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NEWS | Oct. 16, 2023

AFSBn-Germany safety expert helps eliminate injuries, occupational illnesses, mishaps

By Cameron Porter 405th Army Field Support Brigade

With extreme winter weather conditions quickly approaching, cold-weather injury prevention and severe-weather driver’s safety training are extremely important. And the workplace and occupational health safety specialist from Army Field Support Battalion-Germany clearly knows why.

“We have new personnel arriving from the U.S. all the time, and many of them are from the southern states so they don’t get the extremely cold winters that we get here,” said Tony Padilla, AFSBn-Germany’s safety specialist. “And our cold weather here in Bavaria is different than that of Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland and the Dülmen Army Prepositioned Stocks-2 worksite.”

“I try to give them all the tools they need. For example, this is the phone number you call to see if there’s impending severe weather conditions approaching. This is the website you can use to see if there are delays due to poor road conditions. This is the phone number you can call in case of a car-to-wildlife strike,” Padilla said. “So, I try to give them those tools in case something like that happens.”

And Padilla has been very successful in getting the word out, thus far. Across the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, he’s provided cold-weather injury prevention and severe-weather driver’s safety training to nearly 200 personnel during six separate training sessions in the last couple of months, with more planned each week. And it’s not just people in his community of Vilseck and Grafenwoehr, Germany, who benefit from his training, either. He’s provided training to personnel stationed in places like Latvia, Poland, and across Germany.

When it comes to winter driver’s safety training, specifically, Padilla said he quickly identified a need for growth. The video that many Soldiers watch as part of their mandatory training to operate non-tactical vehicles on German roadways is extremely outdated. So, Padilla reached out to Logistics Readiness Center Bavaria and LRC Ansbach and asked them what winter driver’s safety topics they would like to see included and what areas they think are important.

Based on this input and what his battalion commander identified, plus what Padilla also felt was important, he developed a set of slides for a thorough and systematic winter driver’s safety training presentation.

“We talk about braking. We talk about fog. We talk about black ice. We talk about the differences between traveling on the autobahn and traveling on secondary roads, and much more,” said Padilla, who’s been working as a workplace and occupational health safety specialist for more than 21 years.

In addition to the training sessions, Padilla said he also sends out emails with safety tips and safety updates two to four times a month.

“For instance, last week I sent out an email and said that next week, starting on Sunday, the temperature is going to drop drastically. We’re talking about 20 degrees or more, so you need to watch out for patches of black ice. You need to make sure your windshield wipers are still operational, and you need to have plenty of wiper fluid. And you may need that scraper to scrape any ice off your windows,” Padilla said he stated in email.

“And low and behold, today the new deputy to the commander came into the office and said ‘you know what? I wasn’t expecting that much frost. Usually in the states we just use the windshield wipers to clear it off, but here I had to scrape it,’” Padilla said.

“I try to anticipate,” said Padilla, who served 22 years as an active-duty field artillery Soldier before retiring and becoming an Army civilian safety specialist.

“In the safety world, you have to be proactive and not reactive,” he said. “If you’re reactive, you’re likely already investigating some type of mishap or accident that may have injured one of your teammates.”

In addition to the seasonal driver’s safety training Padilla provides, he also provides instructional knowledge on numerous other safety-related topics – not only across the 405th AFSB but to multiple other community organizations. For example, he recently conducted fire and carbon monoxide safety training with one of the Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Bavaria, and he’s planning to conduct Halloween safety training in the next couple of weeks.

Padilla is also a member of the Dülmen APS-2 sitework safety council. Along with U.S. Army Garrison Benelux’s department of public works, the military police and the fire department, plus the contractor who works there, Padilla helps to address potential safety hazards and other issues and establishes abatement plans and ways to improve workplace safety at the site.

Some of Padilla’s primary duties as AFSBn-Germany’s safety specialist include:

  • developing battalion-level safety and occupational health policies and procedures
  • applying safety and occupational health regulations, principles, theories, practices and procedures to AFSBn-Germany’s missions
  • developing safety and occupational health standards, regulations, practices and procedures to help prevent hazards across the battalion area of operation
  • developing and implementing programs to reduce frequency, severity, and cost of accidents and occupational illnesses within the battalion
  • inspecting and surveying battalion workplaces, processes, products and systems for safety and occupational health safety compliance

According to the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center, the mission of the Army safety program is to preserve Army readiness through analysis, training and the development of systems that prevent accidental loss of people and resources. A well-developed safety program can help to prevent injuries, occupational illnesses and mishap losses. To learn more about the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center’s Fall and Winter 2023 Safety Campaign, go to

Battalion Germany is one of four battalions assigned to the 405th AFSB and is headquartered at Rose Barracks in Vilseck. In addition to its APS-2 mission at the Dülmen worksite and soon to be mission at the Coleman APS-2 worksite, AFSBn-Germany is responsible for providing and coordinating tactical and operational sustainment to ensure theater readiness and enable commanders to conduct a full range of military operations in direct support of U.S. Army Europe and Africa using U.S. Army Materiel Command’s Logistics Assistance Program.

The 405th AFSB is assigned to U.S. Army Sustainment Command and under the operational control of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa. The brigade is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides materiel enterprise support to U.S. Forces throughout Europe and Africa – providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics and technology; and leveraging AMC’s materiel enterprise to support joint forces. For more information on the 405th AFSB, visit the official website at and the official Facebook site at