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Critical Days of Summer: It's personal!

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HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- The Critical Days of Summer campaign is an annual safety campaign starting on Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day weekend. The Air Force theme for this year's campaign is titled "It's Personal."

According to the Air Force Safety Center, the objective of the 2012 CDS campaign is to call attention to the tragic loss or injury of Airmen during the summertime, and to make Airmen realize that safety is personal for them, their families, friends and co-workers.

Looking at mishap numbers explains why our summer safety campaign is critical. Since fiscal year 2002, the Air Force has experienced 218 fatalities during the CDS; 201 off-duty, 17 on-duty. The tragedy of each preventable mishap and our recent uptick in ground safety incidents illustrates the continuing need to embed and highlight safety and personal risk management principles during this year's safety campaign.

To support and foster a proactive summer safety program, the goal is that everyone emphasizes the Air Force's "It's Personal" approach. Make a commitment to look out for family, friends and co-workers this summer. Make a commitment to care for the people you encounter every day, because, it's personal - it is this personal commitment that allows us to get involved and make a difference.

The chances to communicate with those around us and to incorporate risk management principles into activities we are involved with is our real challenge. Each of us must help others practice safety discipline and make sound personal risk management decisions regardless of our environment--on- or off-duty.

Continue to insist on strict safety compliance. Take immediate action when standards are not followed or when someone places their well-being in needless jeopardy. Continued emphasis on risk management, situational awareness and personal safety during all activities will ultimately achieve positive results and drive down the number of preventable mishaps.

Make it personal. Our concern for each other is the key to a safe summer!