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News > Team Edwards wins two safety awards
Team Edwards wins two safety awards

Posted 3/18/2009   Updated 3/18/2009 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class William O'Brien
95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/18/2009 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The Air Force Materiel Command recently awarded two Edwards teams for their outstanding safety practices.

Defeating competition from 10 other AFMC bases, the 417th Flight Test Squadron won the 2008 Air Force Directed Energy Weapons Safety Outstanding Achievement Award and the Air Force Flight Test Center Weapons Safety Office received the 2008 Explosives Safety Award.

"I would like to congratulate the 417th Flight Test Squadron and the AFFTC Weapons Safety Office hard working professionals on a job well done," said Starling Ervin, AFFTC deputy chief of safety. "They accomplished many safety achievements for which they and the Air Force Flight Test Center can be proud."

The 417th FLTS established the first-ever airborne High Power System Integration Concept of Operations and is also responsible for developmental test and evaluation of the YAL-1A Airborne Laser. Their team directed testing to maintain safety during the Airborne Laser weapon system tests and the achievement of the "first light" inside the aircraft Sept. 7.

The team also established a fire code classification in a hangar that holds aircraft, support and electrical equipment. Their new fire codes for chemical laser fuels, such as chlorine, ammonia, helium, nitrogen, iodine, and hydrogen peroxide, maintain safety in a potentially hazardous area.

Throughout the year, they held more than 55 shelter-in-place briefings and five shelter-in-place exercises, where they trained approximately 2,000 personnel. This ensured the safety of personnel from various organizations, including the Birk Flight Test Facility, Edwards Aero Club, runway construction team and weapons areas.

The AFFTC Weapons Safety Office provided direct support to the AFFTC commander on weapons safety issues to receive the weapons safety award.

The team had their third consecutive year without a class A, B, C or D weapons mishap while also having their 18th year with no class A or B explosive incidents.

They developed and submitted 30 explosive site plans for munitions storage and operating facilities as well as flightline operations. They supplied safety oversight for more than 125 explosive storage and operating locations. Additionally, they provided safety training, advice and oversight for 32 unit weapons safety managers across the center and its tenant units.

As part of their support of weapons safety, they reviewed and approved more than 75 local explosive operating instructions, lesson plans and base instructions. Using this information, they developed local loading checklists, job guides and transportation procedures as a member of Joint Checklist Working Group program to ensure the safety and reliability of all explosive developmental test operations.

They were also involved with the development of assembly, ground handling and loading procedures for Massive Ordnance Penetrator testing. To do this, they worked directly with the contractor and test team, resulting in successful release of first FT-1 MOP.

"The diligence and hard work of these teams exemplifies the caliber of Team Edwards professionals," added Mr. Ervin.

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