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Wing Safety Office wins multiple awards

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing Safety Office has been recognized by Air Force Space Command and the Air Force for their exemplary performance during the past year.

The office received the Air Force Chief of Safety Outstanding Achievement Award for Ground Safety, while Air Force Space Command honored three individuals with Awards of Distinction for Safety.

This is the second time the Safety Office has won the Outstanding Achieve-ment for Ground Safety Award since 2004, said Ground Safety Manager Chris Olesnevich, besting units from as far abroad as Germany. Not only did the office rate an "outstanding" score during the 2007 Operational Readiness In-spection, but there were zero fatal or major accidents on Patrick Air Force Base or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the past year.

"There are many tremendous programs within the Air Force and it is a huge honor to be recognized among the best," said Mr. Olesnevich.

The Air Force also presented the office with plaques for Ground, Space and Explosive Safety. Added to previous awards, there are now 23 such plaques on the office's wall.

The three individuals honored by Air Force Space Command were Nicholas Byrnside, Tommy Ricketson and James Fidler. Their many contributions to improving safety here and at Cape Canaveral included bringing the new portable Range Safety Tracking System for missile launches online, developing new processes to protect assets in space and creation of a Mid-air Collision Avoidance program.

"I'm privileged to support our efforts to prevent launch vehicles from colliding with on-orbit assets, and to help bring the new Constellation program to the Range," said Mr. Ricketson.

"I think it's a good reflection not just on me, but on all of our team," said Mr. Fidler, "including the Operations Support Squadron, Civil Engineer Squadron and our mission partners."

That is a sentiment shared by Chief of Safety Col. James Riemens-Van Laare. "I'm very pleased with the exceptional performance of the safety team," said Colonel Riemens-Van Laare.

"We could not have won these awards without help from every Shark taking the time and effort to be safe at work and at home. This is really a win for the entire 45 SW team."