Rescue wing pauses for operational safety review

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright's video message about the important role every Airmen plays in identifying gaps and seams that can lead to future mishaps or unsafe conditions.

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 920th Rescue Wing will temporarily halt flying operations, June 3, as the Reserve unit executes a one-day operational safety review directed by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein.

“I am directing this operational safety review to allow our commanders to assess and discuss the safety of our operations and to gather feedback from our Airmen who are doing the mission every day,” said Goldfein.

After a series of recent aviation mishaps and fatalities, including an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crash, March 15, that took the lives of two 920th RQW pararescuemen in Iraq, the Air Force is taking swift action to ensure the safety of its force. Although safety statistics over the past decade show Air Force Class A and B aviation mishaps trended downward, the Air Force's manned aviation mishap rate increased since the beginning of fiscal year 2018.

Technical Sgt. Tommiah Walker, 920th RQW Operational Safety Specialist, said safety personnel will touch base with Reserve Citizen Airmen, ensuring they include elements of safety in everything they do. Reservists who work closest with aircraft and day-to-day flying operations will have an in-depth group discussion reflecting on standards, procedures and safety during June’s Unit Training Assembly.

“We cannot afford to lose a single Airman or weapons system due to a mishap that could have been prevented,” said Goldfein. “Our men and women have volunteered to give their last full measure for America's security. My intent is to have commanders lead focused forums with their Airmen to help identify gaps and seams that exist or are developing, which could lead to future mishaps or unsafe conditions.”

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright's video message about the important role every Airmen plays in identifying gaps and seams that can lead to future mishaps or unsafe conditions.

The 920th RQW, based on the Space Coast, is the only combat search and rescue unit in the Air Force Reserve. The unit specializes in humanitarian relief, space support and CSAR missions.