Photo Information

Service members make their way through static displays and information tables at the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) safety exposition aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2009. II MHG (Fwd) held the safety exposition to combat complacency among service members nearing the end of their deployment.

Photo by Cpl Triah Pendracki

Safety still a priority as deployment winds down

23 Dec 2009 | Cpl. Triah Pendracki

Even with the deployment of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) nearing an end, safety still remains a very important part of day-to-day life aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

The Marines and sailors of II MEF Headquarters Group (Fwd) organized a safety exposition for service members and civilians aboard Al Asad, Dec. 18, 2009.

“We call it the ‘first 45 and last 45’ because that is the time window for when most safety mishaps occur,” explained Petty Officer 3rd Class Edruzzel Ducut, a corpsman with II MHG (Fwd). “People are starting to get complacent because they’re about to leave, but they can’t forget about the little things out here.”

This safety exposition was much smaller than the one held at the beginning of the deployment, but still provided valuable information.

“We have all the same information and vendors here, but with fewer people in country, it’s more concentrated,” said Sgt. Derrick Martin, the safety chief for II MHG (Fwd). “No matter how close we are to leaving, we cannot allow our personnel to become lackadaisical.”

Visitors to the exposition could look inside a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and some of the fire department’s trucks. Civilian contractors had information on poisonous animals found in the area, and Al Asad’s Base Command Group had electrical safety information for patrons.

“Most people think that if the plug fits or if a power cord looks high-tech, that it’s safe,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Charles Perez, the leading petty officer for the BCG electrical section. “This is rarely the case, and it’s very unsafe to not read the labels on things.”

After visiting the exposition, service members and civilians were able to go back to their peers and co-workers with more knowledge on how to conduct their missions and day-to-day routines safely.