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Risk Management Guide: Use it

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- By now, each of us should have received a briefing from our leadership about several important topics, to include suicide awareness and safety, both on and off duty. If you haven't been briefed, ask your supervisor or commander, Today.

Why now? And why these topics? General Schwartz, our Chief of Staff and Chief Master Sergeant Roy, our Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force told us in a recent co-signed letter: "Sadly, 18 Airmen, 8 guardsmen and reservists and 3 civilians, of all ranks and specialties, have taken their own lives so far this year," the senior leaders noted. "Additionally, approximately 50 Air Force members annually are killed in motor vehicle accidents."

Each individual was our comrade in arms, our wingman. Each one lost - not by enemy fire - but by an accident or the loss of hope. This is why our AF leadership has directed that all Airmen, regardless of rank, will take part in a Wingman Stand Down Day to learn strategies to prevent such incidents.

As we all know, the first step towards prevention is to know one another. There is nothing like the strong bonds of comraderie in these types of situations. Simply put, being a wingman starts with taking the time to know each other.

If you have "stressors" in your life, please know two things: (1) you are not alone and (2) there are plenty of people in our extended 45th Space Wing family ready and willing to assist you in any and every way possible. The first step to getting help is asking someone, anyone.

Turning to safety, let me mention three letters: ORM. Operational Risk Management is a six-step process where you identify hazards, assess the risk, analyze controls, make decisions, implement controls and then supervise and review.

What's amazing, the six-step process works both on and off the job. Please put it to use. It could mean the difference between life and death. Thanks for all you do, especially our deployed Airmen in harm's way.