8th MXG participates in first-ever Safety Olympics

by Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson
8th Fighter Wing

KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Maintenance Group hosted the first-ever MXG Safety Olympics at Kunsan Air Base Oct. 2. The purpose of the event was to highlight the importance of workplace safety while simultaneously drawing camaraderie among all Airmen in the 8th MXG.

"Our leadership wanted to create a more fun way to host a safety day, aside from making Airmen sit in PowerPoint briefings all day," said Staff Sgt. Lewis Swarz, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron loading standardization crew member. "Their idea was to provide games and events to compete in to garner more interest."

Events that took place during the MXG Safety Olympics included a barrel toss, a munition toss, a safety wire challenge, a 70 set challenge, a push up challenge, an Air Force Instruction Knowledge Test, a fire bottle challenge and a personal protective equipment relay.

"We chose a variety of events that everyone could do, as there are 19 different career fields within the 8th MXG," said Master Sgt. Sean Pitre, 8th Maintenance Squadron armament flight chief.  "If Airmen needed to learn, we got them to the right people so they could learn. At the end of the day, they learned something and had an opportunity to see what other career fields do."

A large part of the MXG Safety Olympics included celebrating after enabling 8th Fighter Wing pilots to fly 6,649 sorties and complete 8,839 flight hours during Fiscal Year 15. The other part included providing ways for Airmen to get their safety briefings and simultaneously boost morale within the Wolf Pack's maintenance community.

"Before each team competed in each event, there was a safety brief," Swarz said. "We briefed them on each task, the dangers of each task, and what not to do."

The event also sharpened the 8th FW's mission of taking the fight north by highlighting the importance of safety.

"I feel that the MXG Safety Olympics enhances the mission by reminding people of the importance of looking out for each other," Pitre said. "You can never take safety too lightly."

The MXG Safety Olympics also helped Airmen develop leadership skills, along with positively impacting the mission and maintenance community.

"You could have a young Airman out there doing pushups, for example," Pitre said. "He's out there leading his group because he's younger and he's good at it. He's there for the older guys in the group and he's going to guide them through it."

Everyone on each team had an opportunity to lead an event throughout the day.

"Everyone has their strong points," Pitre said. "It also allowed others to take what they learned back to their shops and incorporate that into their tool box."

Through competition and games, Airmen had an opportunity to take pride in their unit and sharpen their knowledge on workplace safety.

"The Airmen had time to kick back a little bit and take a break from the daily grind," Swarz said. "It was a lot of fun and the turnout was great. I hope they make it better and continue this in years to come."


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