Coast Guard Aviation Association

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.
2014 Shrode Award

Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode Flight Safety Award

LT Arthur Mahar -3920 LT Garin Kirkpatrick – 4294 LT Kimberly Hess – 3888

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.

During the period of 1 June 2013 to 31 May 2014, Air Station Cape Cod’s Safety Department demonstrated exceptional safety leadership, responsiveness, and initiative providing both value and bolstering a positive and proactive safety culture within their unit and throughout the Coast Guard aviation community. LT Hess, LT Mahar, and LT Kirkpatrick greatly improved the unit’s mishap reporting posture and consistently produced comprehensive investigations leading to eight fleet-wide material and/or procedural changes, earning accolades from district, area, and headquarters leadership. Additionally, the Safety Department’s superb knowledge of safety policy and resources ensured that critical safety data were captured following a Class B aviation/boat forces mishap. This superior effort laid the foundation for the Commandant’s Mishap Analysis Board (MAB) to complete a timely and accurate investigation. The Safety Department also expanded its sphere of influence beyond the aviation community. LT Hess, LT Mahar, and LT Kirkpatrick continuously engaged with First District units to update sector and small boat station mishap response plans, incorporating benchmarked best practices. They demonstrated knowledge and dedication to aviation safety education by spearheading an innovative unit-level safety publication that afforded many air station members a forum in which to publish safety related articles. Exceptional safety promotion is clearly a cornerstone of the Air Station Cape Cod safety culture, and is most visible thru its robust safety incentive program. Under this program, 36 informal awards and three positive page-7’s for superb aircrew safety performance were awarded, which greatly enhanced the unit’s safety culture. Furthermore, the Safety Department’s professional expertise as flight instructors was instrumental in the development of unit pilots, with the safety team providing over 155 instructional flight hours resulting in 19 upgrades. LT Hess’, LT Mahar’s, and LT Kirkpatrick’s commitment to a strong safety program was further exemplified by their efforts to revitalize the district’s auxiliary safety officer program. They provided tailored risk management training to every auxiliary region via regional conferences and fly-ins. Additionally they shrewdly partnered with CG-1131 and the US Navy to acquire the first ever training quota for an Auxiliary Aviation pilot to attend the Navy’s Aviation Safety Officer School. Finally, their unique approach to risk management training, which incorporates instructional modules led by enlisted Flight Examining Board members, has increased participation and gained high praise during Aviation Training Center Standardization visits. LT Kimberly Hess’, LT Arthur Mahar’s, and LT Garin Kirkpatrick’s dedicated safety efforts have resulted in marked increases in hazard identification, mishap reporting, and procedural changes. Most notably they have reduced risk and advanced the safety culture at both Air Station Cape Cod and throughout Coast Guard aviation.

Their performance is in keeping with the legacy of captain shrode and a credit to coast guard aviation and the profession of aviation safety.

2014 Erickson Award

Captain Frank Erickson Rotary Wing Rescue Award

CREW OF MH-65 CGNR 6515 AIR STATION SAN FRANCISCO, CA AST3 Corey Fix, AMT2 Travis Swain , LCDR James Kenshalo -3880, LT Beau Belanger – 4405

Nomination Summary

The Captain Frank A. Erickson award goes to the Air Station San Francisco crew of CGNR 6515 in recognition of their heroic efforts on 30 July 2013.

The actions of LCDR Kenshalo, LT Belanger, AMT2 Swain, and AST3 Fix resulted in saving six lives from a remote cliff. Demonstrating superior airmanship and judgment, the aircrew of CGNR 6515 skillfully navigated underneath two bridges not visible due to the thick fog and narrowly evaded mountainous terrain enroute to the hikers secluded location. Maneuvering the helicopter perilously close (within a few feet rotor arc clearance) to the immense sea cliffs, the rescue swimmer was deployed in order to triage the hikers and prepare them to be hoisted. The noise of the helicopter echoed off the steep-walled bluffs and rendered radio communications with the swimmer useless. Using night hand signals and exacting crew coordination, the aircrew hoisted four survivors, and then delivered emergency provisions to the swimmer and remaining hikers before leaving them on scene due to minimum fuel. Alertly managing the dwindling fuel reserves, the aircrew navigated around the cliffs through the bay in total darkness and fog and delivered the survivors to awaiting emergency medical services. The rapidly deteriorating weather made the second sortie even more challenging as they flew the same treacherous course back to the cove. Unable to use the aircraft exterior lighting due to the moisture in the air, the crew ingeniously employed flares to reflect light off the vertical cliffs and illuminate the cove. The aircrew boldly hovered nose-into the cliff without an emergency fly-out route in order to optimize available power. This unconventional maneuver provided just enough power to successfully complete the final hoist.

