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Monthly award winners - May.

Flight Line Safety


TSgt Stiyer demonstrated superior professionalism and expertise while deploying no-notice to a forward operating base in Afghanistan to set up a BASH program with the resident Army SAA. Following two, near-catastrophic C-130 bird strike events (one resulting in a Class-B engine failure on takeoff), TSgt Stiyer coordinated with airfield management and local C-130 crews to characterize the bird problem and identify a plan of action. Within hours, he compiled a quick reaction kit including a draft BASH OI, bird tracker, BASH NOTAM, Supervisor of Flying Bird Watch Condition guide, Bird Strike Mishap Form, and applicable AFIs. TSgt Stiyer also coordinated the immediate hand-carry transfer of 1,000 rounds of ammunition, one shotgun, and several hundred pyrotechnic bangers and screamers for conducting bird depredation. Working through airfield management, he identified key Army leadership and pre-coordinated an arrival plan of action with recommendations to ensure rapid response. Once on the ground, TSgt Stiyer quickly assessed both the bird hazard situation and also the relevant safety considerations for employing lethal and non-lethal techniques to combat the rock dove presence and began coordination with SAA leadership to establish a sustainable program. Within hours, he drafted and briefed an initial concept of operations to the leadership that was immediately approved for execution. To increase safety and ensure complete FOB coordination, the plan employed shotgun qualified Army pathfinders as the BASH shooters while maintaining ammunition storage and control with airfield management. Within hours, depredation efforts reduced the factor dove flocks by 90%, enabling the 455 AEG/CC to reestablish safe daytime C-130 flight operations into the FOB. A testament to TSgt Stiyer's expertise and follow through, the first US Army BASH plan remains active at the FOB and is being championed by airfield management as a benchmark for other FOBs. Meanwhile, TSgt Stiyer also rebuilt seven dilapidated mishap response kits and conducted seven ORM assessments for Bagram MILCON projects totaling $123M.

TSgt Jason P. Stiyer

455 AEW

Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

Ground Safety


At approximately 0500 hrs on the morning of Monday, 13 April 2009, TSgt Harmon went into the shared restroom facility of MOD 6 on Kirkuk Regional Air Base's Air Force Village. While shaving he was alerted by a burning smell and paused his activities to investigate the source. His search revealed an exhaust fan that was electrically arcing and subsequently burst into flames. As the sole member awake and in that portion of the facility at the time, he initially tried to extinguish the flames by fanning them out. He quickly and correctly analyzed that his current efforts would not be effective in extinguishing the fire, given the rate at which the conflagration was expanding. TSgt Harmon ran to locate another individual whom he tasked to immediately call 911 and report a fire. He then retrieved a wall mounted extinguisher and returned to combat the growing flames. Drawing upon his fire extinguisher training, he adeptly extinguished the fire by the time the fire department arrived to take control. TSgt Harmon remained on scene as the fire department conducted their initial inspection and remained until electricians arrived to safe the area. The $450K MOD houses over 60 personnel, most of which were asleep when this occurred. TSgt Harmon's quick reactions, calm leadership, and concern for his fellow airman potentially saved an entire squadron's lives, their personal property, half a million dollars of AF infrastructure. Technical Sergeant Jerome A. Harmon directly averted a near disaster and reflects great credit upon the 506 Air Expeditionary Group and the United States Air Force

