NEWS | Aug. 20, 2018

Pacific Air Forces and Partner Nations Work Towards Safer Skies

By Staff Sgt. Daniel Robles Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- U.S. Air force representatives and partner nations around the Indo-Pacific met in Honolulu, Hawaii, for this year’s Asia-Pacific Aviation Safety Subject Matter Expert Exchange (APASS), hosted by Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Aug. 14-17.

The four-day safety exchange provided a forum to discuss aviation safety and risk management procedures used by partner nation air forces.

“The sons and daughters of our nations are entrusted to us as leaders and as safety experts,” said Maj. Gen. Brian M. Killough, PACAF chief of staff. “Coming together as a group to share these safety exchanges really does make a difference. One person saved is a lifetime of accomplishments.”

The participants began the exchange by listening to guest speakers about resource and risk management. Each nation also had the opportunity to present their aviation safety views and practices.

“We view this event as very important for engaging with our safety partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region” said Royal Australian Air Force Wing Commander Sam Barnes. “No one has all the answers. Diversity of thought is a critical piece in achieving the safety outcomes that we all strive for.”

Although the air forces vary in size and structure, they share a common goal of making aviation as safe as possible. The exchange of ideas and information between nations in the Indo-Pacific region allows for stronger partnerships and more robust safety programs for all.

“One of the mantra’s we have here in the PACAF Safety office is that it’s not no risk, it’s knowing risk” said Col. Tim Cullen, PACAF director of safety. “As our systems become more complex there may be less incidents but the ones we do have can be catastrophic. Ultimately, our goal is to have zero mishaps.”

Other nations expressed interest in hosting future exchanges to allow for a continued prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.

The event ended with a cultural tour and enthusiasm for meeting again for APASS in 2019.