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Leaders send letter to Airmen on Critical Days of Summer

The secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff cited the start of the 2009 Critical Days of Summer campaign, and called for everyone to be proactive in saving lives during this high-risk season in a letter to Airmen sent out May 22.

The secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force chief of staff cited the start of the 2009 Critical Days of Summer campaign, and called for everyone to be proactive in saving lives during this high-risk season in a letter to Airmen sent out May 22.

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force's top two leaders cited the start of the 2009 Critical Days of Summer campaign, and called for everyone to be proactive in saving lives during this high-risk season in a letter to Airmen sent out May 22.

In the letter, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said this year's 109-day campaign focuses on four areas: traffic safety, alcohol awareness, fatigue and drowning prevention.

"During the last 11 summer campaigns, we lost an average of 24 Airmen and even though last year we experienced one of our safest summers ever, we still lost 17 Airmen," Secretary Donley and General Schwartz said.

The secretary and general also emphasized the importance of weaving alcohol awareness into risk management.

"Slightly more than one-third of our automobile fatalities include alcohol as a factor," the leaders wrote. "Personal accountability and wingman intervention are our best tools to reduce drinking and driving."

The "critical days" are so named because statistical data shows a spike in mishap and fatality risks during this period, especially during off-duty hours.

This joint letter to Airmen in addition to other senior viewpoints can be found in Viewpoints.