The Mobility Forum Stories

Group photo of airmen participating in training.

Mission Ready Airmen: Hold my Flight Helmet While I Load These Pallets!

By COL JOHN B. KELLEY, AMC DIRECTOR OF SAFETY

One summer day in 1997, young Cadet Kelley, while visiting Ramstein Air Base, Germany, stood in the cargo yard looking at his newly issued U.S. Air Force Motor Vehicle Operator Identification Card. He had just earned his first qualification on U.S. Air Force equipment, a 10K Hyster powered industrial truck (forklift). Fast-forward eighteen years, Lt Col Kelley was standing in the Ground Transportation office jokingly attempting to check out a 10K with the same ID card. The wise Staff Sergeant behind the desk proceeded to raise one eyebrow and rightfully declared, “Not a chance, Sir!”

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Mental Health Technician.

TARGETED CARE: The U.S. Air Force Mental Health Initiative

By MS. TIFFANY L. TOLBERT, STAFF WRITER

According to Maj Magin A. Day—a Mental Health Element Chief and Clinical Psychologist from the 375th Operational Medicine Readiness Squadron—mental health care is phenomenal. As someone with an advanced degree in clinical health psychology, she declared, “Every human being can benefit from therapy.”

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A Crew Chief marshalls a C-130H Hercules as it leaves its parking spot.

The Ramp is a Dangerous Place

By YOUR AMC OPS RAMS TEAM

In a Just Culture environment, we sincerely appreciate crewmembers who share their errors so we can all learn how to improve our performance. Additionally, the crewmember showed true professionalism and candor in assessing the human factors that contributed to the error chain. Thank you for contributing to Proactive Safety!

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AIR MOBILITY COMMAND WELL DONE AWARD Presented to TSgt Kevin Baker

By STAFF WRITER

TSgt Kevin Baker from the 726th Air Mobility Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, proactively addressed safety concerns at the squadron’s de-ice refill station.

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KC-135 Stratotanker.

Managing the Risks of Max Endurance Operations

By LT COL JASON KNAB, AMC FLIGHT SAFETY

With the emerging threat of Great Power Competition, aircrews across all mobility platforms are being pushed to fly longer sorties to achieve more robust capabilities for combatant commanders. This initiative is crucial for operating in the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility and the “tyranny of distance” aircraft must cover to compete with nations like China. As a Major Command (MAJCOM), we have been directed by senior leadership to “Move Faster” and develop capabilities to allow mobility operations to “explode into the theater.” This direction and operational need to deter or defeat Great Power Competition, allowing us to retain the competitive advantage, has led Air Mobility Command (AMC) to start testing Max Endurance Operations (MEO) during exercises and operations across the globe.

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101 Critical Days of Summer Continues to Promote Risk Management On and Off Duty

By CAPT PAIGE MEHRINGER, AIR FORCE SAFETY CENTER PUBLIC AFFAIRS

Many of us drive to the beach each summer, where we can soak up the sun, feel the hot sand beneath our feet, and beat the season’s heat by racing into the cool ocean waves. However, these pastimes include three of the biggest risks during the 101 Critical Days of Summer: driving, excessive heat, and water.

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Cartoon of man mired in quick sand.

Quicksand: Obsessing Over Mistakes and Its Effect on Safety

By MR. RYAN MEEKS, 62D AW/SEG

“Why did I do that?” I say to myself as I recognize another bad decision with an even worse outcome. Inside, I feel awful; I cannot seem to do anything right, and the more I struggle, the more mistakes I make. This process leads to a circular pattern of thinking called emotional quicksand. The more you struggle with the problem, the more stuck you become. Ultimately, without intervention or the right tools to escape, it will completely envelop you and can lead to your destruction.

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The Hammer or the Nail: Compliance Through Force Versus Culture Through Strategy

By MR. RYAN MEEKS, 62D AW/SEG

My father likes to say, “In life, you can be a hammer or you can be a nail, but you can never be both; which one are you?” I always took this saying to mean that you can be either a leader or a follower. You can be the one giving orders or the one taking them, and, to me, that was a simple choice. Be the hammer, right? When I told him I was a hammer, he said: “Really? Brute force and no brain? That does not seem like you at all.”

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Hand holding a vape pen.

VAPING: Harmful in More Ways Than One

By MS. TIFFANY L. TOLBERT, STAFF WRITER

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes)—also known as e-cigs, vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, and electronic nicotine delivery systems—mimic traditional smoking devices. Like traditional devices (e.g., cigarettes, pipes, and cigars), e-cigarettes can contain nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals harmful to one’s physical, mental, and environmental health. Even e-cigarettes claiming to be free of nicotine contain trace amounts of the addictive substance. E-cigarettes also use a battery to heat and transform a liquid into the aerosol that users inhale, at which point more toxic chemicals and risks are formed.

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Gen Mike Minihan, Commander of Air Mobility Command, tests virtual reality equipment.

Next Generation Technology: Pros and Cons of Using Upcoming Technology to Train Airmen

By MS. DARA MARLAR, STAFF WRITER

By completing a task multiple times, you develop the muscle memory and instinctual mechanical skills needed to complete the task without thinking. It is not always easy to complete the same task over and over again in many environments, especially military environments. This is how gaming technology and military training come together to help Airmen become proficient without the danger and cost of traditional training. The use of technology gives the Airmen an edge that is needed to compete in contested environments. With the military stepping into the metaverse, it is important to understand the pros and cons of technology usage in training.

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AIR MOBILITY COMMAND WELL DONE AWARD Presented to The Crew of RCH217

By STAFF WRITER

On August 28, 2023, the crew of RCH217 performed admirably when faced with a “left wing bleed air leak, not isolated” warning at 23,000 feet and 160 knots on initial climb out from Ramstein Air Base (AB), Germany.

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Three members of the aircrew.

When In-Flight Emergencies Happen

By MS. RORY MERRITT, STAFF WRITER

A 709th Airlift Squadron (AS) aircrew on Dover Air Force Base (AFB) received a quarterly safety award on Oct. 14, 2023, for their calm, measured responses to multiple in-flight emergencies. The emergencies occurred on a C-5M Super Galaxy as it was being flown back to Dover AFB from Royal Air Force Mildenhall in Suffolk, England.

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