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Pacific Air Forces receives top safety honor

SAN ANTONIO -- Pacific Air Forces is the recipient of the Major General Benjamin D. Foulois Memorial Award in recognition for its flight safety program for the past year.

The award was presented to the major command by members of the Order of Daedalians during a ceremony here July 1. To receive the annual flight safety award, the Air Force chief of staff selects the major command with the year's best flying safety record.

"This is a testament to the combined efforts of aircrews and maintainers. They deserve it," said Arizona Air National Guard Commander Maj. Gen. Michael J. Shira, who accepted the award on behalf of the PACAF commander, Gen. Paul V. Hester.

PACAF's 2005 safety record included no destroyed aircraft or aircrew fatalities. It also achieved the secretary of defense's goal of a 50-percent reduction in major aviation mishaps for the second year in a row.

PACAF, which has less than 53,000 military and civilian personnel assigned to cover more than 70 percent of the Earth's oceans, accomplished the safety record while flying combat sorties to support operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and supporting tsunami relief efforts during Operation Unified Assistance. During tsunami relief efforts, PACAF stood up a 24/7 air operations center to organize rescue and relief flight efforts by the Air Force as well as Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and other nations.

"This event and the awards promote safety and remind everyone of our support to air supremacy and air and space power," said Daedalians member retired Maj. Gen. William J. Breckner Jr.

The Major General Benjamin D. Foulois Memorial Award trophy will be on display at the Order of Daedalians headquarters on Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. The Order of Daedalians is a national fraternity of commissioned military pilots. The order presents a total of 16 trophies each year to Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard organizations and individuals to promote safety and military professionalism.