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ANG general to lead UPE Integration Team

Air Force Brig. Gen. Edward L. Vaughan, head of the Air Force Unexplained Physiological Events Integration Team (UPE IT) and Rear Adm. Fredrick R. Luchtman, Navy Physiological Episodes Action Team (PEAT) lead, discuss ongoing efforts to minimize the risk of Physiological Episodes (PEs). The Navy and Air Force relationship enables the development of joint solutions to achieve a better understanding of the cockpit environment and oxygen systems to keep our aircrews safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Scot Cregan/Released

Brig. Gen. Edward L. Vaughan, head of the Air Force Unexplained Physiological Events Integration Team, and Rear Adm. Fredrick R. Luchtman, Navy Physiological Episodes Action Team lead, discuss ongoing efforts to minimize the risk of Physiological Episodes. The Navy and Air Force relationship enables the development of joint solutions to achieve a better understanding of the cockpit environment and oxygen systems to keep our aircrews safe. (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Scot Cregan)

PENTAGON (AFNS) -- What do unexplained physiological events and a recent promotion have in common? The answer is Edward Vaughan who recently promoted to brigadier general and was named to lead a UPE integration team.

Previously, Vaughan served as the director for integration in the Office of Reserve Integration for the Secretary of Defense. He is also the former commander of the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico.

Vaughan’s new assignment is an example of Total Force Integration.

“The Air National Guard has a vast resource of leaders whose military and industry expertise can enhance problem solving and mission readiness for the Total Air Force as well as the joint force. We are proud to have Brig. Gen. Vaughan represent us in this venture,” said Maj. Gen. Marc Sasseville, Air National Guard deputy director.

Under Vaughan’s lead, the UPE Integration Team, will serve as Headquarters Air Force’s focal point for identifying solutions to optimize human performance in tactical and training aviation and eliminate or minimize the impact of UPEs.

UPEs sometimes manifest when aircrew experience symptoms that can result from a variety of factors, including loss of oxygen, headaches or disorientation. Potentially, these symptoms can hinder flight safety and effectiveness.

“This team can’t share information and data fast enough,” Vaughan said. “The Air Force and Navy, as well as our partners in other parts of government, academia, and industry, are working together to address this serious safety concern. While UPEs are as unique as the people that fly the planes, there are common elements among many of the events that our two services are working to solve.”

Historically, rates for UPEs are low. However, heightened awareness, and aging aircraft fleets, has increased aircrew reporting of in-flight physiologic symptoms. This drives aggressive response actions from the Air Force and joint partners to address these events and implement recommendations to make operations safer.

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