Military News

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex units earn star status

72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/21/2016 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, OKLAHOMA -- Three Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex maintenance groups recently earned the highest honor for workplace safety and health under the nationwide Voluntary Protection Program.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration awarded Star status this month to the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group, the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group and the 76th Maintenance Support Group.

The simultaneous award hat trick is a first for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, which now has four VPP Star organizations. The 76th Software Maintenance Group and OC-ALC Staff office previously earned Star status.

"I'm extremely proud of these three groups achieving VPP stars," said OC-ALC Commander Brig. Gen. Mark Johnson. "It demonstrates just how committed our workforce, our union partners, and our leadership team is to workplace safety. The entire enterprise should be extremely proud of these accomplishments!"

Jim Bligh, part of the VPP program management team and first vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 916, said the feat is also significant because it's the first Star status achieved by Tinker industrial operations.
"It's really been good that our industrial areas have taken on the challenge of this program and done what it takes to get that recognition," Mr. Bligh said. "We get the airplanes and engines out, we do what has to be done and we've proven that we can all work together to get an elite safety status."

VPP is an "above and beyond" optional safety and health program for private and federal employers that already have outstanding safety and health programs.
Organizations typically work for years to become VPP Stars, undergoing rigorous inspections that involve dozens of employee interviews, workplace evaluations, safety management analysis and more.

An OSHA team evaluated the three Tinker groups here last fall.

"We're extremely excited," said Mike Mowles, deputy director of the 76th CMXG, which has more than 1,600 employees. "We've been working toward this for years. To finally get it done and have OSHA come out and validate what we already thought we knew, it's a tremendous win."

Tinker management, unions, employees and OSHA worked together for the Star honor. It recognizes "exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards, and the development, implementation and continuous improvement of their safety and health management system," according to OSHA.

A formal celebration coordinated with Air Logistics Complex leadership and Local 916 of the American Federation of Government Employees Union is set for February 3rd in Building 9001.

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