MoANG hosts Safety Summit in St. Louis
By Master Sgt. Christopher Gillis, localized by Senior Airman Jessica Donnelly
/ Published September 11, 2009
ST. LOUIS, Mo -- The Missouri Air National Guard hosted the ANG Executive Safety Summit: "Back to Basics, Break the Chain", August 4-5 at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri.
"St. Louis was a great location to [hold the summit] because it is a central location and the travel expenses were kept down which helped the attendance grow," said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Cashion, 131st Safety Office safety and occupational health manager.
Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, Air National Guard director, kicked off the summit, which included guest speakers from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The overall key message and theme of this summit, "Back to Basics, Break the Chain," was highlighted by guest speakers. The groups discussed the proper balance between aviation, maintenance, ground safety, mission tasks and operational discipline, and re-identified and addressed safety issues.
Three featured aviation speakers included Bud Redmond, Air Force Safety Center deputy chief of safety and executive director; Greg Feith, NTSB senior accident investigator; and other safety professionals who joined General Wyatt to discuss safety one-on-one with more than 370 key Air National Guard members serving in the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
"I would like to thank Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner, Mo. Adjutant General, and his staff for their support to ensure this conference [was] successful," said General Wyatt.
Lt. Col. Dan Polanosky, Air National Guard's Readiness Center acting safety chief on Andrews Air Force Base, Md., said a record number of the adjutants general and wing commanders participated.
"Between St. Louis, Whiteman, and Jefferson Barracks, I think the thing to take away from [the safety summit] is that our organization demonstrated tremendous flexibility to combine forces to make the conference a success," said Lt. Col. Stephen Stilwell, 131st Safety Office Chief of Safety. "It should also be noted that in the true spirit of the Air National Guard we had several volunteers dedicate their personal time to assist with the conference."
Other related topics addressed were suicide prevention and awareness, which included presentations by a combined leadership from the National Guard Bureau Chaplains Office and the ANGRC medical staff.
The second day of the summit began with an FAA safety perspective from guest speaker, Alan Feinberg, FAA senior safety engineer. This day was highlighted by two internal ANG aviation lessons-learned out briefs, and then followed by numerous afternoon breakout sessions. The summit reconvened for a general session with an overall question and answer session by Col. Mike McDonald, ANGRC commander.
A big part of the success of the conference goes to the 131st Security Forces Squadron for their support and protection at the hotel, explained Sergeant Cashion.
"Security Forces did a wonderful job and were true professionals," added Lt. Col. Stilwell. "It was a team effort that made this event a huge success!"