Robins unit earns rare safety honor

September 8, 2013 

A second unit at Robins Air Force Base has been awarded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s highest award for safety.

According to a release, the 402nd Maintenance Support Group has been named a Star Site, the top designation in OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program. The unit is also the first industrial site in Air Force Materiel Command to win the honor.

The unit is responsible for planning, designing, installing, modifying, maintaining and repairing ground support equipment. It also does facilities maintenance, builds and issues toolboxes and kits, conducts environmental lab testing, and manages the complex’s energy program.

In 2009, the 402nd Software Maintenance Group became the first unit at Robins to be named a Star Site.

“This achievement is a result of teamwork and partnership throughout the entire workforce,” Russ Mills, the support group’s operations flight chief and Voluntary Protection Program manager, said in the release. “We’re not only excited about this accomplishment but the future challenges that come with sustaining and improving the Star status.”

OSHA spent several days touring the unit, reviewing safety and health records, and interviewing employees.

Macon Boeing plant to make more A-10 wings

The Air Force has awarded a $212 million contract to Boeing for more A-10 Thunderbolt wings, which are built at its Macon plant, according to a release from Boeing.

With the additional order of 56 wing sets, Boeing is on contract to build 242 wing sets.

Refitting the wings is expected to save the Air Force $1.3 billion over the next 30 years, the release stated, while improving mission availability by 4 percent.

The A-10 is a twin-engine jet used to support ground forces and attack ground targets, including tanks and other armored vehicles.

Unemployment rises for younger vets

The unemployment rate for veterans who joined after the Sept. 11 attacks climbed significantly in August.

According to a story in the Air Force Times, joblessness for younger vets jumped from 7.7 percent in July to 10 percent last month. The increase comes as unemployment nationwide decreased from 7.4 percent to 7.3 percent and unemployment among all vets dropped from 6.4 percent to 6.2 percent.

Bureau of Labor Statistics officials, however, said unemployment numbers among a particular group can fluctuate dramatically because of the small sample size.

“More than a single report, we know that too many post-9/11 veterans continue to struggle to find employment,” Derek Bennett, chief of staff at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, told the Air Force Times. “We have made progress as a nation, but there is more we must do to support veterans’ transition from combat to career.”

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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