Babish awarded highest civilian recognition
/ Published August 05, 2020
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) -- Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service to Charles A. “Chuck” Babish IV, Air Force Senior Level Executive for Aircraft Structural Integrity.
The award was presented to Babish in a ceremony presided by Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Commander, Lt. Gen. Robert McMurry, at the National Museum of the United States Air Force on August 5.
The Secretary established the award to recognize an individual or group for exceptionally meritorious service of major significance to the Air Force in the performance of duties in a manner clearly exceptional to others.
It is the highest recognition granted to an individual or group within the Air Force.
“Chuck is a national treasure and renowned across the Department of Defense and industry,” said Thomas Fischer, a member of the Senior Executive Service and director of the AFLCMC Engineering Directorate, in nominating Babish for the award. Fischer presented the award to Mr. Babish with his family during the ceremony.
Babish is recognized for over 30 years of engineering accomplishments, including as an investigator for the Space Shuttle Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Since 2008, he outstandingly served as the Air Force Senior Level Executive for Aircraft Structural Integrity, according to the nomination package. In this role, Babish transformed the aircraft force structure planning activities utilized throughout the Air Force. Babish is internationally recognized for standardizing structural risk analysis methods used to resolve safety-of-flight structural issues in aging aircraft worldwide. He developed and implemented methodologies that resulted in extending the service life of 3,100 Air Force aircraft, saving the Air Force over $20 billion in aircraft replacement costs.
Babish pioneered a first in Air Force aviation history by leading efforts to establish and implement service life limits in the Airworthiness Certificates issued for each Air Force aircraft. He developed the methodology used by engineers to establish service life limits that combines engineering analyses, laboratory tests, and actual in-service operational aircraft experience. He is routinely consulted on updates to the limits, as well as determining the risk associated with exceeding a service life limit and the actions required to mitigate the safety risk to the accepted level, according to the nomination package. These limits helped achieve the Air Force aircraft safety record of no losses due to structural failure associated with airworthiness efforts during the last 11 years of flight operations, totaling 19 million flight hours.
“I am overwhelmed to receive this honor,” said Babish. “I am extremely proud of the over 400 Air Force aircraft structures engineers I get to work with every day ensuring structural safety and operational readiness of the 5,000 Air Force aircraft.”
Babish previously earned a Meritorious Senior Professional Presidential Rank Award in 2014.