Commentary by Gen. C. Robert Kehler
Commander, Air Force Space Command
Independence Day is a time to celebrate our proud American heritage. As members of the armed forces, we recognize the special significance and history of this holiday. Whether deployed overseas or stationed stateside, Air Force Space Command Airmen actively defend the freedoms our forefather’s fought and died for more than 233 years ago.
As you enjoy your well-deserved break, remember — safety first. Vehicle mishaps continue to be the biggest threat to our Airmen. Air Force wide, there were eight motorcycle and three automobile fatalities during the 2009 Spring Safety Campaign. The Air Force experienced the loss of two motorcyclists during the first week of the 2009 Critical Days of Summer and we felt the tragic loss of an Airman just last week in Colorado Springs. The loss of any Airman is too much to bear; let’s focus on being safe in all aspects of our lives.
Our goal is for a mishap-free Fourth of July weekend. With proper planning and risk assessment, we can achieve this goal. Whether operating a vehicle, motorcycle or watercraft, follow the rules. Watch out for others and make sure you are properly prepared for any trip, no matter the duration. Fatigue and alcohol do not mix with driving, riding or other recreational activities. Seatbelts and protective gear are essential.
Commanders and supervisors should emphasize the importance of safety to all Airmen. Find out what activities are planned and make sure every Airman is aware of the risks involved and has taken the proper precautions. I expect every leader to personally eyeball their Airmen and civilians to transmit the safety message.
We want to see our entire AFSPC family return from this holiday with great memories. Be good wingmen and have a safe, mishap-free Fourth of July weekend.