News: Guardsman inducted into Air Force Safety Hall of Fame
By Air Force Capt. Lynn Lee
National Guard Bureau
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - The Air National Guard's former deputy director of safety has been inducted into the Air Force Safety Hall of Fame for his revolutionary, entrepreneurial approach to safety program management.
In a small ceremony held today, Lt. Col. Edward Vaughan was recognized for his "unique contribution to safety and the U.S. Air Force mishap prevention program ... resulting in enduring and significant advances to safety."
An F-16 fighter pilot, Vaughan previously served combat flying tours with Indiana and New York Air National Guard flying squadrons in Iraq. In 2008, he transferred to the Colorado Guard, but is currently serving on active duty here at the Air War College, participating in the Center for Strategy and Technology's future studies think tank known as Blue Horizons.
Vaughan credits his Disruptive Solutions Process for his widespread success, which invests small amounts of resources in many innovative ideas from the field and develops those that show success and return on investment.
An entrepreneurial leader, Vaughan created the joint-service, see-and-avoid, civil and military mid-air collision avoidance web portal used at more than 100 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps bases. He also created the online segment of Air Force and joint service Maintenance Resource Management, which is credited with a 75 percent reduction in Class A mishaps due to maintenance.
Vaughan also leveraged the Air Force's existing bird aircraft strike hazard capabilities into an inter-agency avian flu tracking and predicting model. He built an unprecedented inter-departmental team, including experts from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration, Centers for Disease Control, Federal Aviation Administration, Defense Department and others. The result is the dBird.us portal, scheduled for integration into existing pandemic prediction programs.
All combined, Vaughan's ANG programs are credited with saving millions of taxpayer dollars, and at least several lives.
Last month, the Defense Safety Oversight Council approved funding for Department of Defense-wide application of an ANG fatigue mitigation program, called FlyAwake, another spin-off of Vaughan's DSP process, which originated at the 201st Airlift Squadron of the D.C. ANG. This marks the eighth time since 2005 that the DSOC has supported an ANG safety initiative.
Joseph Angello, executive secretary of the DSOC, said ANG programs continue to receive his support because Vaughan's team reliably delivers.
Vaughan's DSP appears simple in its approach, but it achieves remarkable results. "To tighten our OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) loop, we've adopted a lean, asymmetric acquisition approach - contracting 2.0, if you will - pursuing many small solutions from small firms in parallel, often capitalizing on existing commercial technologies," he said.
"And by driving the funding requirements and time-to-market for all solutions toward zero, our failures are just as valuable as our successes. If even only one succeeds, then the whole portfolio is productive for the taxpayer."
Vaughan's team evaluates the best ideas against existing military requirements and then executes the solution. That means working closely with contracting officers, finance experts, academia, the scientific community and other governmental departments to efficiently and effectively leverage
existing capabilities against the new ideas.
"It may take the military many years to design, develop, fund and field a major weapons system, like an aircraft," said Vaughan. "The acquisition process for these huge programs is mind-numbing. So any opportunity we have to deliver fast, effective capability to warfighters right now is a must do."
Vaughan, who was also the first ANG member awarded the Air Force Chief of Staff Individual Safety Trophy in 2007, said these awards recognize the innovation, hard work and tenacity of the 106,800 men and women of the Air National Guard.
"Those dedicated warfighters, often deployed in harm's way around the globe, expect and deserve the best possible service from their National Guard Bureau," he said. "Our role is simply to bring their visions to a practical reality."