Air Guard Nets a Safety “First”

The Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing is the first Air Force unit to receive a Voluntary Protection Program Star from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The Air Guard unit began its drive to earn the Star rating some 18 months ago, working with the Minnesota Power Company to identify areas for improvement. According to a May 7 wing release, OSHA awards the rating to organizations that demonstrate they have sustained superior performance, a written health and safety management system, and a commitment to employee safety that surpasses, not just meets, OSHA standards. OSHA evaluators conducted an on-site assessment of the wing in February, and OSHA officials announced the wing’s Star status on April 30. Col. Mark Johnson, 148th FW commander, called the award “a validation of all 148th members working together for a common goal.” (148th FW report by Capt. Audra Flanagan)