Fort Polk Guardian 04-26-2019

WARRIOR SPIRIT FORGING THE JRTC & FORT POLK GUARDIAN THE Home of Heroes @ Fort Polk, LA April 26, 2019 Vol. 46, No. 17 Inside the Guardian Housing sur vey ........... 3 JAG visits .................. 5 Training trainers ........ 7 Commissary kids ....... 9 Visiting swamps ........ 12 Safe grilling .............. 13 Weekend weather Today Saturday Sunday 79 82 81 56 0% 0% 0% 60 62 Rain chance Rain chance Rain chance Fort Polk aviator wins prestigious safety award FORT POLK, La. — “I was just doing my job,” he said humbly, but for the Soldiers protected by the ef- forts of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nickolas F. Sciacca, senior safety of- ficer for the 1st Battalion, 5th Avia- tion Regiment, that “job” allows them to accomplish their missions safely. Sciacca is the recipient of the 2018 Army Aviator Association of Ameri- ca’s James H. McClellan Army Avia- tion Safety Award and is the AAAA Safety Officer of the Year. Lt. Col. Connie M. Lane, 1st Bn, 5th Avn Reg battalion commander, nominat- ed Sciacca for the award. “Mister Sciacca is the best safety officer I have worked with in my 18 years with Army aviation,” said Lane. “I believe he represents the very best, and he is the backbone of the 5th Aviation Regiment’s safety program.” Sciacca has been a safety officer since 2013 and was assigned to Fort Polk in 2017. Some of the accom- plishments that led to his selection as Safety Officer of the Year include: • Organized and executed four quarterly battalion safety days, en- suring every Soldier received the re- quired training by offering one-on- one or small group training for those who couldn’t attend safety days due to competing require- ments. • Scheduled 12 monthly battalion safety and standardization meetings to help companies identify hazards and develop solutions to mitigate risk. Considering the potential for crew fatigue with only 36 aviators flying 8,246.6 hours in 2018 — an operational tempo comparable to a combat deployment — Sciacca cre- ated an aggressive crew reset policy that resulted in zero aviation acci- dents for the battalion. • Developed and maintained a digital risk assessment worksheet, or RAW, that allows aircrews to rap- idly identify hazards, implement controls and engage with briefers and approval authorities to manage risks appropriately. The RAW also forces aircrews to conduct an after action review through checklists to improve coordination, identify haz- ards and changes in the local flight area and return feedback to the bat- talion aircrews. • On the ground, Sciacca’s safety instructions were instrumental to the battalion’s qualification of 210 Soldiers through five M9 (pistol) and M4 (rifle) ranges with no acci- dents. • The 17-man rigger section packed more than 4,000 parachutes and supported and jumped on 43 occasions with zero malfunctions thanks to Sciacca’s safety program. The section also conducted equip- ment and aerial delivery with the U.S. Air Force during 10 Joint Readi- ness Training Center rotations, air- dropping more than 450 container- ized delivery systems without inci- dent. • Prepared the battalion for an Aviation Resource Management Survey (ARMS) and Department of Evaluations and Standards visit in July 2018 by mentoring subordinate safety officers, company command- ers and battalion staff. His efforts re- sulted in a score of 92 percent on the ARMS safety checklist with no ma- jor deficiencies. In September 2018, the safety program was again in- spected during the Organizational By JEAN DUBIEL Guardian staff writer CW3 Nickolas Sciacca (second from left), 1st Battalion, 5th Aviation Regiment, holds his James H. McClellan Aviation Safety Award with his spouse, Lauren, flanked by his unit leadership, Lt. Col. Connie Lane (left), battalion commander, and Master Sgt. Carlos Campos (right), acting battalion command sergeant major. Please see Award , page 8 COURTESY