Safety is a vital component of a mission's success or failure during any military operation. This is especially true for the United States Transportation Command's Joint Task Force--Port Opening exercise, Turbo Distribution 20-1, currently underway at Fort Stewart, Ga.Exercise Turbo Distribution provides an integrated and joint training approach for participating JTF units including the Air Force's 621st Contingency Response Wing, the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's 689th Rapid Port Opening Element, and Defense Logistics Agency personnel.From unloading aircraft and trucks, to moving thousands of tons of equipment from one point to another, it is critical that participants follow the mantra of "smooth is safe and safe is fast."Simply put, the mission comes first, but doing things the right way while always being safe can make the difference between mission success and failure.Scott Myllo, Headquarters Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command transportation and explosives safety manager, acted as the head of safety for TD 20-1 and is the person who ensures everyone is doing what is right all the time, every time during the exercise."As a safety observer for both the airfield and the forward node, it is my job to prevent mishaps from happening," he said. "If I see something that doesn't look right, it is my job to step in and stop it.""If somebody gets hurt, it is a loss of capability that will have a direct impact on the mission," he said "If we lose personnel or equipment, it creates a challenge to get the mission done."According to Myllo, this is the key to his mission. If he doesn't step in, the success of the operation will degrade. To do this, he ensures all exercise participants know and understand proper safety standards and techniques."I ensure they have the basics, from eye protection, ear protection, and personal protective equipment, all the way to safe driving, vehicle condition and ensuring they are properly licensed to move that vehicle or piece of equipment -- and everything you can imagine in between," said Myllo.For the exercise leadership, safety is also about making the right decisions even in the most austere of conditions."When you're under stress and under pressure, you should be reacting to things with proper procedures, tactics and techniques," said Air Force Col. Kyle Benwitz, team chief for the TD 20-1 Observer-Trainer Team. "When operations are founded in safety principles, there is a much higher chance of success."Safety is stressed during this exercise, preparing the joint team for real-world operations."Every member of the military is a capability, said Benwitz. "If you are not able to perform because of an injury or something that could have been prevented, you are reducing the capability to support our nation's objectives.""If we instill practices of safety and incorporate and internalize them from the beginning, then it will be second nature for us when we're in combat," he added.