By Staff Writer
MSGT MELINDA E. MARTINEZ, Wing Safety Superintendent, 89th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Andrews, MD, is the 2022 Air Mobility Command Safety Senior Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year. As the Wing Safety Superintendent, she directed three Flight Safety NCOs, 617 safety spot inspections, and 112 hazard abatement actions. She protected 78 aircraft across four wings.
Martinez also protected “America’s Airfield” and safeguarded 2,500 sorties and 804 distinguished visitor missions with no Class A or B mishaps. Her team won the Wing Staff Agency’s Team of the Quarter Award.
Martinez established the wing’s first-ever safety munitions account, increasing the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program capabilities threefold. As a result, 94 deer, 75,000 birds, and canines were relocated, which was key to the wing’s 7,800 mishap-free flight hours. Martinez hosted an Air Force Safety Center operations officer to showcase the top-notch BASH program.
Martinez oversaw a $481 million airfield construction project and provided operational risk management oversight for 2,000 acres, protecting 250 civilian aircraft and 57,000 transient aircraft.
As the single investigating officer for a foreign aircraft mishap, Martinez gathered evidence, briefed the Wing Commander, and penned seven recommendations for an Air Force-wide technical change. She also drafted a rewrite of the base’s Mishap Response Plan. Martinez aided the host wing Safety office, fixed 38 errors, and cut critical response time by 40 percent.
To further her education, Martinez enrolled in an Aviation Safety Master of Science degree program and completed the Safety Manager Course. She revised six wing programs, which decreased on-the-job training time and saved 300 man-hours a year.
Martinez evaluated the Maintenance Group’s confined space program. She coordinated with four offices and identified three key recommendations and changes, protecting a 280-person maintenance unit. She also updated Joint Base Andrews’ Crash Damaged Disabled Aircraft Recovery program, executed three exercises and inspections, met all regulation requirements, and prepared a 40-member team for mishap recovery operations.