Winter briefs prep Misawa Airmen for cold
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Fighter Wing Safety Office here hosted its annual Winter Awareness Safety campaign Nov. 4-8 at the Richard Bong Training Facility where more than 2,500 Airmen attended 15 briefings throughout the week.
This year was different from the past -- not only was it mandatory, but it emphasized the use of Risk Management both on and off-duty. Examples of deliberate and real-time Risk Management were discussed and how to incorporate these into your everyday activities.
"The bottom line is we want everyone to be safe while enjoying the winter," said Col. John Parker, 35th Operations Group commander. "We care about our Airmen and need them around to accomplish the mission."
Detailed photos and stories from past mishaps were shared, re-enforcing the seriousness behind planning ahead during winter months.
One of the tools discussed to help aid in the Risk Management process is the updated PACAF High Risk Activity Guide. PACAF has identified 27 High Risk Activities and Misawa recently added Snowshoeing to make a total of 28. If you participate in any of these 28 High Risk Activities, get with your supervisor or Unit Safety Representative and be sure to fill out a Form 4391.
Winter driving safety was also emphasized as automobile accidents tend to spike in the winter months because of difficult road conditions. Other topics discussed were cold weather injuries, how to survive to enjoy the winter, safe cooking during the holidays, and base snow removal priorities.
Each briefing opened with a senior leader from Misawa reminding everyone that Misawa receives more snowfall than any other base in the Air Force. Guest speakers from the Air Force or Navy Safety Office, Medical Group, Outdoor Recreation, Fire Prevention, and Civil Engineering briefed winter awareness topics.
"It's really simple - when you gear up for winter, pack some common sense," said Ron Stark, 35th Force Support Squadron program coordinator of Outdoor Recreation.
Stark hit on a variety of issues common in Misawa, including dangerous avalanches and unpredictable blizzards.
"Know your surroundings and abilities," Stark said. "Don't put yourself in a situation you're not prepared for."
Misawa City police assisted the campaign by handing out flyers with safety tips for driving off-base in the Aomori Prefecture.
Remember to slow down this winter, use common sense and apply Risk Management in all your decisions both on and off-duty. Survive to enjoy the winter in Misawa!