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North Carolina Air National Guard Conducts Safety Down Day

  • Published
  • By by Staff Sgt. Laura Montgomery
  • 145th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A Safety Down Day was mandated by the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Dave Goldfein, in the wake of a recent string of aerial mishaps including the WC-130 Cargo aircraft from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard that crashed in Georgia early May, and included the fatalities of all service members on board. The North Carolina Air National Guard suffered it’s own tragedy in the summer of 2012 when a C-130 Hercules crashed while on assignment to assist fighting the wildfires engulfing South Dakota, resulting in the loss of four North Carolina Guardsmen.

“Safety means a lot of different things. It doesn’t necessarily have to revolve around flying. The reason I asked everyone here today is to open it up to the group level and ask what does safety mean to you? You matter, each one of you matter to this wing, to your group, to your squadrons, and to each other; we cannot do this mission without you. We all know that what’s transpiring with the transition makes things challenging, but also more rewarding, and the vigilance for raising that for safety is something we all need to be thinking about,” said Commander, 145th Operations Group, Col. Miles K. Harkey.

Harkey, as well as the new 145th Airlift Wing Commander, Bryony A. Terrell, briefed their different views on safety. As a former Chief of Readiness and Plans, Combat Support Flight Commander, Functional Area Manager for strategic airlift and tankers, Chief, Rated Management, Air National Guard Readiness Center, and more than 1,100 flight hours spanning four different aircraft, Commander, Terrell has more than enough wisdom to spread when it comes to aircraft safety and vigilance.

“When I think about safety, I like to think about the ‘three Ds’- dumb, dangerous and different. It’s mnemonic for when something just doesn’t feel right; when you’re plugging away at work and your senses start tingling. That’s when you need to stop, take a breath, and evaluate your surroundings. If you’re about to do something dumb, dangerous, or different, that’s your point where you can break that chain and avoid an accident,” said Terrell.