29th TSS civilian claims top AF safety award

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Andrew Leonhard
  • 53d Wing Public Affairs
When Air Force safety officials announced the winners of the 2006 Safety Awards last month, the 29th Training Systems Squadron's "Mr. Safety" was named as the Chief of Staff Individual Safety Award winner.

As the 29th TSS Unit Safety Representative, Jim "Gargoyle" Gregoire's initial reaction was that it's nice to be recognized for something he enjoys doing everyday.

"I enjoy that I have something to do with making sure we are all here again tomorrow," said Mr. Gregoire, the 29th's fighter simulator certification director. "We're the human factor to any event, project or task. And sometime we don't always design something right. So making sure safety is the main concern and, correct precautions are taken is a way of life for me."

The 29th squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jack Knight, agrees, saying the first-time Air Force level award winner has safety on his mind.

"Gargoyle proactively frames all of our efforts in safety terms ... he's always thinking safety first," said Colonel Knight. "Not only does he run the best ground safety program in the wing, he has set the standard for others to follow."

His influence reaches not only the unit, but throughout the wing and base.

"Several of his 'benchmark' ideas are now in effect across the wing, so his positive impact is felt much farther than just here in the 29th," stated Colonel Knight. "And all of his safety accomplishments were made on top of his outstanding performance as a test director/evaluator as well."

"During the 101 Critical Days of Summer Commander's Safety Challenge, he led and executed many educational events that created a base-wide impact," said Colonel Knight.

Mr. Gregoire, whose flown helicopters in the Army, F-16s in the Air Force and DC-9s commercially, to total 21 years of flying, said distractions in the military is his number one concern

"In the military we perform hazardous tasks everyday without incident. But I've seen it time and time again when Airmen find things to do that can turn ugly real quick," he said. "Fighting distractions by staying focused on your tasks will help set your destiny for a successful outcome."