AET1 Shane Williams of Air Station Barbers Point was recognized as the Association of Naval Aviation RADM A.C. Read Navigator of the Year for 2020. He was presented the award by Air Station Barbers Point CO CAPT Andrew Ericson, Aviator 3259. AET1 Williams is joined by his daughter Sydney, wife Amber, and daughter Hayden. He competed against submissions from the USN, USMC, and USCG. Navigators in the USN and USMC are commissioned officers, so this is quite the feat for an AET1. Citation follows: The Association of Naval Aviation RADM A.C. Read Navigator of the Year Award is presented to the individual who has demonstrated outstanding skills and performance in the field of navigation while in flight and made significant contribution to improvements of navigation training and or navigation procedures. The award is named after Albert Cushing Read, Sr. who was an aviator and Rear Admiral in the United States Navy. He and his crew made the first transatlantic flight in the NC-4, a Curtiss NC flying boat. PO1 Williams embodies the skill and commitment demonstrated by RADM Read during the admiral’s first transatlantic flight. While assigned to the Aeronautical Engineering Department at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, FL, he logged 522 flight hours as a HC-130H Navigator in the execution of search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and hurricane support logistics operations. A truly talented Navigator, his skill as a SELEX 7500E Seaspray surface search radar operator was essential to the interdiction of four panga style and two low-profile drug smuggling vessels resulting in the apprehension of more than 1,650 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated
value of over $141 million. Additionally, while on counter-narcotics sortie, PO1 Williams and his crew were diverted to search for a Columbian fishing vessel in distress. Without yet having a search action plan and only knowing the vessel’s last-known position, he recommended conducting a sector search pattern with a 20 nautical mile radius opposed to the standard 10 nautical mile radius centered at that position. While maneuvering at the edge of the pattern, he detected a small radar return 18 nautical miles outside the search area. As the aircraft positioned to identify the return, his crew located a group of life rafts with survivors. PO1 Williams additionally detected a Columbian naval vessel 30 nautical miles away and vectored it to the survivors, ultimately saving six lives. Not just a skilled operator, he demonstrated a keen desire and commitment to improve the capabilities of the fleet by creating a training program designed to reconcile the HC-130H’s covert posture requirements with the SELEX radar’s capabilities and limitations to maximize maritime law enforcement patrol operations. His actions reflect great credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.