449th AEG Safety Office conducts Annual Inspection

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Morris (right), 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron aircrew flight equipment NCO in charge, locates the tag on a hand radio for inspection with Tech Sgt. Victor Reyes, 449th Air Expeditionary Group weapons safety manager, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 26, 2014. 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Aircrew Flight Equipment NCO locates Tag on a Hand Radio for Inspection

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Morris (right), 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron aircrew flight equipment NCO in charge, locates the tag on a hand radio for inspection with Tech Sgt. Victor Reyes, 449th Air Expeditionary Group weapons safety manager, on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 26, 2014. The purpose of tagging is to ensure personnel comply with the required safe separation distance from electromagnetic radiation hazards to ammunition and explosive items. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Iinuma)

Members of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group safety office conducted an annual weapons safety inspection of the 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, Nov. 26, 2014.

The 449th AEG safety office provides an oversight of 10 Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa squadron safety programs on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The safety office identifies any potential hazards and measures compliance with applicable guidance and standards to protect all personnel on camp.

“We, the safety office, ensure the safety of all personnel and resources that fall under the 449 AEG, which ultimately supports the CJTF-HOA mission,” said Tech. Sgt. Victor Reyes, 449th AEG weapons safety manager.

The annual safety program assessment and facilities inspection schedule was developed to assist commanders and unit safety representatives.  According to Air Force Instruction 91-202, The U.S. Air Force Mishap Prevention Plan, program assessments are based on a three tier rating scale of; pass, pass with minor corrections or does not pass.

The 449th AEG safety office inspections are not only done to ensure compliance with regulations, but also to ensure the safety of all personnel throughout Camp Lemonnier.

“The safety of our Airman and the accountability of all munitions is a priority for the mission to continue,” said Master Sgt. Thomas Morris, 303rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron aircrew flight equipment NCO in charge. “Without 100% accountability, the rescue team and the individuals being rescued could lose their lives.”

The 303rd ERQS, part of the 449th AEG personnel recovery task force, and in partnership with our joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational teammates, conducts continuous personnel recovery activities to plan, prepare, and on order execute crisis response within Eastern Africa to protect United States’ military, diplomatic, civilian personnel, facilities, and interest.

“Every unit has their unique hazards, mission and specific functions,” said Reyes. “For example, an aircraft maintainer will face different hazards within his/her work center such as working in and around loud environments from jet engines and aerospace ground equipment; whereas a civil engineer faces skin and eye contaminant hazards of working with saw dust and metal shavings.”

Completing daily checks on personal protective equipment, communication devices and having accountability on equipment and personnel creates a safe mission ready environment.

“By being proactive, identifying potential hazards/risks within the work center, accepting risks at the appropriate level and ensuring required documentation is posted and on-hand will keep the rating ‘pass’ and maintain the safety of all personnel,” said Reyes.

Following the inspection, the 303rd ERQS received an overall rating of “pass.”

“Knowing that we have no discrepancies in our programs, we can continue our mission and save lives,” said Morris.

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