Yokota hosts RM course for PACAF
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen and Department of Defense civilians from across the Pacific Air Forces attended a four-day risk management application and integration course at Yokota Air Base, Japan, Feb. 2 to 4, 2016. The course taught operational risk management skills to over thirty personnel with the intention of enabling them to share those skills within their unit, squadron, wing or major command.
"Lt. Col. Gaulin and I were recently appointed as the wing risk management advisors but without this training we would be unqualified to provide advice to the wing commander per safety Air Force Instructions," said Tech. Sgt. Laury Napoleoni, 374th Airlift Wing risk management advisor.
According to Napoleoni, hosting the course at Yokota saved the Air Force money because the PACAF safety representatives would otherwise be required to travel to the Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico to receive the mandatory training.
Frederick Harsany, AFSC representative, led the course which included numerous briefings interspersed with small group activities where the participants practiced the techniques.
Scenarios, such as scheduling a softball tournament, allowed the participants to apply the lessons taught in mandatory computer-based training to real-life situations. These non-military based scenarios were used to help the personnel learn how to apply operational risk management in both their professional and personal lives.
"The Air Force's goal is to have everyone understand risk management and apply it at all levels on and off-duty," Harsany said. "We're doing a pretty good job on-duty but we're losing people on their downtime and that's never going to be okay."
The techniques taught during the course are used in the private sector and are responsible for an increased level of safety for commercial airline companies. The video of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 performing an emergency landing in the Hudson River demonstrated successful crisis management while satellite footage of an airports flightline showed the importance of crisis management.
"It's important that we can convince people that risk management works, because it does," Harsany said. "Look at big businesses, for them loss control is a huge deal and can be worth millions of dollars. So, all of the big corporations have already initiated some form of risk management and process improvement."
Risk management also serves as a force multiplier by conserving materiel and personnel resources, which enables the Air Force to complete the mission despite force management, sequestration and the longest sustained period of combat in the nation's history.
"I'm optimistic that this training will have positive results," Harsany said. "If we can prevent someone from getting hurt over the weekend, that's one Airman who can come into work on Monday so somebody else won't have to do their job. When performing a risk evaluation you can sometimes find ways to do your job better and that's a win for everybody."