Wing mourns loss, maintains safety focus

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- I write this week's article with a sad heart.
We received some sad news Sunday afternoon -- Enid's mayor, Irv Honigsberg, passed away. Irv was a Team Vance member more than 50 years ago. He actually attended pilot training right here at Vance Air Force Base in 1950, and served with distinction in Europe and North Africa. His support to Vance AFB has been, without question, monumental. He initiated many actions that directly made the lives of all Team Vance members better, and his passing will be a big loss to all of us. On a personal note, the mayor and his wife Ruth Ann have made my family and I feel very welcome since our arrival last August. We just recently attended the Tinker AFB Dining-Out together, and my wife Ann and I very much enjoyed their company and the time shared together. It was an honor to know and work with a man of honor and distinction, and I ask that all of you join me in saying a prayer for Irv and his passing into a safer and holier place.
Today you will find it difficult to steer clear of the "s" word -- yes, I am talking about "safety." You'll attend several safety meetings, receive safety e-mails, your supervisor will discuss safety with you directly, and you'll even hear about safety from Les Miles, the head football coach at Oklahoma State University. Safety is not a "buzzword"; it's the way we do business here! Your personal safety is my primary concern. Without you here ready and physically fit to do our mission, we will fail! You are Vance AFB's most important resource and we are committed to protecting you. The steps we are taking may seem extreme to you today but we will not relent on keeping all of Team Vance focused on this topic. Please stay tuned to what you will hear and see today -- it could save your life!
Pay attention, take in all the information from today's presentations and discussions and make a commitment to yourself to always keep safety in your crosscheck. You must exercise good, common sense in everything you do. The men and women of Vance AFB have earned an unprecedented and enviable safety record, both on the ground and in the air. We are all proud of this record, and I challenge each of you to do your part in maintaining it. Through your diligent actions -- we can accomplish our mission and be safe at the same time.
Have a great and safe holiday weekend!