Capt Benjamin BertelsonCapt Todd O’BrienTSgt Robert HayesSrA Peter SimpsonSeptember 13, 2018, was busy for the crew of MOOSE 63, flying a 12-hour day in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The mixed crew from three squadrons readied for their last offload, which included two high mobility artillery rocket systems (HIMARS). After smooth offload of passengers, pallets, and one HIMARS, the Aerial Port Squadron personnel moved on to the final HIMARS—only to find it wouldn’t start.
With the supervision of the two Loadmasters, they drove their truck into the cargo compartment. They attached jumper cables, stationed one Aerial Port member each at the HIMARS and the truck, and again tried to start it. Again, nothing. Expecting the battery would charge while connected to the idling truck, they elected to wait. Suddenly, the truck battery burst into flames. The Instructor Loadmaster heard “FIRE!” and turned to see the truck’s engine compartment engulfed in flames. He reached for a fire extinguisher and dashed over to the fire.
The Mission Loadmaster notified the flight deck crew and called Command Post to send emergency personnel. Once finished with the flight deck items in the Emergency Ground Egress Procedure, the Pilot and Copilot ran to the cargo compartment to find the fire out and everyone safe. Emergency vehicles quickly approached, and—with the fire extinguished—the crew turned the aircraft over to ground personnel and departed.
Their teamwork and emergency equipment knowledge prevented the loss of a $5.1 million HIMARS and a $225 million aircraft. More importantly, it safeguarded the lives of all personnel. The actions of MOOSE 63 reflect great credit upon them, the 3rd and 21st Airlift Squadrons, 860th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Air Mobility Command, and the United States Air Force. Crew that day included Capt Benjamin Bertelson, Aircraft Commander/Pilot; Capt Todd O’Brien, Copilot; TSgt Robert Hayes, Instructor Loadmaster; TSgt Skye Thompson, Flying Crew Chief; and SrA Peter Simpson, Mission Loadmaster.
CAPT JOHN-DAVID WEBB is the Chief of Flight Safety for the 305th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. He oversees the KC-10A Extender and C-17 Globemaster III flight safety programs and serves as an advisor to the 305 AMW Commander on safety matters concerning over 2,500 active duty and Reserve Airmen and two geographically separated airfields. He also maintains proficiency and readiness as a KC-10A instructor pilot, flying with the 305th and 514th Air Mobility Wings at the Joint Base.
As Chief of Wing Flight Safety, Webb spearheaded a final overhaul to McGuire Field wildlife management practices. In addition to leading a targeted wildlife management event and coordinating a vegetation management plan, he led a rewrite of the Joint Base Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard plan, paring down the outdated document from nearly 200 pages to 22. Both airfields were cited as the worst managed (regarding wildlife) in 2015. However, in 2018, Headquarters Air Force Safety Center lauded the efforts of the 305 AMW Safety Office and cited the Joint Base as a “best management practice.”
Webb also teamed with the Inspector General (IG) and served as the sole flight safety officer for Joint Base Exercise JERSEY DEVIL, providing immediate mishap response oversight during the largest exercise of the year. He gave support to 496 personnel over four wings during the most extensive winter storm of 2018. AMC’s IG praised the exercise as “the most robust in AMC.”
A native of Dallas, Webb attended Texas A&M University and earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. Upon completion of Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, Texas, he was selected to fly the most capable strategic multirole tanker aircraft, the KC-10A, and assigned to the 2d Air Refueling Squadron, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.
MSGT DANIEL MCQUISTION is the Flight Safety Non-Commissioned Officer for the 62d Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. He is responsible for implementing and managing the AW’s flight safety program for five units.
Additionally, he works closely with the 627th Air Base Group, a tenant unit that provides installation support, and the Joint Base Safety Office to develop guidance and policies across the joint base, including Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and U.S. Department of Agriculture mission partners. Additionally, McQuistion engages with commanders, supervisors, and unit safety representatives to ensure safe flying and maintenance operations. His background includes five years of C-130 maintenance and 10 years of C-17 maintenance.
