27 FW Safety sweeps awards at all levels

By Greg Allen

The safety buck stopped at Cannon Tuesday, when the Columbian Trophy made another appearance at the 27th Fighter Wing.
When the Air Force presented the wing with the prestigious trophy that recognizes the best flight safety program in the Air Force, it was only the tip of the safety iceberg for Team Cannon.
The Air Force also recognized Master Sgt. Edward Story, 27th FW Safety, with the Explosives Safety Award and the base received plaques for overall missile and explosive safety. Sergeant Story directs the wing weapons safety program that encompasses 19 squadrons, 33 explosive sited locations, 20 licensed facilities and aircraft valued at more than $2 billion.
Along the way to receiving accolades at the highest level, the Cannon fighter wing made a strong showing of safety awards at the 12th Air Force level, winning 17 of 24 safety categories.
“These awards are indicative of the focus Cannon Airmen have when it comes to accomplishing their mission,” said Lt. Col. Ancel Yarbrough, 27th FW Safety chief. “Meeting the assigned mission is every Airman’s duty. To do so safely is everyone’s responsibility.”
“We won the Columbian Trophy for the fourth time since 2000. No other wing has won that many,” said Colonel Yarbrough who himself was recognized at the Air Combat Command level as the Wing Safety Chief of the Year.
The overall mission for the 27th FW Safety office, said Sergeant Story, is to provide comprehensive ground, flight and weapons safety programs to identify and reduce hazards while preventing mishaps.
“These programs are an integral part of preserving Cannon’s combat assets, it’s ready-trained Airmen and their equipment.”
The road to safety excellence is challenging, said Colonel Yarbrough. About 16 safety awards are presented yearly at the Air Force level.
Some awards such as the flight, missile and safety plaques have multiple winners.
“The final winners are the result of a winnowing process at subordinate commands,” he said.
The colonel pointed out that most of the safety awards are for a team accomplishment, and that team is the entire 27th FW.
Colonel Yarbrough said that if Airmen have suggestions for a safer environment, they should start with notifying their direct supervisor and unit safety representative.
“It took the entire team of dedicated professionals known as the 27th Fighter Wing to produce the safest environment possible.,” said Colonel Yarbrough, “Cannon Airmen really made the ‘Work Hard, Play Smart” theme a reality.”