By Staff Writer
TSGT NICOLAS A. BARRENA, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, has received the Battalion Risk Manager of the Year Award as well as the Air Mobility Command Safety Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year Award.
As Squadron Safety Representative, Barrena led 15 personnel through 500 inspections with zero discrepancies.
He drove the squadron’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “Star Site” recertification, the highest level of recognition that the agency’s Voluntary Protection Programs offers, which goes to the nation’s top 0.03 percent of eligible worksites.
Barrena revamped the Squadron Safety Document Program, preparing over 2,100 items within 75 folders for inspection with zero findings, which OSHA praised as a “Best Practice.”
Barrena was handpicked for the Pacific Coast Safety Fest and wrote the article “Hierarchy on Controls” for the Air Force Safety Center; he was coined by the Army Field Support Battalion Commander.
He established a Voluntary Protection Program newsletter and authored six publications with 30 articles, which boosted safety awareness.
Additionally, Barrena orchestrated the Installation Support Division’s first OSHA safety representative course, in which he trained 17 Army and Air Force personnel, priming the Army unit for “Star Site” consideration from OSHA.
Barrena revised a job safety training outline and updated 250 Air Force Forms 55, which are used for documenting the completion of initial and recurring safety training. He established a program checklist, which resulted in unit compliance across five flights, and he was coined by the Squadron Commander.
He orchestrated an OSHA visit, set up 30 interviews, and conducted 19 facility tours and in-person briefings. Inspectors lauded him for a flawless program.
Barrena was selected for the OSHA 511 course and applied his knowledge to the squadron program, acing the wing’s 2022 inspection with zero discrepancies. This flawless “report card” resulted in his squadron being declared the “Best McChord Safety Program.”
Barrena did not stop there; he launched a Deficiency Response Team and trained 15 representatives. For this, he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal and Air Base Group NCO of the Quarter recognition.