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    Aviation Safety and Standardization Conference Remembers Minn. Fallen, Stresses Safety

    Aviation Safety and Standardization Conference

    Photo By Sgt. Laura Bauer | Soldiers and civilians from across the nation's aviation community gathered in Tucson,...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Laura Bauer 

    123rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Spc. Laura A. Bauer
    Arizona National Guard
    Public Affairs Specialist

    More than 380 Army National Guard and Active Army aviators and civilians gathered in Tucson, Ariz. today for the Fiscal-Year 2020 Aviation Safety and Standardization Conference.

    Aviators from across the 54 U.S. states and territories came together to focus on aviation safety trends, presenting the latest information and incident mitigation techniques.

    This pre-scheduled annual event came one week after the Minnesota Army National Guard lost three of their members in a fatal UH-60M Blackhawk Helicopter crash.

    Chief Warrant Officer 2 James A. Rogers Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles P. Nord and Sgt. Kort M. Plantenberg died Thursday when their Blackhawk went down outside St. Cloud, Minn. While the cause of the crash is still under investigation, the incident was at the forefront of everyone’s mind during the conference.

    “Our organization feels the loss of these men deeply,” said Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Baldwin, Arizona Army National Guard Land Component Commander. “Sometimes it takes something like what happened in Minnesota to remind us that it is important to continuously build safety into everything that we do.”

    The theme for this year’s conference focused on the route to readiness: learning from the past, and training for the future. Learning from and using the accidents and mishaps that have happened in years past as teaching points is key to unit success, safety and readiness, according to Col. Jason Miller, Deputy Commanding Officer of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center.

    “We have to do something different. The environment is changing, and we have to change with it,” said Col. Miller.

    In FY19, the Army suffered 142 mishaps, and 116 fatalities, according to operational risk management statistics. The leading cause of incident was a failure to adhere to safety standards such as seatbelt securement requirements.

    “The accident in Minnesota really drives home how inherently dangerous our business is,” said Brig. Gen. J. Ray Davis, National Guard Aviation and Safety Division Chief. “Even when you are doing the right thing – the safe thing – accidents can still happen. It’s our intent to give these people the tools and information they need to help lessen those chances.”

    Arizona Army National Guard Chaplain Lt. Col. Jonathan Harrop opened the conference with a memorial service for those who died in the crash.

    “We lost good pilots and a crew chief; men who were passionate about the dust-off mission,” said Lt. Col. Harrop. “As a result, we also lost future safety officers, and a sergeant major, or whatever other roles they would have played in their careers. Their loss is felt and will continue to be felt.”



    Date Taken: 12.10.2019
    Date Posted: 12.12.2019 10:50
    Story ID: 355364
    Location: TUCSON, AZ, US 

    Web Views: 48
    Downloads: 1