QUALITY ASSURANCE SPECIALIST
PA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD
ARMY AVIATION SUPPORT FACILITY
FT. INDIANTOWN GAP, PA
Fort Indiantown Gap, PA
• Maintain aircraft for Aviation Brigade, Eastern
Army Aviation Training Site (EAATS), other
tenants, and transient aircraft from other
facilities around the nation
• Train and prepare units to deploy
• Respond to State and regional emergencies.
i.e. floods, wild fires, and law enforcement
Who We Are
• Busiest National Guard Airfield
– Second largest helicopter training base in world
• Over 13,000 flying hours per year
• Over 70,000 takeoff and landings
– All aircraft types, except the Lakota have deployed
– Approx. 45 rotary wing, 2 fixed wing aircraft, and 4
unmanned aerial systems – and growing
Who We Are - cont
• AASF is an Aviation Maintenance and Training
– Over 200 people – highly experienced work force
– 8 aircraft types
• Long history of deploying, responding to state
and federal emergencies and safely
maintaining the highest OPTEMPO aviation
• 4 AH-64D Apaches
– 2 crew aircraft: pilot and
– Weapons include a
30mm chain gun with a
firing rate of 625 rounds
– Hellfire air to surface
– 70mm rockets.
• 20 UH-60 Blackhawks
– Air assault
– General support
– Command and control
– Special operations
• 10 CH-47 Chinooks,
getting 8 more over the
– Transportation of troops,
artillery, supplies, and
equipment to the
– Aircraft recovery
– Parachute drop
– Disaster relief
• 2 OH-58A Kiowa
– Can be flown by one
– PA ARNG currently
employs the OH-58 for
RAID and service
• 8 UH-72 Lakota
– military multi-mission
– Law enforcement
– Search and rescue
– Personnel transport.
• Shadow UAS
• Used for aerial recon
What is going on around me????
What is Situational Awareness?
When should I use Situational Awareness?
How can I use Situational Awareness?
What is Situational Awareness?
Situational Awareness is the ability to identify,
process, and comprehend the critical elements of
information about what is happening in your
environment. More simply, it’s knowing what is
going on around you.
Situational awareness is dynamic, hard to maintain, and
easy to lose. Knowing what is going on at all times is
very difficult for any one person, especially during
complex high stress operations. Therefore, it is
important that we know what behavior is effective in
keeping situational awareness. The following actions can
help us retain or regain situational awareness:
• Be alert for deviations from standard
• Watch for changes in the performance of others
• Be proactive, provide information in advance.
• Identify problems in a timely manner.
• Show you are aware of what’s going on around
• Communicate effectively.
• Keep abreast of the mission or task status.
• Continually assess and reassess the situation.
• Ensure that all expectations are shared for
complete awareness by everyone involved.
Inadequate situational awareness has
been identified as a primary factor in
accidents attributed to human error.
Complete and accurate situational
awareness is essential not only at work,
but also at home.
In order to understand how to use
situational awareness, it is better to first
learn how situational awareness is lost.
8 CLUES THAT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS HAS BEEN
1. Confusion: Disorder within the team or a gut feeling that things are
not right. This clue is one of the most reliable because the body is able to
detect stimulus long before we have consciously put it all together. Trust
2. No one Watching or Looking for Hazards: Operations require more than
just focusing on your task (tunnel vision). The proper assignment and
performance of tasks, particularly supervisory and lookout, is essential to safe
3. Use of Improper Procedures: This puts the individual or team in a gray area
where no one may be able to predict outcomes with any certainty.
4. Departure from Regulations: In addition to violating procedures, we are
operating in an unknown area where the consequences of our actions cannot
be predicted with any degree of certainty. This makes it nearly impossible to
plan for future outcomes of actions being performed.
8 CLUES THAT SITUATIONAL AWARENESS HAS
BEEN LOST (CONT.)
5. Failure to Meet Planned Targets or Objective Goals: During every task in life, we
set certain goals or targets to meet, such as completion times, midway benchmarks,
and ending results. When they are not met, we must question why and
systematically begin to evaluate our situation.
6. Unresolved Discrepancies: When two or more pieces of information do not
agree, we must continue to search for information until the discrepancy is resolved.
Do not continue “driving on” when we have not resolved all issues along the way.
The end result could lead to disaster.
7. Ambiguity: When information we need is confusing or unclear, we must clarify
or fill in the missing pieces before proceeding.