TSgt Jerome A. Harmon

506 EOSS, 506 AEG

Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq

Unit Safety


SMSgt Miller, TSgt Harmon, SSgt Stevens, SSgt Trotter, SrA Adams, SrA Walczynski, and A1C Greiner were responsible for Kirkuk's 5.7M square foot flight line and airfield surfaces. They ensured the safe movement of over 5.3K coalition/Iraqi AF operations and managed the base's airfield driving program which trained, tracked, and inspected 14 joint-service organizations with flight line drivers. As a result of the unit's efforts, Kirkuk did not have a CMAV in the last 5 months. They identified a foliage issue on the flight line that could not be addressed by any other mechanism, procured a lawnmower, and cut 52K square meters of weeds along all aircraft operating edges. Their efforts saved the $1M initial projected contract costs, alleviated obscured lighting, and directly resulted in a decrease in BASH activities. Coupled with the mowing, Airfield Management Ops (AM Ops) has initiated Kirkuk's first-ever herbicide-based vegetation control contract. AM Ops also supervised the runway closure during a $200K pavement repair and $19M airfield lighting and NAVAID installation projects. During this extensive construction project, they meticulously conducted 432+ airfield inspections, mitigated debris and obstacles from taxi surfaces, as well as de-conflicted over 90 personnel and 135 vehicles during 5K aircraft movements. During a routine airfield inspection, they keenly detected a sub-munition in close proximity to the runway. They initiated reporting which resulted in its detonation and the safe/expedient re-opening of the airfield. Next, they tackled historical flight line marking discrepancies and painted three critical MEDEVAC response pads, two hold lines, multiple stop-bars, and three threshold markings which increased safety and saved $27K. Lastly, AM Ops finished the month thoroughly inspecting and evaluating 560 airfield waivers and physically removing and eliminating 73 obstacles.

506th Expeditionary Operations Support Sq

506 AEG

Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq

Pilot Safety


Capt Lanto flew as number two in a two-ship of A-10Cs supporting a night OEF mission from Bagram Airfield. While passing 13,000 MSL on climb-out with a full combat load, Capt Lanto received a master caution light with an accompanying low oil pressure indication. He quickly analyzed the situation and confirmed a low oil pressure reading on his number one engine oil pressure gauge. With the oil pressure below the minimum 30 psi required for engine operation, Capt Lanto shut down the engine IAW Dash 1 checklist guidance to avoid imminent engine seizure. Following the engine shutdown, while in IMC and surrounded by high terrain on all sides, Capt Lanto began preparation for a single-engine ILS to the wet runway. Recognizing the risks of a single-engine, heavyweight landing on a wet runway at high density altitude with weather near ILS minimums, Capt Lanto made the decision to emergency jettison his munitions on a controlled range. However, the only published guidance for on-range emergency jettison procedures was for VMC conditions. Capt Lanto referenced the VMC procedures and coordinated with squadron operations to formulate an IMC jettison plan. After successfully jettisoning his ordnance within the range complex boundaries, he requested ATC vectors to arrive at a 10 nm ILS final that allowed turns into his operating engine per checklist guidance. He then configured for landing using alternate gear extension procedures and activated his emergency braking system. After executing a flawless single-engine ILS approach, Capt Lanto broke out at 400' AGL, landed, and successfully stopped his jet on a wet runway without anti-skid braking. Recognizing the need to sustain uninterrupted combat operations given Bagram Airfield's single runway, he coordinated with the EOG Commander to clear the runway using differential braking. His exceptional airmanship handling a single-engine situation at night, at a high density altitude, in high terrain, and in IMC conditions ensured the preservation of a vital combat asset!

Capt Kyle D. Lanto

74 EFS

Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

Weapons Safety


MSgt White built a culture of weapons safety for the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) while forging a foundation for the new Explosive Safety career field. During this time, he authored the final version of the Explosive Safety Course. His expertise and experience was tapped by the IqAF HHQ when his advice was solicited for the first IqAF Munitions Storage Area (MSA), which will ensure safe and secure storage for Iraqi munitions. MSgt White also advised IqAF on the Combat Caravan weapon configuration, a first ever offensive weapon for the new IqAF. Expert training by MSgt White provided a positive learning atmosphere for 200 IqAF students by supervising the organization of new Basic Technical Training (BTT) classrooms. MSgt White also streamlined the explosive safety training for the Iraqi aircraft maintenance course and developed the unit safety program. His contributions to a new safety culture contributed to zero reportable mishaps since his arrival. By proactively contacting multiple Iraqi FOB experts he ensured the practices and procedures in the Air Force Training School (AFTS) Explosive Safety Course complied with regulations. MSgt White spearheaded unit teambuilding sessions and strengthened the Fit-To-Fight posture. In a continuing effort to enhance unit pride and camaraderie, he designed T-shirts and challenge coins for multiple units. Morale improved participation with intra-service sports helped build cohesiveness between the USAF and the US Army. In the living areas he assisted in self-help projects to increase quality of life while off duty. His planning and gathering of materials for a multi-squadron golf driving range will provide benefits to his fellow troops long after he has rotated back home. While deployed, MSgt White also completed SNCO course 14 (non-res) and taught himself MS Office suite. His team building mentality also led him to volunteer to train AFTS senior officers which will help put the IqAF courseware into the modern era.

