WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo --
The Air National Guard Safety Center recently selected a 131st Bomb Wing Airman for the prestigious 2016 Air National Guard Individual Ground Safety Award.
Presented to Tech. Sgt. Patrick Hatcher, 131st Bomb Wing occupational safety manager, the annual award recognizes Hatcher’s contributions to Air National Guard safety and in the Total Force environment with his 509th Bomb Wing active duty partners.
“It is an honor to receive this award but the real work was done by the unit safety reps and members throughout the Wing,” Hatcher said. “Their efforts to adapt to the changes are the driving force behind our overall Wing success.”
Hatcher has been with the wing since January 2008. Prior to joining the safety office, he was the section chief in the 131st aircrew egress shop. In 2015, he assumed his current role as the wing safety manager. His emphasis on safety excellence is a core principle and a statewide challenge.
“Our mission is unique to say the least,” Hatcher said. “From the B-2 nuclear mission with our [active Air Force] partners at the 509th Bomb Wing, to our bombing and gunnery range near Fort Leonard Wood, and our multiple missions in St. Louis; our wing stays very busy. Add in our state emergency duty mission, and it is a testament to our members how we continue to limit mishaps while performing at a high level both locally and globally.”
The Air National Guard Individual Ground Safety Award is one of seven annual ANG safety awards. This is a first for Hatcher and the second ANG-level safety award for the wing. Last year, Senior Master Sgt. Jim Sutton received the 2015 Air National Guard Individual Weapons Safety Award. Both members were presented their awards during the recent 2017 Air National Guard Mishap Prevention Workshop held in San Antonio, Texas.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our office and wing,” said Sutton. “It's an honor to represent the 131st and the Air National Guard in this capacity.”
Hatcher’s and Sutton’s leadership agrees.
“These awards represent the dedication, long hours and hard work of great Citizen-Airmen who continually raise the Air National Guard standard,” said Lt. Col. Drew Irmischer, 131st Bomb Wing chief of safety. “Tech. Sgt. Hatcher and Senior Master Sgt. Sutton take great pride in what they do to support 131st Bomb Wing safety programs and the Total Force B-2 mission. We’re proud of their accomplishments.”