Coast Guard Aviation Association Awards
Each year the Coast Guard Aviation Association honors active duty aviation personnel by recognizing outstanding achievement. Recipients of these awards are chosen by the United States Coast Guard. Awards include the The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer Meritorious Achievement Award, the Captain Gus Shrode Flight Safety Award, the Chief Oliver Berry Aviation Maintenance Award, the Commander Elmer Stone Fixed Wing Rescue Award, and the Captain Frank Erickson Rotary Wing Rescue Award. See below for award descriptions as well as past and present recipients.
CDR Tom Rich, USCG (Ret)
In recognition of your 13 years of dedicated service, the Coast Guard Aviation Association presents this Lifetime Dedication and Achievement Award to Tom Rich, CGAA Email Guru. With grateful appreciation and gratitude from the entire membership of the CG Aviation Association
Airbus Helicopter Award
Airbus Helicopters, formerly known as Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation, recognizes the contributions made by Commander James Szymanski in the selection and development of the Aerospatiale 366G1 as the Coast Guard’s Short Range Rescue Helicopter designated as the HH-65A. The MH-65 has now served for over 30 years and now supports multiple mission roles.
To commemorate this success, Airbus Helicopters presents CDR Szymanski with this placque depicting the MH-65 in mission mode with the National Security Cutter in the background in recognition of his role as the first H-65 Aircraft Commander .
Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode
Flight Safety Award
Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON)
LCDR Jessica S. Davila (pictured), LT John R. Sauve, LT David H. Blue (pictured), LT Joseph P. Rozycki, LT Thomas E. Horejs and Lt Michael J. Gereau
Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) is the recipient of the 2018 Captain Marion Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award. During the period of 01 June 2017 to 31 May 2018, HITRON’s efforts exemplified the four pillars of the Coast Guard’s Safety Management System (SMS): policy, promotion, assurance, and risk management; and embodied the Commandant’s guiding principles of ready, relevant and responsive. HITRON’s safety program distinguished themselves in a field of highly competitive and dedicated aviation safety professionals.
Over the past year, HITRON deployed over 1000 days aboard ship and completed six cutter aviation standardization visits. HITRON embraced the role of the aviation leader in ship-helo operations by tirelessly working to improve the effectiveness of cutters with deployed aviation assets. An example of this work was the creation of training by HITRON’s Safety Department. The training leveraged mishap lessons learned and structured risk management discussion to heighten cutter commands’ situational awareness and operational expertise.
Similarly, HITRON Safety Department analyses resulted in over 20 operational enhancing recommendations. Their reporting of ship-helo related hazards raised awareness and improved mission performance for both the afloat and aviation communities. Concurrently, HITRON improved the resiliency and readiness of members who were not deployed. The unit conducted a risk factors analysis to evaluate crew endurance management risk. The analysis demonstrated that nighttime training requirements were not compatible with conventional daytime work hours and the competing schedules were having a negative impact on work performance. In response, HITRON transitioned to a new work schedule and eliminated morning flights which improved both maintenance and training effectiveness. Additionally, HITRON implemented a human factors council, an effort that significantly bolstered command oversight and improved the focus of their members.
HITRON’s approach to promoting, educating, and advancing aviation safety at both the unit and enterprise level is highly deserving of the 2018 Captain Marion Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award.
Captain Frank Erickson
Rotary Wing Rescue Award
Air Station Kodiak crew of CG-6593
LCDR Daniel A. Schrader, LCDR Adam L. Mullins, AMT2 Jentzen D. Green, AET1 Gregory K. Mayes, AET2 Jacqueline V. Gutierrez
The Captain Frank A. Erickson Rotary Wing Rescue Award is presented to the Air Station Kodiak crew of CGNR 6593, LCDR Daniel Schrader, LCDR Adam Mullins, AMT2 Jentzen Green, AET1 Gregory Mayes, and AET2 Jacqueline Gutierrez, in recognition of their heroic efforts from 04 MAY 2018 to 07 MAY 2018, responding to a critically ill crewmember aboard Naval Vessel SBX-1, 1000 nautical miles southwest of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Deployed aboard USCGC JOHN MIDGETT, the crew of 6593 was tasked with executing a long-range MEDEVAC over 400 nautical miles from land.
