NEWS | Feb. 14, 2013

Colorado Guardsmen exchange aviation safety practices with Royal Jordanian Air Force

By Capt. Kinder Blacke Colorado National Guard

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (2/14/12) -- The 140th Wing safety office hosted members of the Royal Jordanian Air Force last week to exchange ideas and best practices about aviation safety and build relationships as part of the Colorado National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

Four Jordanian F-16 pilots, a flight doctor and a maintenance member spent the week receiving and conducting briefings and question and answer sessions with various members of the wing, coordinated and facilitated by the 140th Wing’s Chief of Safety, Lt. Col. Mitchell Neff.

“The main focus of the Jordanians’ visit here was to demonstrate how the Colorado Air National Guard goes about preventing mishaps and the steps taken to mitigate risks in our flying operations,” said Neff, “and to gain insight from each other’s respective experiences and best practices.”

The week’s agenda covered a diverse array of safety topics, such as flight safety, the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazards Program, foreign object damage, flight medicine, and physical fitness, to name just a few.

“Our goals this week were to explain and then provide the opportunities to watch how the U.S. Air Force and the Colorado Guard incorporates Aviation Safety programs effectively into daily operations,” explained Neff. “We gave plenty of briefings but we also let them witness first-hand how those programs were incorporated into our missions.”

One opportunity to see safety practices in action occurred with a mid-week trip to the 140th Wing’s Airburst Range. The group flew on a Colorado Army Guard CH-47 Chinook to the southwest region of Fort Carson, Colo., to watch F-16 flight operations and see how heavily involved safety and risk mitigation is in range operations, both from the air and the ground points of view.

“It was a great week, which only helped strengthen our State Partnership between Colorado and Jordan,” said Neff, who formed relationships with many of his Jordanian counterparts. “I gained a new respect for our Jordanian friends.”