Safety Officer of the Year: MAJ Stephen W. Saam

By Staff Writer

MAJ Stephen W. Saam
436th Airlift Wing,
Dover Air Force Base, DE

MAJ Stephen W. Saam, Flight Safety Officer, Dover Air Force Base, DE, was named the 2021 Air Mobility Command Safety Officer of the Year.

As the acting Chief of Safety, Saam led an eight-person occupational, weapons, and flight safety team through three exercises, solidifying the wing commander’s safety program.

He led the National Commission on Aviation Safety visit, helping to inform the Department of Defense regarding their budget of more than $700 billion. He protected 2,000 personnel and aircraft valued at $8.4 billion by identifying a maintenance mishap increase, clearing a hazard backlog, and briefing a trend analysis to Maintenance Group leadership.

Saam directed the development of a motorcycle mentorship program, managed the Wing Flight Safety Program, and crafted the wing’s Safety Investigation Board plan.

He developed a no-notice mass flight safety brief, directed 12 airfield inspections, corrected 15 flight hazards, and overhauled an airfield driving program. He prevented future aviation mishaps by supervising 51 flight investigations and issuing eight recommendations with two technical order changes.

Saam was the key lead in negotiating a $256,000 wildlife management contract with the United States Department of Agriculture, addressing the threat from 900,000 migratory geese for an $8.4 billion fleet, and guided an osprey removal project.

He led Wing Fly Safe briefs and addressed six Class A mishaps and Military Flight Operations Quality Assurance and Airman Safety Action Program trends. He created 629 multi-capable Airmen by steering a safety review for the wing’s first combat training course and advising on weapons and chemical gas deployment risk management (RM).

Saam was the lead investigator for 10 mishaps worth $1.5 million; supervised a hazard abatement program, identifying 27 hazards worth $15.5 million in contracts; and closed five Risk Assessment Codes, securing $270,000 for aging infrastructure.

He coordinated a high-priority Allied Forces North Europe tasking and surveyed and advised a combat aircraft parking area site for 10 fighter aircraft, priming the 436th Airlift Wing for presidential security operations.

He averted biological hazard exposure by initiating an Afghanistan evacuation C-17 cleanup process and coordinating RM with five units to create a master entry plan addendum.