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Safety Always a Priority

By Ms. Beverly Simas | 12th FTW Public Affairs | Jan. 5, 2010

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Safety in all we do was the theme as the 12th Flying Training Wing Operations Group aviators and maintainers gathered Tuesday for the Quarterly Flight Safety Meeting and briefing from Medal of Honor recipient Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady (ret.).

During the early briefing for aviators, Col. Jacqueline Van Ovost, 12th FTW commander welcomed the standing room only crowd back to duty after the New Year's holiday. Then she introduced the guest speaker, General Brady.

Using a series of slides and anecdotes General Brady illustrated to the two separate audiences the situation, terrain, and most of all safety issues he had to deal with during his two tours in Vietnam.

During his first tour in Vietnam, then Capt. Brady served with the 57th Medical Detachment, where his commanding officer was the legendary Maj. Charles Kelly. After Major Kelly's death on July 1, 1964, General Brady took command of the 57th Medical' s Detachment. On his second tour, General Brady, then a major, commanded the 54th Medical Detachment. It was during this tour that General Brady earned his Medal of Honor for piloting four dangerous rescue flights. During those flights he utilized three helicopters to evacuate a total of 51 seriously wounded men under extreme enemy fire.

Upon conclusion of the presentation to aviators, Capt. Frederick Alcazar, a navigator instructor for the 562 Flying Training Squadron said "It is always good to know a base-line [for safety]. Having a historical perspective helps to see if we are doing things better or worse. It helps our students get a big picture of safety, flying and on the ground. It is something we can emphasize to our students."