FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Army recognized Fort Leonard Wood’s fiscal year 2020 safety excellence Feb. 26 with awards for the Explosive Safety Office and Capt. Bruce Leuthold, Company A, 554th Engineer Battalion.
The Explosive Safety Office was awarded the Army Chief of Staff Army Excellence — Explosive Safety Award. Leuthold received the Individual Award of Excellence in Safety — (Officer).
The awardees reinforce “the importance of proactive risk management integrated throughout our plans, operations and training,” said Gen. James McConville, Army Chief of Staff, and John Whitley, acting Secretary of the Army, in a jointly released congratulation letter.
“Effective loss prevention is central to Army readiness and is especially important in light of force reductions and resource challenges,” they wrote.
Oscar Powers, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Safety director, called the wins here “a testament to the entire Fort Leonard Wood ‘team of teams’ approach to all risk mitigation activities we do here.”
“The U.S. Army is a people-centric profession,” he said. “(The awards) show how much the people and the units do, in fact, care about the individuals and the life safety of them and their families.”
The Explosive Safety Office had no documented explosives-related accidents at any of the ranges or training areas here during the fiscal year — the accident-free status extends at least ten years, Powers said.
In addition to the hiring of an explosive safety officer — a first at an installation level — a new Explosive Safety Management Plan now ties together requirements here and reorganizes chapters to reflect all 16 ESMP elements as prescribed in Army Regulation 385-10, and a new Explosive Safety License process better coordinates safety efforts between the fire department, physical security office and the ammunition supply point.
Leuthold, who is departing this month for an assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Kansas City, developed a training plan in line with a new Army Training and Doctrine Command requirement for Advanced Individual Training that delivered nine field exercises with zero accidents. He also led construction missions here to reduce flash flooding, conduct road maintenance, improve airfield safety and manage fitness area maintenance projects.
“This recognition really speaks to (Alpha Company’s) dedicated efforts to keep our Soldiers and installation safe,” Leuthold said. “Our proactive and adaptable approach to safety enabled us to train large volumes of Soldiers and effectively complete our construction missions that benefit Fort Leonard Wood. Keys to success were employing disciplined initiative at all levels, ensuring the team was well supplied with the right equipment, thoughtful after action reviews resulting in improved mitigation, deliberate leader certification, and commitment to a culture of excellence.”
The Army level awards come in addition to the six individuals and teams here who were named TRADOC safety winners in December.
“This is another affirmation that we are doing things correctly here in the Ozarks,” Powers said.