8. Fixation or Preoccupation: When someone fixates on one task or becomes
preoccupied with work or personal matters, they lose the ability to detect other
important information. Early detection of both fixation and preoccupation is
essential to safe operations. The best way to identify these clues is by knowing the
behavior of your team members and being alert to change. Preoccupation with
personal matters can often lead to subtle changes in performance. Best way to
recognize this clue is to use the “buddy system”, keep an eye on each other and
NEVER WORK ALONE!!!!!!
What happened April 15, 1912???
RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden
voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and sank on 15 April
1912. In 1912 the sinking of the Titanic began late on the night of April
14th. Information on the sinking Titanic indicates that the ship approached
a massive iceberg, and although efforts were made to steer clear of the
large frozen mass, all efforts were to no avail. Sadly, further records of the
Titanic accident history indicate that the Titanic disaster may very well have
been able to have been completely avoided had officers on ship paid heed
to reports received earlier regarding the frozen waters they were
approaching. Consequently, neighboring ships in the area had reported
earlier in the evening that the waters ahead contained numerous masses of
solid ice and that approaching ships should proceed with caution. The
Titanic, however, thought to be unsinkable, plowed full speed ahead. This
proved to be a fatal mistake and is certainly one of the factors that led to
FAILURES IN SITUATIONAL AWARENESS:
April 14, 1912 13:45-Iceberg warning issued for Titanic's location
and route…Titanic continues on same course and does not reduce
speed as per normal practices.
23:40-Titanic collides with an iceberg.
April 15, 1912 00:05-Order is given to uncover lifeboats.
00:25-Order is given to load women and children into lifeboats.
00:30-Titanic transmits first distress call. (50 minutes after impact)
00:45-First lifeboats are lowered.
00:50-First white distress rocket fired. (70 minutes after impact)
02:20-Titanic slips beneath the surface to its final watery grave killing
1,589 people, more than 2/3 of its 2,222 people onboard. (2 hours
and 40 minutes after impact)
HOW USING SITUATIONAL AWARENESS WOULD
HAVE SAVED THE SHIP AND LIVES
After receiving the iceberg warning, the Titanic should have slowed
its speed and proceeded with caution, or the Titanic could have
followed the lead of the SS California which had stopped for the
night due to iceberg warnings.
The Titanic’s captain saw now reason to slow down or alter course
due to ice warnings because of the belief that it was unsinkable.
Though crewmembers were posted in the crow’s nest on iceberg
watch, they were not equipped with binoculars; thus, proving
Knowing and understanding the situation at hand and
understanding the dangers, we must use rational and common
sense decision making to mitigate dangerous situations for the most
HOW USING SITUATIONAL AWARENESS WOULD
HAVE SAVED THE SHIP AND LIVES (CONT)
Given the initial assessments of water flooding the ship, and the rate
of the ship’s pumps not being adequate to keep the ship afloat, the
order should have been given immediately to abandon ship. Given
the potential for disaster, the radio operator should have been at his
station throughout the evening monitoring icing in the area and at
the ready to broadcast arising situations.
With these failures in proper situational awareness, distress calls
were not received for 50 minutes after impact, and the first lifeboat
was not lowered until 65 minutes after impact.
Applying Situational Awareness
You have just started a new job. Using
situational awareness, what are some of
the first things you should do?
1. Identify emergency exits and familiarize yourself
with emergency evacuation procedures
2. Use your first few days to familiarize yourself
with what is normal, so that you can identify when
something is out of place. If something looks out of
place it probably is
3. Review company and building SOPs. SOPs are
your biggest aid in learning about your
surroundings, and they will better prepare you if an
You are traveling by airplane. Once you
have found your seat, what should you
familiarize yourself with?
1. Identify the closest emergency exit to where you are
seated, but remember the closest exit is not always the one
you will be able to use
2. Review emergency procedures in the pamphlet provided
by the airline for that particular aircraft
3. Ensure your seatbelt works properly
4. Identify elderly passengers, as well as, small children.
(NOTE: THIS IS NOT DONE SO YOU KNOW WHO TO PUSH
OUT OF YOUR WAY IN AN EMERGENCY) This is done so that
you know who may need assistance in case of an emergency
As you can see, situational awareness is nothing
more than using common sense in all aspects of life.
At work or at home, using situational awareness can
help you identify hazards and mitigate unnecessary