115 FW puts safety first, receives recognition for outstanding practices

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Andrea F. Liechti
  • 115th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 115th Fighter Wing was presented the 2013 William W. Spruance Award, the National Guard Association of the United States' unit safety award, during the 136th General Conference and Exhibition at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 25.

The 115 FW competed against 88 Air National Guard units, and was presented the annual safety award because of its significant contribution to accident prevention in 2013. This is the fourth time the 115 FW has won the Spruance award.

According to Lt. Col. Brian Parker, 115 FW chief of safety, the Wing's participation in the Occupational Safety and Health association's Voluntary Protection Program significantly advanced its safety and health program in 2013.

"The VPP initiative has strengthened the working relationship between leadership, union membership and unit members," Parker said. "Every member has a vested interest in improving our safety and health programs."

According to Parker, having an excellent safety program starts with senior leadership supporting members' participation in safety at all levels - it is critical to the 115 FW's safety culture and program success.

"The backbone of the safety program is the organization's unit safety representatives," Parker said. "Being assigned as a USR is an additional duty; they represent the commander's safety program. Only the best personnel the organization has to offer are selected."

William W. Spruance, the Airman who the safety award was named after, was one of the best when it came to implementing and following through with safety initiatives. The airman at the 115 FW are following in his footsteps.

"Not only are we leaning forward to improve and increase our mission readiness, but we're doing it in a very safe environment," said Col. Jeffrey Wiegand, 115 FW commander. "I want to personally thank the fighter wing safety team for setting the foundation for the wing, and I'd like to thank all the members for making sure that we not only execute our mission, but we do it in a very safe manner."