapidly deteriorating weather. With only enough fuel for one go around, they flew a flawless ILS approach down to 530' and successfully engaged the barrier. (Apr 10)

1LT NICHOLAS P. SOCHINSKI AND SRA ANTOHONY L PHILLIPS, 46 ERS, 332 AEW, JOINT BASE BALAD, IRAQ. Shortly after takeoff on a standard departure from runway 32, Lt Sochinski and SrA Phillips observed several cautions and warnings on their MQ-1B Predator heads down display. They correctly analyzed an engine cooling leak with impending engine overheat, failure, or fire. The aircraft was at 1,000 ft AGL at maximum gross weight. Lt Sochinski leveled off to reduce engine RPM and increased airspeed to enhance airflow cooling around the engine and minimize overheat. The exceptional skill and outstanding airmanship of this crew enabled the safe recovery of a failing RPA in little over 5 minutes from mishap to landing. (May 10)

Crew Chief Safety

SRA ALVIN SALGUERO, 332 EAMXS, 332 AEW, JOINT BASE BALAD, IRAQ. During a routine F-16 pre-flight inspection, SrA Salguero noticed an environmental control system boot missing behind panel 3119. Inspection revealed a potential FOD hazard in the engine bay that could have caused catastrophic engine failure. After a thorough search of the environmental control system area and the engine bay he found no further foreign objects. During another inspection on a different day, he discovered the roller on the F-16 nose landing gear weight on wheels switch severely damaged. He repaired the discrepancy IAW tech data. (May 10)

Flight Line Safety

SSGT MARCUS D. LEVIAS, 407 AEG, ALI BASE, IRAQ. Despite obstructions blocking direct line-of-sight to the runway approach ends, SSgt Levias detected aircraft attempting to land on the incorrect (closed) runway. He instructed the local controller to verify with the pilot as to which runway he had lined up with the aircraft. After being queried by the controller, the pilot regained situational awareness and realized he was attempting to land on the wrong runway. He proper executed a go-around and safety landed on the correct runway. SSgt Levias' swift intervention averted a disaster and ensured the safety of 74 passengers and crew. (Apr 10)

SSGT MARQUESE L. HAYDEN, 9 OSS, 9 RW, BEALE AFB CA. SSgt Hayden was performing air traffic control duties during recovery of a U-2 High Altitude ISR training flight. As the aircraft was on a 10-mile final and descending out of 4,000 feet MSL, the pilot transmitted 'ENGINE OUT" ON TOWER'S UHF frequency. SSgt Hayden declared an emergency and instructed his controller to activate PCAS. After coordinating with northern California TRACON to change the pilot's approach from a TACAN arrival to a flameout contingency pattern, SSgt Hayden cleared all non-emergency aircraft out of the flight path and stopped/redirected all ground traffic to clear the route to the taxiways and runways. (May 10)

Pilot Safety

CAPT MICHAEL E. MOSS, 77 EFS, 332 AEW, JOINT BASE BALAD, IRAQ. Capt Moss' F-16 experienced a critical hydraulic failure during a nighttime convoy support mission for Army ground forces. A scan of the cockpit indicated that his HYD/OIL light was illuminated and he had several PFLs with FLCS ISA malfunctions. Speed brakes and fuel flow proportioner were inoperative without system A hydraulics, thereby confirming complete system failure. He manually manipulated the fuel control system with three successful cross-feeding events and executed a flawless night recovery/landing. (Apr 10)

CAPT TREVOR T. CALLENS, 455 EOG, 455 AEW, BAGRAM, AFGHANISTAN. As flight lead of two F-16CMs, Capt Callens experienced a near total electrical failure that resulted in the loss of all instruments except his standby ADI and engine gauges. He attempted to configure his aircraft for landing, but when he lowered the landing gear handle, all three gear remained up. He directed the flight to orbit the field while he troubleshot the gear problem. (May 10)