During 2018, McQuistion led numerous proactive initiatives, including quarterly maintenance safety briefs, arming supervisors with lessons learned from recent maintenance-related mishaps. He revived the outdated 62 AW Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) prevention program and advocated the installation of an airfield wildlife fence to reduce strike hazards. He coordinated multiple Mid-Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) program briefings to local civilian airfields and pushed a multi-agency visit to the 62 AW’s auxiliary training airfield, enabling wildlife control demonstrations, airfield inspections, MACA training for a local flight school, and training for airfield firefighters.
McQuistion was key to highlighting several deficiencies to higher headquarters. He identified an installation deficiency with wing root panels that left C-17 brakes susceptible to water saturation and freezing during flight. This discovery resulted in an aircraft modification to prevent future mishaps. He also coordinated with engineering to implement C-17 technical order changes after investigating a corrosion-induced failure of the nose landing gear steering actuator. Finally, he drove a major update to the 62 AW’s mishap response plan, synchronizing the mishap response capabilities of 12 DoD agencies across Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
MR. ROBERT BROWN has been the Weapons Safety Manager for the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Delaware, from May 2016 to present day, where he has revitalized the 436 AW Weapons Safety program. He provides expert weapons safety oversight and support, ensuring explosive safety compliance for eight assigned and two tenant units, providing protection for over 11,000 personnel and equipment, including 31 aircraft, valued at $8.1 billion in total assets.
While in the 436 AW Weapons Safety Manager position, Mr. Brown flawlessly managed explosive operations for DoD’s largest aerial port, overseeing the safe handling and delivery of 12.8 million tons of explosives in support of contingency operations throughout the Area of Responsibility. Additionally, he was integral in gaining AMC/CD explosive safety waiver approval, providing vital safety measures to contract workers constructing a new hydrant fuel system facility worth $23 million.
Furthermore, Mr. Brown was key in the ongoing purchase of 11 acres of easement land valued at $186,000 located near Dover’s explosive storage areas. This land reclamation is vital for potential allocation of future AF explosive projects.
Originally from Centerville, Ohio, Mr. Brown honorably served over 24 years in the Air Force. He began his career as a Munitions System Specialist serving in numerous positions and later as a Weapons Safety Manager at wing and numbered Air Force levels. Mr. Brown’s military journey prior to arriving at Dover AFB upon retirement includes five separate assignments to Osan AB, Korea; two to Spangdahlem AB, Germany and Eglin AFB, FL; and one each to Minot AFB, ND and RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. He has deployed in support of Operations Southern and Northern Watch, as well as Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
MSGT MICHAEL T. PATTERSON of the 305th Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL) in New Jersey has been named Air Mobility Command’s RiderCoach of Year. As a Certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCoach, he completed an 80-hour course, met all New Jersey on-the-job training requirements, was awarded a New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles stamp, and raised coach capabilities by 10 percent at JBMDL.
During fiscal year 2018 Patterson revamped the JBMDL Motorcycle Safety Representative program. He identified old standards and recertified 49 riders. Additionally, he restored 100 percent of the Motorcycle Unit Safety Tracking Tool documents. Thanks in part to those efforts, Patterson aced the 87th Air Base Wing inspection. Perhaps his greatest achievement was to ensure JBMDL incurred no motorcycle fatalities at all during fiscal year 2018.
Patterson also led the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst mentorship ride. This involved coordinating 53 riders for 300 miles, during which he enforced hand signal rules and mentored riders’ basic skills. He then returned all participants from the ride with zero mishaps.
His dedication to fellow Airmen is evident. He advocated the Basic Rider Course at the installation during the year. It involved teaching five two-day courses, requiring 110 hours of time and successfully qualifying 32 riders. Indeed, he mentored one-third of all new riders at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
SSgt Kenneth Reid and TSgt Lance HughsonThe 436th Airlift Wing Motorcycle Safety Program at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware has earned the 2018 Distinguished Motorcycle Safety Award. The safety program is a success because of the combined efforts of the Unit Motorcycle Safety Reps, RiderCoaches, mentors, and Green Knights. However, SSgt Kenneth Reid and TSgt Lance Hughson from the 436 AW Safety Office Occupational Safety Division are key to the success of the program and assist in managing the program for the entire wing. The Motorcycle Safety Program as a whole worked tirelessly to incorporate innovative training and maintain exceptional rapport with rider coaches. Combined with their phenomenal record of zero Class A or B mishaps for the fifth consecutive year, it is easy to understand why they deserve this honor.
