safety center

The Air Force Safety Center (AFSC) is a field operating agency headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.


The Air Force Safety Center develops and manages Air Force mishap prevention programs and the Nuclear Surety Program. It develops regulatory guidance, provides technical assistance in the flight, ground and weapons and space safety disciplines, and maintains the Air Force data base for all safety mishaps. It oversees all major command mishap investigations and evaluates corrective actions for applicability and implementation Air Force wide. It also develops and directs safety education programs for all safety disciplines.


There are approximately 160 personnel assigned to the Air Force Safety Center, divided almost equally between military and civilians.


The Air Force chief of safety, who also holds the title of director, Air Force Safety Center, heads the organization. The Air Force Safety Center has a group commander, four mission divisions, three support divisions and a small liaison detachment at the Pentagon.

The Aviation Safety Division manages Air Force flight mishap prevention programs for all manned aircraft. It furnishes technical assistance, information and analysis for flight safety issues and manages the flight mishap investigative process. In addition, they provide comprehensive flight engineering expertise, guidance in the human factor and life support arenas and oversee the USAF Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program.

The Ground Safety Division develops ground safety programs and procedures to provide a safe work environment for Air Force personnel. They research, write and maintain Air Force Occupational Safety and Health standards to ensure compliance with federal laws. In addition, they evaluate final mishap reports and provide lessons learned and analyses to field units.

The Weapons, Space and Nuclear Safety Division establishes and executes mishap prevention programs for all weapons, reactor, space and nuclear systems. They provide nuclear systems design certification, explosive safety standards development, space and weapon safety consultation, as well as system inspection, oversight, education and staff assistance in their areas of responsibility.

The Policy, Plans and Programs Division ensures proactive and effective mishap prevention guidance for all safety disciplines. They manage and administer the Air Force safety education and training program and operate the USAF Crash Laboratory. They are also responsible for the Air Force Safety Awards Program, the development and implementation of the Operational Risk Management Program, and administer the AFSC Quality Program.

The Data Operations and Analysis Division provides AFSC with communications- computer infrastructure and expertise needed for effective productivity and mission accomplishment. They maintain the Air Force data base of all safety mishaps and respond to customer requirements for mishap data.

The Public and Media Affairs Division publishes three Air Force special publications: Flying Safety, Road and Rec and Nuclear Surety and Weapons Safety Journal. They are responsible for fielding inquires from local and national news media for safety information and providing coordinated responses. In addition, they are responsible for producing video tape presentations on relevant safety issues in support of mishap prevention programs.

The Resource Management, Manpower and Career Programs Division establishes policy and manages Air Force safety civilian and enlisted career fields. They are the functional managers for the Air Force safety manpower standard and variances. They also establish policy and manage AFSC military and civilian personnel actions. In addition, they are responsible for AFSC manpower requirements and managing the AFSC budget.

The Issues Division, a detachment in the Pentagon, provides a direct interface with members of the Air Staff. They facilitate responses to questions on safety-related issues raised by the chief of staff and members of the staff. They also represent the chief of safety at Air Staff meetings and boards.

The Center has a staff judge advocate assigned who provides legal advice and general counsel on all aspects of mishap prevention programs and safety investigations. In addition, the office is responsible for maintaining the AFSC mishap report library and responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and non-FOIA requests for mishap investigation data.


After the Air Force became a separate department, the Air Force chief of staff designated the Office of the Inspector General to oversee all inspection and safety functions. These functions were consolidated in an Inspector General group at Norton Air Force Base, California, in the 1950s.

On Dec. 31, 1971, the Air Force Inspection and Safety Center was activated, replacing the 1002nd IG Group. The center was divided into the Air Force Inspection Agency and the Air Force Safety Agency in August 1991. Both agencies moved to Kirtland AFB in July 1993 due to the closure of Norton AFB.

On Jan. 1, 1996, the Air Force Safety Center activated when the Air Force chief of safety and staff moved from Washington, D.C., to consolidate all safety functions at Kirtland.


Air Force Safety Center
Public and Media Affairs Division; 9700 G Avenue, SE, Suite 282A; Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, 87117-5670; DSN: 246-0936 or (505) 846-0936

June, 1996




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