<![CDATA[Torch Magazine - Commentaries]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil en-US Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:02:40 GMT Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:02:40 GMT Air Force Link RSS Generator <![CDATA[LIFE DOESN'T REWIND]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123422433 We are in the heart of the Critical Days of Summer. This time has historically been the season when our service sees a significant increase in safety mishaps and a corresponding rise in lost lives and shattered families. As the critical days campaign kicks off Memorial Day weekend (toward the end of May), our senses are heightened as the cautions come fast and furious through articles, commander's calls and other venues. But as the summer days turn into weeks and months, it can cause our focus to wane a bit, our vigilance to ebb. As a matter of fact, in the past 10 years, 58 percent of Air Education and Training Command's summer mishap fatalities occurred after July 15 - the second half of the critical days. In the past five years, that number has jumped to an alarming 71 percent! Finishing out the last half of the Critical Days of Summer is when we have been most vulnerable. And for some of us, we never get a second chance.
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (Col. JAMES L. FISHER) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123422433 Sun, 1 Jun 2014 12:00:00 EST
<![CDATA[CHANGING WITH THE LEAVES]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123367630 As this issue of Torch comes to you, schools have begun for another new year, fall sports like football and soccer have kicked off, and a new fiscal year has started for our Air Force. Along with this new season, your Air Education and Training Command Safety staff has also seen some changes.

With Col. Tal Metzgar's recent retirement, I have taken the reins as the new AETC director of safety. I come to you having completed a year deployment to Afghanistan, serving on a joint and coalition multi-national staff in Kabul. I have served as an aviator and commander in AETC and am excited to serve again alongside all of you in the First Command.
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (By Col. JAMES L. FISHER) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123367630 Sun, 1 Sep 2013 12:00:00 EST
<![CDATA[MAKE IT THE NORM]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123355371 Over the years our AETC family has made it only one summer ­-- 2010 -- without a fatality. We must do everything in our power to make the summer of 2010 the norm and not the aberration.

Unfortunately, Air Force safety statistics confirm the Critical Days of Summer, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, shows an increase in mishaps, especially in off-duty activities. Add to this the increased stress from current budget crisis, furloughs and an uncertain future, and we can find ourselves even more at risk.
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (Gen. EDWARD A. RICE JR.) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123355371 Mon, 1 Apr 2013 12:00:00 EST
<![CDATA['I DIDN'T THINK ...']]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123344484 Do you see a familiar pattern in the following statements? "I didn't think ... the blade on the table saw was that high." "I didn't think ... I was reaching too far (atop a ladder)." "I didn't think ... anything would happen; I've done it this way before." "I didn't think ... it would happen to me."

How many times in the aftermath of a mishap have you heard the phrase, "I didn't think ... (finish the sentence)?" Or, "If only I had stopped a minute to think about it."

On the safety front, it's been a difficult start to fiscal year 2013 for the Air Force. As we approach the halfway point, we are on a pace to double our on-duty fatality rate from the previous two years -- all of them preventable mishaps. Additionally, the Air Force is ahead of last year's off-duty fatality rate, with the majority of mishaps occurring while operating private motor vehicles, mostly motorcycles, followed by automobiles and pedestrians on or near roadways ... and the Critical D
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (Col. TAL W. METZGAR) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123344484 Tue, 1 Jan 2013 12:00:00 EST
<![CDATA[USE THE BACKBOARD]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123331634 As the winter months unfold and temperatures continue to plummet, I have a conditioned response to get excited about winter sports. The change of season brought tailgate parties and midnight madness basketball scrimmages at college campuses across the country. And now, as the winter chill ensues, sports fans are engaged in frequently emotional discussions of college football bowl matchups and the "fairness" of the Bowl Championship Series or "BCS" rankings, and soon, the "March Madness" of my favorite sport ... basketball.
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (Col. Tal W. Metzgar) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123331634 Sat, 1 Dec 2012 12:00:00 EST
<![CDATA[CONTINUING THE LEGACY]]> http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321331 As I write my first article as the director of safety for Air Education and Training Command, let me begin with how honored I am to rejoin a team with a legacy of excellence. I have been associated with AETC for the majority of my adult life ... as a student, instructor and staff officer. The men and women who comprise "the first command" are truly an elite force of professionals, dedicated to instilling our service's core values in everyone we train.

Long before 9/11, AETC performed its wartime mission training a lethal, technologically advanced force for combatant commanders. Our nation was able to respond and sustain a response, largely due to the product of this command -- Airmen! As "the first command" we are not only responsible for operational and technical training, but we instill the principles of risk management and safety consciousness that last a lifetime, well beyond a military career. Simply put, we teach job skills ... and life skills. We must take our bus
torch.magazine@randolph.af.mil (Col. Tal W. Metzgar) http://www.torch.aetc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123321331 Sun, 1 Jul 2012 12:00:00 EST