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7th AMXS Airmen receive safety award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
The 7th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental shop was recently awarded the 12th Air Force Unit Safety Award of Distinction in recognition of the combined efforts of their unit weapons safety representatives.

The 7th AMXS provides combat-ready B-1 Bomber aircraft and trained aircraft maintenance and weapons load personnel to support Joint Chief of Staff tasking. The unit performs organizational-level maintenance of aircraft and armament subsystems and provides support for the B-1 Flight Training Unit, Operational Test and Evaluation program and Weapons Instructor Course, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Senior Airmen John Villarreal, Jacob Gillen and Andrew Smith, 7th AMXS, implemented a safer way to handle squibs, an electrically-fired explosive. In doing so, they improved workplace safety for all personnel assigned to the electrical and environmental shop.

"Squibs are highly susceptible to static electricity, which could cause the explosives to ignite, so we added a slap bar in the storage areas," said Senior Airman Jacob Gillen, 7th AMXS. "A slap bar will ground any excess static electricity from the body after it is touched, decreasing the chance of an accidental discharge of the explosive."

Additionally, the team of Airmen worked with the building custodian and the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron to install covers for all fluorescent lights and ensured any other safety hazards were corrected.

Their efforts helped the 7th Maintenance Group receive an overall score of "Excellent" during the command's 2013 Combined Unit Inspection. This accomplishment directly contributed to the selection of the 7th AMXS for receipt of the safety award.

"Our commander entrusted us as senior airmen to competently manage a program that was under the CUI microscope," said Gillen. "We felt the pressure, but refused to be the weak link in the chain. We had a great opportunity to prove ourselves to our unit and I think we knocked it out of the park."

During the CUI, the safety representatives showcased their program to the evaluators, explaining how they improved the work environment for more than 570 Airmen and civilians.

"These three eager Airmen tracked down the evaluators to show them their program and highlight their accomplishments," said Lt. Col Todd Bean, 7th AMXS commander. "The evaluator, amazed by such attention to detail from this group of young leaders, coined the team leader and reported zero defects for their program.

"These Airmen really went above and beyond what was asked of them," Bean added. "They have worked tirelessly to improve their mission-essential program with safety at the epicenter of their processes."