Colorado Guard Member Honored by Air Force

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Kimberly Brad
  • Air University Public Affairs
Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Air National Guard. Based on a recent award presentation, innovation, financial discipline, and revolutionary project leadership led to unprecedented success in global safety program management. In a formal ceremony at the Air War College, Colorado's Lieutenant Colonel Edward L. Vaughan was inducted into the Air Force Safety Hall of Fame. Vaughan, the first Air National Guard member so honored, is a member of Colorado Air National Guard' s 140th Wing at Buckley Air Force Base. He joins a select list of only 63 inductees since 1975.

Major General Maurice H. Forsyth, Air War College Commandant, was on hand for the presentation of the award on behalf of the Air Force Chief of Safety, Major General Frederick F. Roggero. This award comes only one year after Colonel Vaughan was selected to receive the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Individual Safety Trophy for developing the Disruptive Solutions Process, DSP, at Air Guard Safety. Vaughan was the first member of the Air National Guard to receive that prestigious award as well.

Col Marcus Quint, Director of Safety for the Air National Guard and presentation official for the award, commented that Vaughan's process appears simple in its approach, but achieves revolutionary results. According to the Air Force Safety Center, Vaughan's efforts likely saved dozens of military lives and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Mr. Joseph Angello, Executive Secretary of the Defense Safety Oversight Council, remarked that ANG programs continue to receive his support because Vaughan's team delivers innovation on time and under budget, every time.

In remarks after the ceremony, Vaughan said this [award] recognizes the innovation, hard work, and tenacity of the 106,700 men and women who serve dual missions for the nation and the 54 states and territories in the Air National Guard. Vaughan continued, those dedicated Warfighters, many deployed in harms way around the globe, expect and deserve the best possible support from their National Guard Bureau. Our role is simply to help them bring their good ideas to a practical reality.

Vaughan's team pairs the best ideas from the field units against established mission requirements and then executes the solution. As he says, it's a disruptive, requirements-driven process, which is hard for most career bureaucrats to grasp at first. It means working closely with contracting officers, finance experts, academia, the scientific community, and other governmental departments to efficiently and effectively leverage existing capabilities against creative solutions from front line Warfighters.

According to National Guard sources, Vaughan's DSP framework successfully brought forward more than a dozen innovative programs, many with far-reaching impact throughout the military. Included among them are human error reduction through Air Force Maintenance Resource Management (MRM), hosted at, a joint version of MRM with the Navy and Army, the DOD's mid-air collision avoidance program at, proactive suicide intervention tools called the Wingman Project, at, a low-altitude collision avoidance web portal jointly developed with the Federal Aviation Administration, and the newest fatigue mitigation program, led by project manager Capt. Lynn Lee, at

According to Vaughan, 􀂳the message here is that the ANG, through its Disruptive Solutions Process--DSP-- can get a lot done with just a little money, or in some cases, no additional money at all. The Warfighters and the taxpayers win.

Vaughan joins a distinguished roster of safety excellence in the Colorado Air National Guard. Another Colorado Air National Guard officer, Colonel Peter Byrne, received the coveted Koren Kolligian, Jr Trophy in 2007 from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Byrne, currently serving as the Vice Wing Commander for the 140th Wing successfully recovered his F-16C fighter aircraft after suffering a nearly debilitating stroke during tactical maneuvering in June 2006. Col Byrne courageously avoided populated areas and recovered the aircraft safely.

For his part, Vaughan is currently a student at the Air War College, at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., where he participates in the Center for Strategy and Technology's future studies think tank known as Blue Horizons. An Iraq-war veteran F-16 fighter pilot, he previously served combat flying tours with Indiana and New York Air National Guard flying squadrons. Vaughan transferred to the Colorado Guard in 2008, but remains on federal active duty status, where he served as the national Deputy Director for Air National Guard Safety through July, 2008.