The crew was immediately met with difficulties as they were forced to fly two sorties over a combined 120 nautical miles to embark all the necessary gear and crew onto CGC JOHN MIDGETT from Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The steadfast crew, already fatigued from a previously executed MEDEVAC early that morning, was forced to navigate through snow squalls and ¼ statute mile visibility to complete the re-embarkation aboard the cutter. As the 977 millibar low pressure system rapidly approached, along with the threat of higher winds and seas, the aircrew conducted extensive mission planning in preparation for the MEDEVAC. The crew made use of all available weather resources, gathered info on the patient’s condition, and stripped the aircraft of all non-essential equipment to allow for increased endurance. Taking advantage of a short lull between two weather systems, the crew of 6593 launched into 22 knot winds and 10 foot seas to fly 80 nautical miles to rendezvous with SBX-1. While enroute, the cutter suffered a turbine casualty forcing a reduced transit speed and increasing the distance for the aircrew’s return flight. To make matters worse, the aircrew began experiencing 70+ knots of wind with 3 statute miles of visibility and the decision was made to land on the Navy vessel to wait out the weather. After landing on SBX-1, and while being accosted by high winds while embarking the patient, the crew was informed that the Navy vessel did not have the necessary tie down gear to secure the helicopter until the weather passed. Unable to wait out the storm and with rapidly decreasing fuel, 6593 made the decision to fly back to CGC JOHN MIDGETT and attempt a landing. Flying at over 200 knots ground speed back to the cutter, the crew was soon met with 16 to 18 foot waves breaking over the bow of the ship. The cutter reported that they were at maximum pitch and roll limits with occasional pitching and rolling exceeding the slope landing limits of the airframe. Concerned about a roll-over on deck, the crew made the difficult decision to keep all tie down members off the flight deck for their safety. The aircrew astutely observed the movement of the ship and began their landing attempts. Thwarted twice, the crew remained firm in their resolve and their final attempt was met with success. After delivering the patient to the awaiting corpsmen and as seas grew to 26 feet, the crew began a lengthy 3-hour blade folding and heavy weather traversing evolution to shelter the helicopter in the hangar. After the helicopter was secured, the cutter transited 360 nautical miles towards Adak for the final leg of the mission. 6593 launched one last time at the edge of the cutter’s wind limitations and successfully transferred the patient to awaiting Emergency Medical Services.
Commander Elmer Stone
Fixed Wing Rescue Award
Air Station Barbers Point Crew of CG-1703
LCDR Sean H. Bartonicek, LTJG Evan C. Swinghamer, AET2 Beau F. Fisch, AET2 Andrew M. Davis, AMT2 Ryan A. Cabrera, AET2 Jeremiah J. Strombeck, AET3 Shawn M. Feleppa
The Commander Elmer F. Stone Fixed Wing Rescue Award is presented to the Air Station Barbers Point crew of CGNR 1703, LCDR Sean Bartonicek, LTJG Evan Swinghamer, AET2 Beau Fisch, AMT2 Ryan Cabrera, AET2 Andrew Davis, AET2 Jeremiah Strombeck, and AET3 Shawn Feleppa in recognition of their heroic efforts on 25 MAR 2018, responding to a 406 Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) activated 550 nautical miles northeast of Oahu. The EPRIB was registered to the PRINCESS HAWAII, a 63 foot longline commercial fishing vessel that was unresponsive to satellite callout attempts from the District 14 Joint Rescue Coordination Center. The crew of 1703 launched from Air Station Barbers Point and flew to the initial EPIRB location where they located the PRINCESS HAWAII. The PRINCESS HAWAII was partially submerged with only the bow of the vessel riding above the ocean surface. After finding no signs of life in the vicinity of the vessel, the crew of 1703 performed an impromptu search of the area and found a small 10 person life raft five nautical miles south of the sunken vessel. Unable to establish communications with the life raft, the crew of 1703 configured for the aerial delivery of a radio and survival kit. Despite the harsh environmental conditions including 10 foot seas, 30 knot gusting winds, and inflight turbulence, the rescue kit was successfully deployed to the life raft. Once communications were established, 1703 ensured all survivors were accounted for and safe. 1703 instructed the survivors to secure themselves to the life raft which was being breached by the 10 foot breaking surf. After confirming the status and short-term safety of the survivors, 1703 searched the surrounding area for a vessel to render assistance. 1703 found a commercial fishing vessel 35 miles away and diverted the vessel to the survivors’ position. After diverting the rescue vessel, 1703 conducted a cruise engine shutdown in an effort to conserve fuel and provide vectors to the rescue vessel that was making way at 5.5 knots. During the shutdown, 1703 experienced a malfunction that required the crew to conduct a risky emergency air start. Following the emergency air start, the aircrew conducted a detailed risk analysis balancing the risks associated with the dangerous malfunction versus gains of staying on scene to coordinate the rendezvous efforts. Acknowledging great risks, the crew of 1703 elected to stay on scene to coordinate the rescue efforts. Unable to maintain visual contact with the life raft due to environmental conditions and darkness, the crew of 1703 contacted the life raft and asked the survivors to rig the strobe light from the rescue kit atop the life raft canopy. With the strobe light affixed, the aircrew was able to maintain intermittent visual contact with the life raft using night vision goggles. 1703 stayed on scene and provided critical vectors to the rescue vessel saving eight lives.
