Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to instruction during a safety stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
1 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to instruction during a safety stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to instruction during a safety stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
2 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to instruction during a safety stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Tye Thompson, an aviation Soldier assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the use of an automated external defibrillator during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Soldiers focused on many aspects of safety during their two-day stand down, including medical response training. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
3 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Tye Thompson, an aviation Soldier assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the use of an automated external defibrillator during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Soldiers focused on many aspects of safety during their two-day stand down, including medical response training. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Fuller, an aviation safety officer assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the proper use of personal protective equipment during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Safety is a number one priority for aviators supporting the RC-E mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
4 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Fuller, an aviation safety officer assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the proper use of personal protective equipment during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Safety is a number one priority for aviators supporting the RC-E mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Emily Beazley, an aircraft structural repairer assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the composite materials of helicopters during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Aviation Soldiers need to have a fundamental knowledge of helicopter maintenance to better understand the safety aspects which go along with their mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
5 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Emily Beazley, an aircraft structural repairer assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a class on the composite materials of helicopters during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Aviation Soldiers need to have a fundamental knowledge of helicopter maintenance to better understand the safety aspects which go along with their mission. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jay Falkenburg, a Soldier assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
6 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jay Falkenburg, a Soldier assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teaches a safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Spc. Lauren Smith and Maj. Daniel Diaz, aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teach an Army Combat Fitness Test safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. The stand down emphasized safety in all areas of Army skills, not just those that are aviation-specific. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
7 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Lauren Smith and Maj. Daniel Diaz, aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, teach an Army Combat Fitness Test safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. The stand down emphasized safety in all areas of Army skills, not just those that are aviation-specific. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Sgt. Abraham Boxx, a critical care flight paramedic, teaches Pfc. Mariyah Berry, an automated logistical specialist, both assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, how to handle a Sig Sauer M17 pistol during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Hands-on instruction allows Soldiers to gain familiarity with weapon systems they haven’t used before in a safe environment. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
8 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Abraham Boxx, a critical care flight paramedic, teaches Pfc. Mariyah Berry, an automated logistical specialist, both assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, how to handle a Sig Sauer M17 pistol during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 6, 2021. Hands-on instruction allows Soldiers to gain familiarity with weapon systems they haven’t used before in a safe environment. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL
Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to a safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz)
9 / 9 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, listen to a safety course during an aviation stand down at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on March 5, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat mid-tour complacency. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Jonathan Perdelwitz) VIEW ORIGINAL

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo— Aviation Soldiers assigned to Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force, conducted a stand down to discuss safety procedures at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on Mar. 5-6, 2021. Aviation units across the U.S. Army conduct safety stand downs every year to focus on various safety procedures and to combat complacency.

The KFOR team took the opportunity to conduct their safety stand down about mid-way through their tour and recognize Soldiers for their continual efforts and ensure their missions are carried out as safely as possible.

“It is important for us, as a unit, to recognize individuals in safety,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Lee Fuller, safety officer with the aviation task force. “It also helps reset the unit to start thinking in more of a safety mindset.”

During the stand down, the task force grounded all flights and took a couple of days to reflect on the basics of safety. Units can become complacent in day-to-day operations in the middle of a mobilization, said Fuller. The goal of the stand down was to emphasize safety all the way down to the smallest task and mitigate the risks of Soldiers making simple mistakes.

In the past months, there has been an increase in aviation accidents across the Army. In light of these events, aviation leadership held the stand down a few weeks early to highlight the importance of safety to prevent similar incidents. They used this time to analyze accident trends and decide what steps need to be taken to increase the safety of Soldiers as they operate aircraft on a daily basis.

“We want to take that step back, pause and figure out what lessons learned we can take from those unfortunate mishaps, and apply them to our own operations so we can avoid potential mishaps here,” said Fuller.

The safety stand down included classroom instruction and practical exercises to help Soldiers master the basics and apply their knowledge in realistic scenarios.

“We go around in groups,” said Pfc. Mariyah Berry, an automated logistical specialist assigned to RC-E. “We listen to the presenters tell us different facts and safety hazards at each station.”

The practical training consisted of exercises specific to both aviation and general Army knowledge. These exercises ranged from instruction on composites in helicopter rotors to combat lifesaver training and Sig Sauer M17 pistol familiarization.

“I really enjoyed going together in groups,” said Berry. “A lot of us don’t interact together because of the different [military occupational specialties] we have. My favorite station was learning about the weapons. I’ve never used a pistol before. I think this is really good training.”

Safety stand downs are a great way for units across the Army to analyze and study what they could be doing better in their own organizations.