MSgt Daniel T. White

821 ETS, 321 CAFTT


Aircrew Safety


The crew of Torque 85 departed on a high priority cargo transport mission from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan to Salerno landing zone. Upon landing, the aircrew witnessed several flocks of pigeons transiting the runway environment. When ready to depart, the crew proactively notified tower to disperse the birds from the runway and briefed bird strike/takeoff abort procedures given their high gross weight and the limited runway length and hazards at Salerno. After dispersing the birds from the runway environment and outside of the aircrew's visual range, tower gave Torque 85 takeoff clearance. The aircraft commander set takeoff power and accelerated down the improvised gravel runway. Passing 90 knots, the co-pilot made the "go" call. Near simultaneously, a large flock of over 100 pigeons crossed from left to right impacting the number one and two engines, the left wing, and fuselage. The number one engine flamed out while the number two engine rolled-back considerably causing severe adverse yaw and making the aircraft nearly uncontrollable. In accordance with the flight brief, the aircrew aborted takeoff and kept the damaged aircraft on the ground as the Capt Harlow applied full control authority and anti-lock braking in order to keep the aircraft from skidding out of control off of the runway. Through exceptional airmanship, he was able to counter the adverse yaw and aim the aircraft onto the small patch of steel matting in order to maximize braking effectiveness and avoid a large drop-off near the end of the runway. While maintaining aircraft control, the crew flawlessly executed the boldface for shutdown of the number one engine, greatly reducing adverse yaw. As a result, the aircraft stopped just short of the 50 foot river bed off the end of Runway 27, averting a potential catastrophic mishap. Utilizing split-second decision-making and exceptional airmanship, the aircrew ensured the masterful recovery of a critical Operation ENDURING FREEDOM asset.

Capt Neil Harlow, Maj Scott Brink

Maj Tony McPheethers, MSgt Robert Brown

MSgt John Banks, TSgt Brandon York

774 EAS, 455 AEW

Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

Crew Chief Safety


On 7 March 2009, F-22A aircraft 03-057 had just returned from flight and was taxiing to its parking spot after a post Exercise RED FLAG ferry flight back to home station when it caught fire. Just as the aircraft had come to a stop and reached maximum braking pressure, the shuttle valve on the right main landing gear brake separated, resulting in a 2,700 psi jet of hydraulic fluid spraying towards the aft of the aircraft. This jet of hydraulic fluid was then instantly ignited by the heat of the brake, producing a steady 20 foot flame that began to consume the right flaperon and right horizontal stabilizer of the aircraft. (S) Sgt Pfalzer, SrA Kirkland, and A1C Brouillard responded heroically, directing the immediate shutdown of the aircraft, robbing the growing flames of their initial fuel source. They then simultaneously evacuated the aircrew and attacked the flames that had begun to consume the low observable coating on the flight control surfaces, applying extinguishing agent from two 150 pound halon fire extinguishers until the stubborn flames were put out. Their exceptionally quick thinking in a life threatening situation saved lives, a $135 million Air Force combat asset, and prevented catastrophic subsequent damage to other F-22A aircraft parked nearby.

(S)Sgt Stephan M. Pfalzer

SrA Kyle M. Kirkland

A1C James R. Brouillard

1 AMXS, 1 FW

Langley AFB, Va.
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Title Annotation:airforce personnel awards for fire prevention
Publication:Combat Edge
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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