Chief Aviation Machinist Mate
Aviation Maintenance Award
AET2 Zoltan Peter, C-27 Asset Project Office (APO)
AET2 Zoltan J. Peter of the C-27 Asset Project Office (APO) has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Chief Oliver F. Berry Aviation Maintenance Award. Demonstrating exceptional leadership, superb technical expertise and professionalism, he played a key role in the C-27 APO’s Engineering Division and the entire C-27J fleet.
AET2 Peter played a critical role in completing the regeneration of the last 3 aircraft from deep storage at the Aerospace Maintenance Regeneration Group (AMARG), an unsupervised duty that is reserved for the most senior and experienced maintainers.
AET2 Peter was relied upon to develop and implement numerous repairs with very little to no Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) assistance. He designed and built a fuel quantity test set, capable of testing individual probes and he was a key member of the team that designed and built a system for troubleshooting the HC-27J de-icing boot system. Each test kit has expedited the troubleshooting process, saved the service countless maintenance repair hours, improved operational reliability of the C-27J fleet and his build plans are being requested by other external C-27J users. His troubleshooting of the C-27J Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) down to the Fuel Control Unit, pointed out a critical discrepancy in the OEM fault isolation guide, resulting in the manufacturer changing the ohmic value called out for in the APU Fuel Control Servo. His efforts to be creative, take ownership, and be a leader, directly enabled the Coast Guard and the APO to successfully transition its first C-27J Air Station six months ahead of schedule while also supporting APO missions. AET2 Peter truly exemplifies the same innovative technical knowledge that Oliver F. Berry used when faced with modernizing the Coast Guards aviation assets.
The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer Meritorious Achievement Award
Awarded every 2 years, last awarded in 2017:
ASTCM John F. Hall, USCG
ASTCM Scott Dyer, USCG (Ret.)
AST1 Richard “Rick” McElrath, USCG (Ret.)
Master Chief John Hall
Master Chief Hall is cited for his work as the Aviation Survival Technician (AST) Branch Chief at the Coast Guard’s Aviation Technical Training Center (ATTC) in Elizabeth City, NC. Master Chief Hall, with great leadership, technical skill and initiative, has made tremendous training program innovations and recommendations, which have resulted in an expansion of the curriculum to include an AST preparation course for those with orders to AST “A” School, a formalized and fully supported student re-phase program for ASTs in training with minor injuries, formalization of the Operational Fitness Trainer “C” School for field rescue swimmers, and vast improvements to the galley service at Base Elizabeth City to support the nutritional requirements of AST training.
ASTCM Scott Dyer, USCG (Ret.)
