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Staying safe throughout summer

Sunglasses on a wall.

Sunglasses sit on a wall at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2021. Sunglasses are recommended by the 86th Airlift Wing safety office to keep your eyes safe from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Slater)

Young man meditating under a tree.

U.S. Air Force Airman Edgar Grimaldo, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs apprentice rests under a tree at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2021. According to the 86 AW safety office, as temperatures increase frequent breaks are recommended when playing outdoors to keep a healthy lifestyle. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Slater)

Young man waterfalls water bottle.

U.S. Air Force Airman Edgar Grimaldo, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs apprentice. takes a drink of water at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 14, 2021. The 86 AW safety office highly recommends drinking water to keep yourself hydrated and healthy during strenuous outdoor activity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Slater)

Young Airman applies too much sunscreen to face.

U.S. Air Force Airman Edgar Grimaldo, 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs apprentice applies sunscreen to his face at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2021. According to the 86 AW safety office, it is highly recommended to apply sunscreen before participating in outdoor activities to keep safe from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Slater)

Airman applies insect repellent to arm.

U.S. Air Force Airman Edgar Grimaldo 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs apprentice applies insect repellent to his arm at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2021. The 86 AW safety office highly recommends insect repellent during the summer months to keep insects and bugs away from the body. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Taylor Slater)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, GERMANY --

With summer heating up and COVID-19 restrictions loosening, the 86th Airlift Wing reminds Airmen and families to stay safe and vigilant while enjoying the season.

Tech. Sgt. Edgar Sanchez, 86 AW safety NCOIC of inspections and assessments, reports that for the past five years the Air Force loses an average of 1,300 Airmen to injuries and mishaps throughout the summer.

“Summer is a perfect opportunity to go hiking, camping, kayaking and rock climbing,” said Sanchez. “With that in mind, Airmen are reminded to wear protective gear, stay hydrated and understand the proper skill level before attempting an activity.”

Airmen are also encouraged to wear sunscreen, shades, lightweight clothing and avoid high intensity activities on especially hot days.
“I’m not telling Airmen not to do anything because they’ll get hurt,” said Sanchez. “I'm just telling them to be smart, aware of their skill level and do their research before embarking on an activity.”

Preparation is also important for those who wish to travel during the summer. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a resource available to all U.S. citizens and allows Airmen to travel safely, stay informed and remain connected.

According to the Department of State website, enrolling in the program can provide important information about dangerous conditions affecting your overseas travel or residence.

Lastly, the Bureau of Consular Affairs would like to remind Airmen that road conditions, laws and driving norms in other countries can be very different from those in the United States. Make sure to plan your route and have a current International Driver’s License if driving outside of Germany. And, remember to buckle up, no matter where you are.