This group at the 436 AW led its 12th Motorcycle Safety Day and hosted the Delaware Office of Highway Safety with 250 riders and 11 vendors. They developed a mentorship morale ride during Safety Day, through which they heightened awareness for more than 150 riders. They also constructed a skills course, promoting safe riding techniques to 28 attendees. The wing safety office and motorcycle safety reps are already planning the 13th Annual Motorcycle Safety Day.
Dover’s more than 50 Green Knights members participated in four group tutor rides during the year. They provided continued learning and experience of fellow riders. The Green Knights also contributed to a highly effective presentation that ultimately reached 250 riders. As a group, the 436 AW inspected 18 unit programs involving 328 riders. The MSR training at 436 AW is a unique one-stop shop for requirements, enabling 11 representatives to manage their programs more efficiently. The training of seven new sportbike riders helped advance AMC’s safety culture. In addition to all of the training accomplished, the 436 AW Motorcycle Safety Program members also conducted Personal Protective Equipment checks at gates during safety send-offs, ensuring all riders were compliant with requirements.
MSGT JUSTIN MUSALL is the Safety Superintendent for the 735th Air Mobility Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. He implemented the commander’s safety program and provided safety program oversight and support to AMC’s busiest enroute squadron in the western Pacific, including detachments in Australia and New Zealand. He monitored the annual movement of over 110,000 passengers and 20,000 tons of cargo over 9,000 missions.
Musall guided his unit to a perfect Air Mobility Command Safety inspection for a third consecutive year, the first ever enroute to accomplish this feat. Additionally, he coordinated with three base agencies to merge Air Force and Navy standards and authored a new Joint Base Traffic Instruction, reducing base traffic mishaps 84 percent. He also identified inadequate 60K Tunner tire-changing procedures and synced Air Mobility Command and Air Force Materiel Command policy, driving a DoD technical order change.
Furthermore, Musall developed a “safety first” culture, which was evident when his unit Airmen took home two Air Force, three Air Mobility Command, and eight of ten Group/Wing safety awards. He was additionally recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Safety and Health professionals worldwide, receiving a National Safety Council Rising Stars of Safety Award. During this time, he also was able to complete his master’s degree in occupational safety and health.
Born in Crawfordsville, Indiana, Musall joined the United States Air Force in June 2004 and spent his first 8 years as an Electronic Warfare technician before retraining into Safety. His dedication to service earned him the fiscal year 2018 Safety Enlisted Professional of the Year Award, which joins numerous other awards, honors, and achievements he has amassed within and outside the safety arena during his career.
MR. GARY ASH serves as the Chief of Occupational Safety and Risk Management Advisor for the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base in California. He directly advises the Chief of Safety on the status of the installation safety management system and helps leadership at all levels meet organizational visions and mission objectives. His responsibilities include resource advisor and safety oversight for 16,000 personnel and $98 million of infrastructure supporting the C-5, KC-10, and C-17 airframes.
Accomplishments this past year include securing a safety cordon during a security incident and developing a streamlined safety management system, thus increasing productivity and risk management efficiency. Ash did this while obtaining the CalOSHA Certified Safety Management Specialist credential and other OSHA-certified courses. His impact—and that of all Wing Safety Staff—on the community encouraged innovative thought for continuous improvement.
Mr. Ash served 28 years in the U.S. Air Force and Arkansas Air National Guard as the Occupational Safety Manager for the 189th Airlift Wing. He received the ANG Outstanding Individual Ground Safety Award for 2008 and the Arkansas Exceptional Service Medal for outstanding service. In April 2011, he retired to pursue civil servant duties as Safety and Occupational Health Specialist at Travis AFB. In 2018 he was hired as an Occupational Safety Manager.
Raised in an Air Force environment, Mr. Ash considers Bridgeport, West Virginia, his hometown. He holds a degree in radio and television communications from Fairmont State College and another in safety from the Community College of the Air Force. His duty locations prior to Travis include Bergstrom AFB, Texas; Palmerola Air Base, Honduras; RAF Chicksands, United Kingdom; Little Rock AFB, Arkansas; and Istres-Le Tubé Air Base, France.