Master Chief Scott Dyer is cited for his three decades of dedicated service to the Coast Guard’s Helicopter Rescue Swimmer program. After being one of the first ten Coast Guard graduates of the U.S. Navy’s rescue swimmer school, Master Chief Dyer was instrumental in serving as one of the key instructors who trained and prepared the first CG helo rescue swimmers at 24 field Air Stations. He made lasting contributions to the development of Direct Deployment procedures, the folding Rescue Basket to meet aircraft cabin size restrictions, the Tri-Laminate Dry Suit, the development of CG HH-60 RS procedures, and the development and implementation of Ice Rescue Procedures. As the only Enlisted Branch Chief at the CG’s Aviation Training Center in Mobile, AL, Master Chief Dyer led the Helo RS Standardization Team, ensuring operational procedures were enforced fleet-wide. In addition, he also served as the School Chief for the Advanced Rescue Swimmer School in Astoria, OR, developing and implementing concepts, verifying the curriculum, while evaluating numerous RS procedures and associated equipment. While stationed at CGHQ as the Helo RS Program Mrg., Master Chief Dyer was temporarily detailed to ATC Mobile to supervise & manage all aspects of the Helo RS response during Hurricane Katrina. Finally, Master Chief Dyer also contributed to the RS program by his work contributions as the CG’s Aviation Life Support Equipment Program manager at the Aircraft Repair & Supply Center, now the Air Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, NC.
AST1 Richard “Rick” McElrath, USCG (Ret.)
Petty Officer McElrath is cited for his service of almost 20 years in the Coast Guard as an Aviation Survivalman (ASM) / Aviation Survival Technician (AST). One of the first 20 CG Helicopter Rescue Swimmers, Petty Officer McElrath was a graduate of the CG’s Advanced RS School, and was an exceptional RS at two Air Stations. But, his more important contributions to the CG’s Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Program have come after his CG Service. Serving first as a Field Terminal Operator at AIRSTA Sitka, AK, Petty Officer McElrath maintained the AIRSTA’s aircraft maintenance publications on his own installed intranet to circumvent numerous Internet outages, allowing all types of aircraft maintenance to continue. Moving to the CG’s Air Logistics Center in Elizabeth City, NC, he is the Center’s Aviation Life Support Equipment Specialist, where he has supported the CG’s Helo RS Program either directly, or indirectly. Some of his accomplishments include: revised the COMDT Instruction – Aviation Life Support Manual, created & illustrated an Aviation Life Support Process Guide, revised & published the Shallow Water Egress Training Process Guide used for Shallow Water Egress Training (SWET), created or revised all Aviation Life Support Equipment Maintenance Procedure Cards (MPCs), manages the CG’s Aviation Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) Program (1,800+ PLBs at 25 aviation units), cradle to grave discovery, procurement, testing & evaluation, & implementation of the MH-60T auxiliary hoisting system, ensuring mission success, improved safety, & triple risk mitigation during all hoisting evolutions. His vast and timeless experience and expertise in the CG’s Aviation Life Support Program has proven critical to the success of the office, and to the CG’s Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Program.
The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer Meritorious Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Rescue Swimmer Program through sustained superior performance, significant initiative in technology or tactics, and unique or extraordinary accomplishments in other areas associated with the Program. This award is sponsored by the Coast Guard Aviation Association and established in 2015.
This award is named in honor of AD2 Victor Roulund, who was assigned to Air Station SanFrancisco, when in late December 1955, he was participating as a flight mechanic aboard CG1305, an HO4S helicopter. His crew faced daunting weather and rescue challenges in the vicinity of the Yuba River in northern California, where countless homes and people were seriously stricken in extreme flooding conditions throughout the region. AD2 Roulund voluntarily accepted a very risky rescue attempt, after being hoisted down to a trailer home which was floating down the river. Using hand tools and quick intuition, he broke into the home which was nearly fully submerged, and rescued a woman who was completely disabled, and later placed her into the rescue basket for a successful hoist. AD2 Roulund and his fellow aircrew rescued a total of 138 people during a grueling 12 hour period of nonstop action. All four aircrew were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. AD2 Roulund’s actions have since been considered the first example of typical mission challenges faced by present day Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers.
ASTCM John F. Hall, USCG
ASTCM Scott Dyer, USCG (Ret.)
AST1 Richard “Rick” McElrath, USCG (Ret.)
ASTCM Thomas “Buck” Beaudry, USCG (AIRSTA Miami)
ASMCM Larry Farmer, USCG (Ret.)
ASTCM Joseph “Butch” Flythe, USCG (Ret.)
ASMCM Darell M. Gelakoska, USCG (Ret.)