Play it SMART this summer

Gen. Robert H.

The summer, and the weather that it brings, is a great time to enjoy the many travel opportunities we have here in Europe. But because of that, it’s also a time of increased risk.
Each summer, U.S. Air Forces in Europe members are needlessly injured in recreational activities. In worst-case scenarios, loved ones, friends and coworkers are left to mourn.
Our USAFE team continues to rise to the tasks and challenges of being one of the busiest commands within the Air Force, and it’s important to enjoy some time off; but it’s essential that we keep safety first and foremost in our minds.
Vehicle mishaps are the leading cause of accidental deaths of our USAFE members and their families – particularly during the summer months. Driving defensively, wearing seatbelts, adjusting your following distance and speed to match the road and traffic conditions and not drinking and driving are critical steps in ensuring the safety of you and your families while on the road.
No one is immune to mishaps or the distractions that often precede them. We are all susceptible whether on the job, at home or while traveling. Through careful planning, applying effective risk management and staying attuned to our environment we can reduce the potential for a mishap.
As we enter the “101 Critical Days of Summer”, which runs from May 28 through Sept. 6, I ask that you remember and live by our USAFE Summer Campaign slogan for this year, “This summer play it ‘SMART!’” This theme, which supports Project SMART, ties directly to our goal of preventing mishaps.
I challenge you to bring your courage and play it SMART this summer. Every USAFE member is valuable, and by taking care of your wingman, we can make this summer one that is fun and safe! Thanks for all you do in ensuring we’re the most respected and feared air and space force in the world.