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From the commander: Team Eglin to hold virtual safety day

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The events over the past few days remind us that the defense of our country can be a dangerous business. The significant challenges for Team Eglin this week were met with a response that made me extremely proud of your dedication, resilience, and absolute focus on executing the mission —  Brig. Gen. Scott Cain.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, commander of the 96th Test Wing and installation commander for Eglin Air Force Base, issued this statement this morning regarding the two crashes at the base:

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The events over the past few days remind us that the defense of our country can be a dangerous business.

The significant challenges for Team Eglin this week were met with a response that made me extremely proud of your dedication, resilience, and absolute focus on executing the mission. We are in the initial phases of the accident investigations of an F-22 incident last Friday and an F-35 incident yesterday.

We breathe a sigh of relief knowing the pilots of both aircraft were cared for by our medical team and released from the hospital. These incidents have occurred during our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is very important to me that we now take a safety pause. I’m asking commanders at all levels to conduct a virtual safety day on Thursday, May 21. I’ve asked my Safety Office to develop a safety briefing for use across the installation. Additional information and guidance on the safety day will be released through your chain of command. Please take this time to focus on staying safe this weekend, how we conduct our missions safely, and on our resilience. Our helping agencies are standing by to assist you and are just a phone call away. Call the Helping Agency Team (HAT) at 850-483-0299 or 504-383-5397, and they will get you connected.

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Lastly, I hope that you all are able to get some well-deserved downtime this Memorial Day weekend. Please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those we honor on this solemn day.

As challenging as today may seem, many great American heroes have given everything for the freedoms we cherish today, and we owe them our respect on this holiday.

Stay safe and stay connected.

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