Staying safe in flight

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Keith Wright, the 35th Fighter Wing flight safety NCO, poses for a photo at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 23, 2018. This year marks 75 years of safety identifying flight risks, evaluating flight line supervision and examining flight operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Keith Wright, the 35th Fighter Wing flight safety NCO, poses for a photo at Misawa Air Base, Japan, May 23, 2018. This year marks 75 years of safety identifying flight risks, evaluating flight line supervision and examining flight operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, watches a bird fly over the flightline at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. The BASH team is responsible for patrolling the airfield and eliminating any hazards, including bird migration, which could cause problems for takeoffs and landings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Deana Heitzman)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, watches a bird fly over the flightline at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. The BASH team is responsible for patrolling the airfield and eliminating any hazards, including bird migration, which could cause problems for takeoffs and landings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Deana Heitzman)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, poses for a photo at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. On days where birds pose a threat, the BASH team relies on their passive measures to keep the flight line bird-free and uses their active measures during isolated incidents posing a threat. Their passive measures consist of BASH cannons, anti-perching spikes, deceased bird decoys on airfield systems and routine grass cutting. These tools promote an unsafe environment for the birds, like a farmer’s scarecrow warding them away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Deana Heitzman)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, poses for a photo at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. On days where birds pose a threat, the BASH team relies on their passive measures to keep the flight line bird-free and uses their active measures during isolated incidents posing a threat. Their passive measures consist of BASH cannons, anti-perching spikes, deceased bird decoys on airfield systems and routine grass cutting. These tools promote an unsafe environment for the birds, like a farmer’s scarecrow warding them away. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Deana Heitzman)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, prepares to shoot a cracker round into the sky at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. Crackers are the first line of defense to scare birds away from the airspace, but if they refuse to leave, they are depredated with a birdshot round. After retrieving the depredated bird, Campbell delivers it to entomology for proper disposal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, the bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, prepares to shoot a cracker round into the sky at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. Crackers are the first line of defense to scare birds away from the airspace, as they pose one of the most serious threats to aircraft safety on take off and landing, but if they refuse to leave, they are shot at with a birdshot round. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, a bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, shows two of three types of ammunition used to scare animals away from the flightline at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. The ammunition used by the BASH team includes cracker, birdshot and buckshot rounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Curtis Campbell, a bird aircraft strike coordinator with the 35th Fighter Wing, shows two of three types of ammunition used to scare animals away from the flightline at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Sept. 15, 2016. The ammunition used by the BASH team includes cracker, birdshot and buckshot rounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

MISAWA AIR BASE,Japan -- The 35th Fighter Wing safety office trains Airmen to prevent safety issues ranging from work place incidents to aviation mishaps, which provides pilots insight to the potential dangers they could face in flight.

“With mishap prevention being the goal, flight safety maintains and executes many installation plans and programs to cater to that objective,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jacob Houder, the 35th Fighter Wing flight safety officer.

Programs that fall under the safety office’s purview include the Installation Emergency Management Plan, the Bird and Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard plan, Hazardous Air Traffic Reporting, High Accident Potential programs and the Midair Collision Avoidance program.

Flight safety not only offers a wide variety of programs but also tends to the care of Team Misawa members and Air Force assets by offering an abundance of important information that could save a life.

“A strong foundation of safety principles will ensure the preservation of our Airmen and resources,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Keith Wright, the 35th FW flight safety NCO. “Quarterly flying safety meetings can highlight trends not only throughout Misawa Air Base but the Air Force as a whole.”

Wright added there could be substantial negative impact to Air Force operations if safety were removed.

“If these discussions didn’t take place, aircrew would be less prepared for the day-to-day risks associated with local flying operations,” explained Wright. “Without a strong safety culture in place, our Airmen, joint partners and allies would all be affected.”

Since safety is recognized as an important component of Misawa’s mission, the ultimate goal is to keep Team Misawa members alive and thriving.

“Our mission is to protect U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific and defend Japan with sustained forward presence and focused support,” said Houder. “With the military profession being rooted in mission-driven risk, unnecessary risks or the improper management of that hazard degrades our effectiveness by reducing our force’s sustainability.”

This year marks 75 years of safety identifying flight risks, evaluating flight line supervision and examining flight operations.

“Together we need to focus on not only maintaining our current level of readiness but maintaining safety,” said Houder. “This career field protects the most important part of the U.S. Air Force: its people.”

While flight safety cares for pilots and aircrew members, occupational and weapons safety tends to personnel and munitions support. All three sections promote full compliance of guidelines and regulations for the protection of Air Force members.

[Editor’s note: This is part one of a three part series highlighting the 35th FW’s safety office.]