Spring into 101 Critical Days of Summer
By Gen. Gregory Martin, Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe
/ Published May 29, 2001
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
"Spring into 101 Critical Days of Summer" is not just another safety campaign, but rather a time for us to think about and prepare for the summer and schedule our activities accordingly.
By planning ahead of time, we can do a much better job of anticipating the many challenges we'll face as we try to balance personal, family and Air Force priorities. And, most importantly, we will be able to build in some flexibility, which will allow each of us to deal with the inevitable pop-up circumstances requiring changes to our original plan.
Although we face seasonal risks throughout the year, I have found the summer season to be the most dangerous. With longer days and predominantly better weather, we have a tendency to overestimate the number of activities we can accomplish in any given day while underestimating the fatigue factor associated with those activities. Additionally, the summer months produce rapidly changing and often violent weather patterns that can catch even the most prepared at an awkward and dangerous point.
The first step in all mishap prevention plans is to be aware of and expect change. Next, match and assess the risks associated with a change.
Finally, we must adjust our attitudes and behaviors based on change and its associated risks. I offer the following as a recipe for your personal mishap prevention plan:
- Expect change
- Assess the risk before you act
- Trust your intuition
- Take care of each other
- Your goal is to survive
I cannot stress enough how important our people are in making our mission a success. I do not subscribe to the view that mishaps are considered a normal part of our military business -- they can be prevented and eliminated! We must all step out and demonstrate our sincere concern for everyone's safety and security to ensure a healthy environment during this time of year as we "Spring into 101 Critical Days of Summer."