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Keep up the good work! (ACCent on Safety).

After 28 years and 6,400 flying hours, it's finally time to hang up the green bag, and I'll miss it profoundly When my boss, Kevin Smith, offered me the ACCent column this month, I welcomed the opportunity to bid farewell to the ACO warriors I've been so proud to serve with.

In the safety arena, you've done a tremendous job in driving ACC's flight mishap rate to an all-time low. During FY00 and 01, your superb performance in the cockpit and on the flightline produced the safest 2 flying years in ACC history. And you are currently on track to match that rate for a third consecutive year. Such an exceptional record is clearly a tribute to the outstanding aviators, maintainers, and safety professionals who deliver the world's greatest combat capability on a daily basis.

In the last 4 years, I've flown with many of you throughout the command. From base-to-base, the one thing that stands out above all else is your unwavering professionalism. With one or two exceptions many years ago, I've never witnessed an act of true buffoonery. I've never flown with anyone in AGO who wasn't totally engaged in the mission. We may not always call it "safety" or "ORM" or even "professionalism." It's simply what we do. Attention to detail, focused Situational Awareness, anticipating the next move, and following the checklist are all part of our normal cross-check. It's a way of doing business, and no one does it better than you. So keep it up. You're obviously getting it right. But never let your guard down. Old Murphy is always lurking in your six, just waiting for a chance to whack you.

Remember too that the most dangerous part of any mission is the drive to the squadron. With more than 20 off-duty fatalities this year, it's imperative that we take personal risk as seriously as we do professional risk. On the ground as in flight, we often live or die by the choices we make. So if it looks dumb, dangerous, or different, ask yourself those three key questions: What can go wrong? -- How bad can it be? -- What can I do to make it not so bad?

Six thousand four hundred hours wasn't enough, but it will have to do. It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with you, and I wish you all tremendous success in the future. Y'all take care and fly smart!

Colonel Bill Snow

Chief of Flight Safety
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Publication:Combat Edge
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2002
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