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.
CAPT WILLIAM J. KOSSLER AERONAUTICAL ENGINEER AWARD
LCDR Sean T. Groark
1. I am pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Coast Guard Aeronautical Engineering Officer of the Year Award. This annual award, presented by the Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics, and sponsored by the Coast Guard Aviation Association (CGAA), recognizes individual accomplishments and achievements within the Aeronautical Engineering Program.
2. LCDR Sean T. Groark has distinguished himself through his professional competence, outstanding performance, and overall impact to the Aeronautical Engineering mission and vision. While serving as the Air Station Clearwater Assistant Aeronautical Engineering Officer, LCDR Groark led the fleet in C-130H availability despite supporting the oldest and highest time airframes. During Hurricane Dorian he established an international base of operations supporting CG response. Stepping up to serve as the acting Engineering Officer for 109 days, he faced unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Due to DoD COVID-19 policy, LCDR Groark rapidly coordinated the evacuation and relocation of AUTEC to Exuma Island enabling continuity of operations sustaining international partnerships.
Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode
Flight Safety Award
Air Station Houston Safety Department
The 2020 Captain Marion Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award recipient is Air Station Houston Safety Department. The Houston safety team tackled major initiatives in water quality research, crew endurance, mishap reporting and training.
Working with 15 federal, state, and local governments and other agencies they uncovered the presence of Polyflouroalkyl substances in the immediate area and were able to verify critical training areas were clear of the substance, allowing for increased hoist training opportunities. The Houston safety team connected with local agencies to establish tracking, testing and surveilling of the local bay in an effort to prevent personnel exposure to such substances in the future.
Furthermore, the Houston Safety Department initiated the units first ever Crew Endurance Management program ahead of the upcoming transition to the MH65E, and capturing member data before and after the units COVID-19 duty schedule began. These efforts created a baseline reference for Houston to evaluate during this summer’s MH 65 Echo transition. Houston employed a new online reporting tool for vastly improved performance and provided input into numerous ALSAFETY messages.
Finally, Houston created a comprehensive review of the three most-recent MH-65 Class A mishaps, noting commonalities and cultural norms while focusing on unintended negative consequences of policy and culture.
Air Station Houston’s Safety Department embodies the Commandant’s guiding principles of Ready, Relevant and Responsive. Their approach to promoting, educating, and advancing aviation safety at both the unit and enterprise level is highly deserving of the 2020 Captain Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award.
Captain Frank Erickson
Rotary Wing Rescue Award
Sector Humboldt Bay crew of CGNR 6561
LCDR Derek L. Schramel
LTJG Adam J. Ownbey
AMT3 Tyler S. Cook
AST1 P. Graham McGinnis
The Captain Frank A. Erickson Award is presented to the Sector Humboldt Bay crew of CGNR 6561, LCDR Derek L. Schramel, LTJG Adam J. Ownbey, AMT3 Tyler S. Cook, and AST1 P. Graham McGinnis, in recognition of their heroic efforts on 05 September, 2019, responding to a report of two critically injured firefighters requiring extraction from a steep forested area within an active wildfire. Having just completed a two hour training sortie, CGNR 6561 launched at 2300 and, shortly before midnight, entered a valley obscured by smoke with no visual horizon, steep terrain, and intense flames. Battling bouts of vertigo, updrafts, and night vision goggle (NVG) washout from the flames below, LCDR Schramel established a hover above the hoisting area after multiple attempts. AST1 McGinnis was hoisted to the confined area, where he began to assess the patients and prepare for a litter hoist until LTJG Ownbey determined there would not be enough time to hoist the patient and the Rescue Swimmer before needing to refuel. AMT3 Cook aborted the hoist and CGNR 6515 recovered at a full-service airfield to reassess the mission. Although they assessed the mission as high risk, the crew determined the mission still had a reasonable chance of success and would undoubtedly save the lives of both firefighters. All unneeded items were removed from the helicopter to reduce weight, increase fuel capacity, and create room in the cabin to hoist both patients. The crew of CGNR 6515 launched on their third sortie of the day at 0256. Arriving back at the scene, the crew noticed the fire had advanced down the hill to the edge of the hoisting area and flanked the clearing on three sides. During the first approach, updrafts buffeted the aircraft and resulted in a sudden increase in descent rate that could not be arrested, forcing LCDR Schramel to fly down the hillside to avoid impacting the trees. He then used an alternative second approach, avoiding the updrafts, and established a hover with the fire line now at the edge of the clearing. Using linked trail lines, additional weight bags, and a non-standard Litter Augmented Double Pick-Up (LADPU) procedure, AMT3 Cook hoisted AST1 McGinnis to the steep slope using nearly all of the hoist cable. AST1 McGinnis then hauled the litter 25 feet up the steep terrain and wedged his legs underneath it for support while loading the first firefighter. AMT3 Cook and AST1 McGinnis recovered the first patient and extracted the 280-pound man from the litter. AST1 McGinnis injured his back during this process but willingly re-rigged the litter for another LADPU and was delivered to the hoisting area where the flames began to climb the surrounding trees. AST1 McGinnis again unhooked from the hoist and wedged his legs underneath the litter to stabilize it, allowing the second patient to be loaded. AMT3 Cook was unable to see the hoisting area due to increased smoke but LTJG Ownbey faintly heard AST1 McGinnis call for pick-upon on the radio. AST1 McGinnis was then hoisted through the smoke and the second patient was safely loaded into the cabin. LCDR Schramel used 100 percent engine power to prevent settling into the trees while LTJG Ownbey provided essential backup of power, position, and altitude. LCDR Schramel flew out of the hoisting area and passed controls to LTJG Ownbey after total exhaustion from over 30 minutes of precision hoisting. CGNR 6561 then flew to the nearby helibase and transferred the patients to waiting medical helicopters at 0357.
