For the sixth year in a row, the Marines of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River were recognized for exceptional excellence and dedication to the Department of Defense Operation Support Airlift Program.
"It took a team effort and total professionalism from all of our Marines," said Lt. Col. Timothy Lee.
Marines of H&HS stood in formation in front of a BEECH UC12F aircraft Friday morning as their unit collectively received the Joint Operations Support Airlift Program Award (JOSAC) and the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award.The JOSAC Award is presented to six operational airlift units annually as a means of highlighting the winning units' hard work. The top units in each branch of military are determined based on the number of missions scheduled per aircraft, total flight hours scheduled per aircraft, percentage of missions provided to other services and percentage of cancelled missions due to crew or maintenance issues.
The CNO Aviation Safety Award signifies the unit's superior leadership, airmanship and commitment to operational risk management.
"Our unit is responsible for everything you can think of with support services, such as traffic control, maintenance, operating dining facilities, administrative duties, base operations, basically all of the cats and dogs of an airstation," Lee said. "This award is recognition for us contributing sorties to the air fleet support. I'm very proud to be a part of this unit and to have the opportunity to serve with these Marines and civilian Marines who day in and day out provide outstanding services at the airstation."
The H&HS unit at Marine Corps Air Station New River encompasses approximately 400 Marines and sailors, the majority of whom were unable to attend the ceremony Friday due to having to remain at work to keep the airstation open.
The unit completed 1,388 JOSAC support flight hours on 163 missions during the 2013 fiscal year, according to a military press release. The unit also transported 636 passengers and 19,020 pounds of cargo.
Present during the awards ceremony was Marine and Aviation Specialist Sgt. Bradley Haust.
Haust is responsible for making sure the pilots receive proper training for coordinating and maintaining all the flight schedules throughout a normal week.
"If we don't constantly train to stay up to date, were not going to be as safe as we can be and we won't know what's going on," Haust said.
For Haust, being in a unit recognized for performance and safety is very satisfying.
"It's really a team effort," Haust said. "It's very rewarding to be noticed from a higher agency for the job that we've done."