Their performance is in keeping with the tradition of Captain Frank Erickson adding a proud chapter to the proud history of coast guard aviation.


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

2014 Stone

Commander Elmer Stone Fixed Wing Rescue Award

CREW OF HC-144 CGNR 2309 – CGAS CAPE COD, MA LT Dustin Lee LT Steven Vanderlaske 4206 AMT1 Stephen Underwood (not present) Ptero AMT3 Eric Woods, P-3609)

Nomination Summary

The commander Elmer F. Stone award goes to the Cape Cod crew of CGNR 2309 in recognition of their efforts on 10 May 2014 .

The actions of LT Lee, LT Vanderslaske, AMT1 Underwood, and AMT3 Woods resulted in the saving of a premature baby via medevac. Demonstrating superior airmanship and judgment the crew of CGNR 2309 launched for an emergency medical evacuation of a premature infant on Martha’s Vineyard. Weather at the time of launch direction was 200 foot ceilings, one-half mile visibility and heavy rain and strong, gusty winds. The daunting weather grounded civilian life flight services, leaving the newborn stranded. The patient’s condition required transfer to a neonatal care unit in four hours or less with any delay being detrimental to the survival of the child. Immediately upon notification, the aircrew began to configure the aircraft for a first-in-the-fleet neonatal transport. This required an aircraft configuration change with only the crew available to affect the unique set up. Meanwhile, the pilots coordinated complex aircraft weight and balance calculations to ensure the aircrafts limited cargo capacity was adequate for the delivery. Complicating the case was the inclusion of a three-person specialized medical team and a 455 pound neonatal isolette in addition to the child and family. Upon arriving at Martha’s Vineyard, the crew found the short, narrow, uncontrolled field to be below approach minimums with sustained winds of 48 knots. The crew finally made contact with the field on their second approach and executed a flawless landing. Immediately, the crew assessed the dynamic load and quickly had the patient and team aboard. While executing the mission, the aircraft was flown to landing minimums on four separate occasions at the extreme limits of the aircrafts aerodynamic capability. Compounding the complexity of this challenging mission, the aircraft suffered a flight control emergency during approach into Boston’s heavily congested airspace, forcing the aircraft to land in a non-standard flap configuration at night and in difficult weather conditions. Not only was this was the first neonatal medical evacuation by an HC-144A, but more importantly, the heroic crew of CGNR 2309 saved the life of the 2.8 pound baby when no one else was able.

Their aeronautical skill and competence under extreme conditions are in keeping with th tradition of commander Elmer Stone and added a proud chapter to the history of Coast Guard Aviation

Award summary

The Elmer Stone Award recognizes Fixed-Wing aircrews who have demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations
2014 Berry Award

Chief Aviation Machinist Mate Oliver Berry Aviation Maintenance Award

AMT2 Christopher J. Roode of Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

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

The Commandant’s staff selected AMT2 Roode from a pool of some two dozen extremely talented professional aviation technicians recommended for the award by their commanding officers. Demonstrating exceptional leadership, superb technical expertise and professionalism, AMT2 Roode played a key role in Elizabeth City’s aviation engineering division. Leveraging his superior technical expertise, he collaborated with the long range search product line to devise an innovative and unprecedented repair of a C-130J aircraft with C-130H components, avoiding the purchase of expensive new parts. These modifications alone resulted in an immediate cost avoidance exceeding half a million dollars. His consummate professionalism, visionary leadership, attention to detail, and mentorship of junior personnel enhanced the aviation maintenance program of the air station and service-wide. The association is proud to recognize the skill and devotion of this fine representative of the Coast Guard Aviation Maintenance force.

His performance is in keeping with the legacy of Chief Oliver F. Berry and is a credit to Coast Guard Aviation and the profession