News | June 21, 2021

Mission first, safety always

By Jeffrey Landenberger DLA Disposition Services Public Affairs

Ensuring the safety of each team member of this year’s Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Contingency Operations Readiness Exercise is a shared responsibility of every participant and safety professional included in the annual field training.

man points in distance while talking to another man, both in safety vest
Pat Kaiahua, safety specialist out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickman, Hawaii, is onsite during the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Contingency Overseas Readiness Exercise points out safety concerns.
man points in distance while talking to another man, both in safety vest
COREX Safety
Pat Kaiahua, safety specialist out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickman, Hawaii, is onsite during the Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services Contingency Overseas Readiness Exercise points out safety concerns.
Photo By: Jeff Landenberger
VIRIN: 210618-D-YU183-047
“I am here in Guam to make sure that the two-week COREX operations take place in a safe manner,“ said Pat Kaiahua, a DLA Indo-Pacific region safety specialist based out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.

“My mission for COREX is to provide safety support, ensure that we look at all the hazards, and apply risk management in order to put controls to prevent our personnel from any injuries or property damage and ensure we have safe operations,” Kaiahua said.

On the first day of the exercise, Kaiahua conducted a safety brief for COREX participants.

“Mission first and safety always,” he said. Kaiahua then reminded them that the very nature of the work they do is hazardous, including the equipment they use. He talked about the need to stay hydrated and to work as a team to keep each other safe.

“Pat has provided outstanding support, not only as a safety officer, but as a member of the team,” said Navy Cmdr. Dustin Freeman, Officer in Charge of the COREX ‘21 “B Team” in Guam.

Freeman said that in addition to his safety duties, Kaiahua assisted the exercise team with equipment issues and erecting the Expeditionary Site Set.

“A hazard we are working with right now is the temperature in Guam, being ‘Black Flag’ conditions,” Kaiahua said. “That in itself changes the dynamics, as far as our work and rest cycle. We go into a 15-minute work and 45-minute rest.”

“Safety is a supervisory program,” Kaiahua said. “It is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that we put in risk management, that we use the deliberate risk assessment worksheets that identify our task, identify the hazards, identify the controls and how we are going to implement those controls.”

“Everyone here has been implementing safety,” Kaiahua said.