by Staff Sgt. John E. Hillier
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
4/24/2015 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The
Air National Guard Safety Office announced that guest speakers slated
for the upcoming Executive Safety Summit will include NASA astronaut US
Navy Capt. Barry E. Wilmore, US Airways pilot Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot
of the "Miracle on the Hudson" US Airways Flight 1549, and Tech. Sgt.
Douglas Matthews, silver star recipient and the Air National Guard's
2014 Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
The Executive Safety Summit held this year at Volk Field Combat
Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, brings adjutants
general, wing commanders, wing command chiefs, and other senior leaders
from across the ANG to discuss safety, risk engineering, cross-cultural
negotiation and lessons learned over the past year of operations.
Director of the Air National Guard and host for the summit, Lt. Gen.
Stanley E. Clarke III, provided this overview, "Our straight-forward
objective is to identify and address strategic challenges to mission
readiness and Airmen resilience at the executive level across the Air
"Virtually all mishaps come down to managing risk and human factors.
Some military missions must be accomplished, despite the inherent risk,"
said Col. Edward L. Vaughan, ANG Director of safety. "Summits like this
permit us to understand those risk factors and better address them. In a
resource-constrained environment, we rely on the creativity and
innovation of our spectacular ANG airmen to manage that risk."
Wilmore has been with NASA for almost 15 years. He most recently served
as the commander of the International Space Station from November 2014
to February 2015. At NASA, he previously served as the pilot for STS-129
which delivered components and supplies to ISS, also as a technical
expert on propulsion systems, and as launch and landing operations
support at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida.
During his tenure as a fleet Naval officer and pilot, Wilmore completed
four operational deployments, flying US Navy A-7E and FA-18 aircraft
from the decks of the USS Forrestal, USS Kennedy, USS Enterprise and the
USS Eisenhower aircraft carriers. He has flown missions in support of
Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Southern Watch over the skies
of Iraq, as well as missions over Bosnia in support of United States
and NATO interests.
Skiles, along with Captain Chesley Sullenberger, became national figures
when they landed US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after the
aircraft suffered dual engine failure from a bird strike during the
plane's climb out. Their quick thinking and calm professionalism in a
crisis saved the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on-board while
performing what the National Transportation Safety Board called "the
most successful ditching in aviation history."
Skiles has been flying for US Airways for 23 years as a first officer
and captain. He began flying at age 16, and has more than 15,000 hours
of flight experience. During his career, he has also been a flight
instructor, as well as a cargo and commuter airline pilot.
Matthews is a combat controller from the Oregon Air National Guard's
125th Special Tactics Squadron, who was awarded the Silver Star for his
gallantry in combat after his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive
device in November 2012, in Afghanistan. The explosion injured Matthews
and triggered a large-scale ambush on his patrol. Despite his exposed
position, he coordinated close-air support against enemy forces. He
refused medical evacuation to remain and engaged the enemy with multiple
air platforms, which allowed his team to break contact and return to
base--remarkably with no loss of life. Matthews was named the 2014 ANG
Outstanding NCO of the year, and was selected as one of the 12 Air Force
Outstanding Airmen of the Year.
"The real value from this summit is when leaders share this information
with their Airmen," said Vaughn. "Our senior leadership will learn a
great deal from the knowledge and experience of all of our presenters,
and take that back to their units."