On 7 October at the 2021 Naval Helicopter Association Symposium in San Diego, the first CGAA ‘Pterodactyl Award’ was presented to CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) in recognition of his extraordinary role in developing our enduring partnership with the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA). As Retired Affairs Director and Membership Coordinator at NHA, CDR Brattland consistently features CG aviation in annual symposiums, notably, the 75th Anniversary of Helicopter Operations celebration. By his advocacy, CG aircrews are frequently recognized at annual NHA award ceremonies, and regularly capture NHA scholarships for professional development. CDR Brattland also invites CG participation in the Virtual Gulf Coast Fleet Fly-In and large-scale Sea-Air-Space Aviation Happy Hours, building strong bonds among our active duty and retired members. Further, he coordinates exchanges of articles between the Pterogram
and Rotor Review for dual publication, exposing authors and historical information to greater readership. CDR Brattland also sponsors seminal history features on the NHA website. These have included biographies of Frank Erickson, Frank Shelley, Larry Farmer, Gib Brown, and other rotary wing icons. CDR Brattland is a prolific researcher and shares valuable information with CGAA historians, which helps generate articles and documentaries on early employment of helicopters, pioneers, and heroes that flew them. His most recent efforts helped illuminate inter-service activities during the Vietnam War, plus remote operations in the Arctic. CDR Brattland’s investigations into helicopter designations increased coordination between training commands and produced a master list of Naval Helicopter Designations. This herculean effort involved checking records as far back as 1951 to assign helicopter numbers to qualified CG pilots and facilitate development of a searchable database. This master list will support continued management of aviator records in the future. He is a life member, P-5463, of the Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl. Prez Emerson said CDR Brattland was ‘emotionally touched’ by his award.