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88 ABW safety office provides key service that fulfills line of effort

A firefighter from the 788th Civil Engineer Fire Department, talks with an individual from the 88th Air Base Wing safety office during a base exercise at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

A firefighter from the 788th Civil Engineer Fire Department, talks with an individual from the 88th Air Base Wing safety office during a base exercise at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Wesley Farnsworth)

Michael Rives, left, 88th Medical Group medical emergency manager and William Neitzke, 88th Air Base Wing Incident Command Center director of safety and planning listen to a daily conference call with Col. Thomas P. Sherman, 88 ABW commander, while monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 5, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

Michael Rives, left, 88th Medical Group medical emergency manager and William Neitzke, 88th Air Base Wing Incident Command Center director of safety and planning listen to a daily conference call with Col. Thomas P. Sherman, 88 ABW commander, while monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, May 5, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ty Greenlees)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --  Both inspiring and executing the 88th Air Base Wing command team’s revived lines of effort, the 88 ABW safety office takes pride in maximizing mission effectiveness every day as they continue to provide effective initial safety response to everyone on the installation.

What are the lines of effort anyway? Lines of effort help tie the 88ABW overall mission and organizational tasks together. “Maximize mission effectiveness” is the second of four recently revised lines of effort.

The safety office achieves this purpose by providing a safe, secure, and reliable operating environment to the entire installation and preserving resources by using them efficiently, which is no easy feat. This ultimately results in enhancing the readiness of the ABW, as well as its many tenants.

“Safety is all about preserving resources, not wasting them,” said William Neitzke, 88 ABW Safety Office director. “If resources are wasted or not available, due to Airmen being injured or property being damaged, capacity to do the mission is lost.”

One way the safety office is able to elevate a major part of the second line of effort, delivering necessary operational and mission support, is by understanding the customer’s mission responding to the customer’s need.

“By understanding the customer’s mission we can tailor safety and risk management to help them to more effectively accomplish the mission while still protecting Airmen and preserving assets,” Neitzke said.

In addition to providing a safe, secure and reliable operating environment to the installation, the safety office makes the most of their team’s intellectual capital and diversity to troubleshoot and create new ways of tackling issues that may arise.

“The COVID environment has given us an opportunity to use the diversity of the team to look at old processes and develop new ways of doing business to accomplish the mission within the pandemic operating environment,” Neitzke said.

In order to help the installation the most, Neitzke encourages his office to provide options to leadership so they can make informed decisions based on their recommendations.

“Safety should be a mission enabler not a mission deterrent,” Neitzke said.

The safety office is essential to installation mission partners as well, working with various leaders around the base to help eliminate or mitigate possible risks or injury.

“We help reduce risk to mission accomplishment,” Neitzke said. “Safety is also highly involved in the design and development of future technology to mitigate possible hazards.”

There are many other ways the safety office supports and promotes this line of effort, and one is by challenging each other to be the example of how to do day-to-day things right, not only for themselves - but for other organizations as well.

“Safety is right there in the first line of the description of the wing’s mission statement.” Neitzke said. “We don’t strive for “good enough” we strive to be the example of how others want to be.”