Ground Safety

SSGT COLE A. RIEDEL, 455 EMXS, 455 AEW, BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN. While en route to pick up the oncoming shift, SSgt Riedel witnessed a security forces patrol vehicle on fire 70 yards from the ammunition storage point. Knowing munitions-laden vehicles were en route to the ammunition storage point, he parked his vehicle in a safe area, retrieved the fire extinguisher and fought the fire using long burst towards the fire's originating point. He extinguished the flames saving the entire vehicle. Due to SSgt Riedel's actions and quick thinking, the munitions-laden vehicles were able to pass through and reach their destination safely without delay. (Apr 10)

MSGT RICHARD E. BROWN, 23 LRS, 23 WG, MOODY AFB GA. Upon completion of a $100K mechanized materials handling systems and storage aids system mezzanine for the C-130/HH-60 APS/MRSP warehouse, MSgt Brown noticed a serious safety issue during his inspection. The system was built with only a 4-foot safety railing and if personnel were to lose their balance on the ladder, they would fall nearly 24 feet to the concrete floor. Project engineers were immediately notified of the safety concern and were requested to construct a structural remedy. MSgt Brown's keen attention to detail and warehouse safety experience ensured the APS/MRSP warehouse did not have to limit operations. (May 10)

Unit Safety

332 ECES, 332 AEW, JOINT BASE BALAD, IRAQ. The Fire Prevention Flight inspected 3,291 Containerized Housing Units valued in excess of $58M. During their assessment, they identified over 5,700 fire and life safety deficiencies, implementing corrective actions almost instantaneously. The flight was instrumental in the integral drawdown of JBB by conducting 25 unit visits, eliminating 150 critical deficiencies on the spot. They secured the safe living conditions for 4,123 occupants and safe working conditions for 26 units, affecting another 343 personnel. The flight's meticulous attention to detail impacted the safety of all 28,000 JBB personnel, eliminating thousands of electrical hazards. (Apr 10)

732 ESFS, DETACHMENT 3, CAMP TAJI, IRAQ. The unit implemented an all-inclusive safety overhaul and appointed a tiger team to create an innovative safety platform. With the focus on safety, leaders developed and emphasized the slogan "Slow it down and Focus. To emphasize safety as the #1 priority, the slogan was published and placed throughout all facilities and key avenues of approach. This evolved into an "All In" unit campaign and continued to gain ground by incorporating extensive weapons, ground, and vehicle safety into daily patrol briefings delivered by the Airmen prior to departing outside the wire. (May 10)

Weapons Safety

SRA DAVID C. KIRKBRIDE, 127 MXS, 127 FW, SELFRIDGE ANGB MI. While removing a LUU-19 flare, a crew member accidently pulled on the flare and initiated the timer and release mechanism. He heard the timer start; panicked, finished pulling the flare out of the SUU-25 dispenser, rolled it out of the processing facility and ran. SrA Kirkbride ran over to the LUU-19 flare, held the timing mechanism down, per T.O. guidance, until the cycle was finished. This prevented the ejection of the timer release mechanism and the initiator from firing. The mechanism was taped to the flare housing and marked for disposal. SrA Kirkbride's quick actions and cool demeanor prevented a possible catastrophe. (Apr 10)

MSGT BRIAN K. KILPATRICK, 332 AEW, JOINT BASE BALAD, IRAQ. MSgt Kilpatrick's expertise proved invaluable at JBB. He issued 10 new and validated 70 existing explosive facility licenses without discrepancy. He also identified five US Army units lacking proper explosive facility licenses and diligently worked with these units to correct the errors. He also performed 64 weapons safety inspections, two unit annual inspections, and two TDY assist visits to Sather and Al Asad Air Base; exceeding the monthly inspection requirement by 106 percent. He established the first-ever Additional Duty Weapons Safety Representative program at Al Asad for all AF units assigned. (May 10)
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Publication:Combat Edge
Date:Jul 1, 2010
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