Coast Guard Aviation Association Awards

Each year at the annual Roost the Coast Guard Aviation Association honors active duty aviation personnel by recognizing outstanding achievement.

Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode
Flight Safety Award

Air Station North Bend Safety Department
LCDR Jason GelfandUSCG
LT Caroline Kearney USCG

Award Summary

The Coast Guard Aviation Association annually presents the Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode Aviation Safety Award to recognize superior performance and outstanding contributions to Coast Guard aviation safety. Captain Shrode was a pioneer in the development of Coast Guard aviation standardization programs, including publication of the Coast Guard’s first aircraft standardization manual. Captain Shrode was also instrumental in creating the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in 1966, served as the Aviation Safety Chief, and completed seven years of continuous aviation command with distinction.

Nomination Summary

The safety department was selected by the commandant’s staff for outstanding performance from among the impressive nominations of other aviation safety departments and individuals.

The unit safety department was selected by the commandant’s staff for outstanding performance not only within air station ground and air operations but extending beyond to local surface unit operations, service-wide mh65 operations and the broader naval aviation community. Lcdr gelfand and lt kearney were proactive, innovative and persistent in their consistent efforts to share and instill principles of safety and risk management resulting in a robust air, ground and occupational safety program considered by the command to have substantially increased the safety awareness of sector personnel in operations as well as non-operational activities both on and off duty. They authored several well received articles published in coast guard and naval aviation periodicals and made valuable contributions to coast guard national flight safety conferences and training procedures. They created a unit safety publication and promoted local awards within the sector for individuals noting, correcting and reporting hazards. They partnered with regional faa and weather service personnel to enhance interagency communications and understandings aimed at reducing hazards. Several pages list the specific accomplishments of lcdr gelfand and lt kearney. Their c ommanding officer expressed that their impressive leadership and contributions have been felt well beyond air station north bend and have had positive influences on the mh-65 fleet, cg aviation as a whole and our partners in both the department of defense and allied nations. Their performance is in keeping with the legacy of captain shrode and a credit to coast guard aviation and the profession of aviation safety.

Captain Frank Erickson
Rotary Wing Rescue Award


LCDR Steven Cerveny, LT Jane Pena
AMT3 Michael Lufkin, AST2 Randy Haba

Past Recipients

The Frank Erickson Award recognizes Rotary-Wing aircrews who have demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations.

Nomination Summary

The Captain Frank A. Erickson award goes to the Air Station Elizabeth City crew of CGNR 6012 in recognition of their heroic efforts on 29 October 2012.

The crew of MH-60T CGNR-6012, alerted to the serious situation of HMS Bounty offshore, launched on the morning of 29 October 2012 into darkness, turbulence, 60 knot winds and driving rain bands. The first rescue helicopter to reach the scene, CGNR-6012 executed an instrument descent under no illumination and gained visual contact with the surface at 300 feet. Immediately vectored by HC-130J CGNR-2004 to a survivor floating freely in a survival suit amidst the debris field of bounty and realizing that conditions were worse than expected, rescue swimmer petty officer Haba was launched into gale force winds and 30 foot seas to rescue the survivor. After two failed attempts due to the large waves and strong current, LCDR Cerveny aggressively maneuvered the helicopter into position for the successful hoist of the survivor and swimmer to safety. CGNR-6012 then investigated two empty rafts and located the remaining bounty crew shortly after dawn in two other life rafts. With LT Pena monitoring altitude correctness for incoming waves, petty officer Lufkin expertly conned the pilot to position the aircraft and lowered the swimmer into the churning debris. Demonstrating determination, flawless teamwork, crew coordination and exceptional aerial skill, the crew successfully rescued four survivors despite the swimmer losing his mask and snorkel in the breaking waves. Their meticulous search of bounty wreckage set the stage for the rapid recovery of the remaining nine survivors after CGNR-6012 was forced to depart scene due to fuel remaining. During the two hour return flight though 60 knot wind and turbulence, petty officer Haba continue to provide medical care to the five survivors until they could be transferred to awaiting emergency medical personnel. The crew of CGNR-6012 reconciled risk management with operational imperatives and competence under extremely challenging and dangerous conditions. Their performance is in keeping with the tradition of Captain Frank Erickson adding a proud chapter to the proud history of coast guard aviation.

