Safety is a top priority in every military command.

But the U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters had this year’s best and most effective safety program overall across the service among major commands.

The command’s safety office won the Secretary of the Air Force Safety Award for the second year in a row. The office also won in 1999.

Col. Walter Scales, the USAFE safety director, said the command has put a tremendous amount of emphasis on airmen thinking about safety in everything they do, whether it is on the flight line or in their personal vehicle.

“We’ve a very good safety record, and we’ve been very pro-active,” Scales said.

Last year, the command launched Project SMART, a program which stresses the importance of safety through a serious of monthly themes. SMART is an acronym that stands for Smartly Managing Awareness, Risk and Threats.

The command also boasts the lowest major accident rate, or mishap rate among the major commands. The command has not had a “Class A mishap,” or a major accident, in two years.

In addition to the major command award, Tech Sgt. George Vara Jr., a weapons safety manager with the Ramstein Air Base-based 435th Air Base Wing, received the Air Force Nuclear Surety Outstanding Achievement Award.

USAFE, which is based at Ramstein, oversees 16 bases across Europe comprises 73,000 people, including about 26,000 active-duty airmen.

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