Commander Elmer Stone
Fixed Wing Rescue Award
Air Station Cape Cod crew of CGNR 2313
LCDR Christopher McKay
LTJG Banning S. Lobmeyer
AMT2 Jesse R. Oudman
AMT3 Brandon E. Sabala
AET3 Connor D. Shannon
AET3 Nicolas G. Stewart
The Commander Elmer F. Stone Award is presented to the Air Station Cape Cod crew of CGNR 2313, LCDR Christopher McKay, LTJG Banning S. Lobmeyer, AMT2 Jesse R. Oudman, AMT3 Brandon E. Sabala, AET3 Connor D. Shannon, and AET3 Nicolas G. Stewart, in recognition of their heroic efforts on 24 July, 2019, responding to an emergency position- indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) for the trimaran S/V ISHMAEL, 330 miles offshore Cape Cod. S/V ISMAEL was in the middle of a major convective system with lines of embedded thunderstorms that the crew of CGNR 2313 battled both on scene and during their transit to the stricken vessel. Through limited text messages with the master, who was the lone soul onboard, via the EPIRB, it was reported that part of the trimaran had broken away and the vessel was flooded up to the cabin. When they arrived on scene, the crew of CGNR 2313 encountered continuous moderate turbulence, the maximum allowable for the aircraft, visibility of less than one mile, and 500 foot ceilings. While searching on NVGs below 500 feet, CGNR 2313 continuously battled severe low-level wind shear, causing altitude losses ranging from 200 to 300 feet and air speed fluctuations of 20 knots. Battling low illumination, poor radar picture, and several malfunctions of the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera, LTJG Lobmeyer was able to locate a barely visible light from the vessel using NVGs. AET3 Stewart provided critical backup to the pilots as they battled turbulent conditions by moving up to the cockpit to help watch for airspeed and altitude deviations during aerial deliveries. This left AET3 Shannon alone to work a degraded FLIR and to manage all external communications while AMT2 Oudman and AMT3 Sabala readied the crew and aircraft to conduct aerial deliveries. With visibility of less than one mile, the pilots were unable to see the vessel until almost directly over it. LCDR McKay manually maneuvered the aircraft in moderate turbulence to conduct precise last-minute adjustments needed to give them the best chance of conducting an accurate drop. After three aborted attempts, CGNR 2313 successfully deployed a radio can, followed by an Ariel Sea Rescue Kit 16 and a Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoy. The radio proved vital in allowing search crews over the next ten hours to relocate the vessel via radio direction finder and communicate with the master. It also enabled the master to coordinate with a Good Samaritan to safely disembark the vessel.
Chief Aviation Machinist Mate
Aviation Maintenance Award
AMT2 Jaime J. Marrero
Air Station Sacramento
1. CG-41 is honored to announce the recipient of the annual Chief Oliver F. Berry Aviation Maintenance Award. This annual award, presented by the Assistant Commandant for Engineering and Logistics, and sponsored by the Coast Guard Aviation Association (CGAA), recognizes an enlisted Coast Guard aircraft maintainer who demonstrated exceptional performance and enhanced the overall quality of Coast Guard aviation maintenance.
2. AMT2 Jaime J. Marrero of Air Station Sacramento has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Chief Oliver F. Berry Aviation Maintenance Award. Demonstrating exemplary leadership, competence, technical expertise and superior mentorship, he played a key role in the success of Air Station Sacramento and the HC-27J program overall.
AMT2 Marrero’s unparalleled technical knowledge resulted in being selected to work with Rolls Royce during the gearbox re-pinning overhaul effort, a task that led to the all-weather airworthiness recertification of the HC-27J earlier this year.
AMT2 Marrero used his metalsmith artistic expertise to mentor others while conducting first-in-service repairs to the CG’s newest asset. Demonstrating exceptional skill as the foremost metal-work expert at the unit, he routinely led junior teams through intricate repairs, including wing and flap well, main landing gear door and fuselage repairs. This opportunity greatly developed their talent and their interest in this perishable skill-set, bolstering the next generation of Coast Guard Spartan metal workers.
AMT2 Marrero served as the Coast Guard’s maintenance subject matter expert on the HC-27J’s inaugural site visit to La Paz, Mexico. His efforts directly aided in the permanent establishment of international partnerships and ensured future successful deployment opportunities to La Paz and other sites within Mexico.
AMT2 Marrero’s exceptional leadership, sustained extraordinary performance, and drive for personal and professional excellence embody the attributes of
Chief Oliver Berry.
The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer Meritorious Achievement Award
Awarded every 2 years, last awarded in 2019:
CDR Ken Coffland, CG Aviator 1600
CDR Hugh O’Doherty, CG Aviator 1732
CAPT Dana Goward, CG Aviator 1825
LCDR Dick Wright, CG Aviator 1914
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.)