Commander Elmer Stone
Fixed Wing Rescue Award

LT Michael Myers, LTJG Frank McIntosh
AMT3 Eric Laster, AMT3 Jesse Embert
AMT1 Hector Rios, AET1 Joshua Adams
AET3 Joshua Vargo

Award Summary

The Elmer Stone Award recognizes Fixed-Wing aircrews who have demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations

Nomination Summary

The commander Elmer F. Stone award goes to the Air Elizabeth City crew of CGNR 2004 in recognition of their efforts on 29 October 2012

The crew of hc-130j 2004 launched from Raleigh-Durham international airport, the staging airport for hurricane sandy, on the morning of 29 October 2012 in response to the distress of HMS Bounty foundering 80 miles off Cape Hatteras during the storm. CGNR-2004 departed into complete darkness, moderate to severe turbulence, 60 knot winds and torrential rain. Despite aircraft system failures to the propeller anti-ice and radar equipment, the crew of CGNR-2004 proceeded to bounty and with worsening conditions and turbulence, descended to 500 feet above the turbulent water with visibility of only one mile in the dark and rain. Sensing the urgency of the situation based on conditions and the bounty captain’s radio transmissions, CGNR-2004 urged the dispatch of additional rescue assets. When bounty radioed having to abandon ship, CGNR-2004 prepared to airdrop two life rafts and a marker buoy. Petty officers Laster and Embert moved aft in the aircraft positioning two sixty pound eight-man rafts to deploy. Fighting air sickness and severe turbulence that would at times take the deck out from under their feet, they made a nonstandard drop of the lifesaving equipment within parameters never practiced nor charted in HC-130J manuals. After the drop, the crew in the cargo bay crawled forward requesting the pilots to raise the ramp from the cockpit due to the severe turbulence. Reaching minimum fuel to return, CGNR-2004 proceeded back to Raleigh-Durham, while briefing a relief HC-130J and two MH-60T helicopters en route the scene. The airmanship and actions of the crew of CGNR 2004 were essential in beginning the sequence of events ultimately rescuing 14 mariners from the wreckage of bounty. Their aeronautical skill and competence under extreme conditions are in keeping with the tradition of commander Elmer Stone and added a proud chapter to the history of Coast Guard Aviation.

Chief Aviation Machinist Mate
Oliver Berry
Aviation Maintenance Award

AMTC Kevin Deininger of Air Station Barbers Point, HI

Award Summary

The Coast Guard Aviation Association annually presents the Chief Aviation Machinist Mate Oliver F. Berry Aviation Maintenance Award to an aviation technician who has demonstrated exceptional performance and enhanced the overall quality of Coast Guard aviation maintenance.

Nomination Summary

Chief Deininger of Air Station Barbers Point has demonstrated exemplary performance, technical expertise and leadership as the HC-130H metal shop supervisor, corrosion prevention program coordinator, Primary quality assurance inspector and night shift supervisor. He oversaw the work Of 15 maintenance personnel across two shifts and was responsible for all corrosion related maintenance on four operational aircraft staged in the fleet’s worst environment for corrosion. An exceptional mentor, Chief Deininger peristently and adroitly challenged junor petty officers in their professional development. As an Examiner of unit load masters and drop masters, he performed instructor, Standardization, and upgrade flights. He was a professional development coach for the servicewide rating performance qualification system, leading to 20 petty officer qualification signoffs and timely completion of all advancement requirements for 5 junior petty officers under his direct supervision. His efforts ensured that 66 aviation engineering members were eligible to take the may servicewide exam.

In all of his many duties, Chief Deininger met or exceeded all expectations, demonstrating extraordinary stewardship, superior dedication and outstanding leadership as well as supreme technical knowledge. His performance is in keeping with the legacy of Chief Oliver F. Berry and is a credit to Coast Guard Aviation and the profession.