Coast Guard Aviation Association Awards
Each year the Coast Guard Aviation Association honors active duty aviation personnel by recognizing outstanding achievement. 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.
During the period 01 June 2015 to 31 May 2016, LCDR Cooley exhibited extraordinary performance as the Flight Safety Officer (FSO) at Sector Columbia River. As a leading member of the FSO community, LCDR Cooley volunteered to co-write the new FSO Professional Qualification Standard (PQS), a 300-page document that integrates numerous safety policies with FSO best practices. Given the scope of this project, LCDR Cooley dedicated countless off-duty hours working on this year-long project. The result of his efforts is a first-ever FSO PQS that provides the necessary tasks, learning objectives and techniques to ensure FSO incumbents are effective in their role as a unit safety officer.
LCDR Cooley assisted in the development and delivery of the latest revision of the COMDT (CG-1131) Crew Resource Management (CRM) instructor training module during the 2016 FSO Standardization Course. As a key facilitator, he led discussions with breakout groups to ensure FSOs (unit trainers) understood the material and garnered effective presentation skills.
LCDR Cooley consistently displayed superior communication skills through quality mishap reporting and safety analyses that triggered positive fleet-wide procedural changes, prevented the cancellation of a critical rotary-wing training venue, and generated risk management dialogues across the Service. Capitalizing on his influential roles as an FSO and unit Flight Examiner, he helped craft and test new air station training initiatives aimed at improving aircrew inland Search and Rescue skills. He created a unique Aviation Safety Newsletter podcast that entertains listeners while equipping them with actionable tips to operate in a more safe and effective manner.
He also published an insightful article with an industry-leading law enforcement organization offering aviation professionals practical means to shape their aviation safety culture.
As the Sector Columbia River FSO, LCDR Cooley embodies the Commandant’s guiding principles of Duty to People and Commitment to Excellence. His singular approach to promoting, educating, and advancing aviation safety at both the unit and enterprise level is highly deserving of the 2016 Captain Marion Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award.
HIS 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
Crew of CGNR 6032, Air Station Sitka
LCDR Christopher S. Stoeckler
LT Matthew R. Herring
AET3 Class Jeremy A. Reed
AST2 Class Brendan D.Dent
HS2 Class Ryan F. Ransom
The Captain Frank A. Erickson Award is presented to Air Station Sitka crew of CGNR 6032, LCDR Stoeckler, LT Herring, AET3 Reed, AST2 Dent and HS2 Ransom, in recognition of their heroic efforts on 17 July 2015, responding to a downed aircraft in the vicinity of Point Howard, Alaska. Upon notification a plane carrying five passengers had impacted the side of a mountain; the crew of CG6032 immediately configured the helicopter cabin for multiple casualties, charted the most expeditious route and launched into deteriorating weather conditions. En route, the crew of CG6032 battled low clouds, 20-knots winds in light rain and mist, and 1/4 mile visibility during the 170 nautical mile transit.
Due to the rugged terrain expected, CG6032 diverted to Juneau and embarked two Juneau Mountain Rescue (JMR) volunteers before continuing along a circuitous route via the inland pass with steeply rising terrain on both sides of the aircraft. Arriving at the last known position, the aircrew was unable to visually locate the crash site due to 600’ ceilings, so they devised a plan to place CG6032 in a high hover with the cabin door facing the mountain.
The flight mechanic conned the aircraft vertically, slowly ascending to the crash site while tracking the aircraft’s emergency beacon and cautiously keeping the main and tail rotors clear of obstacles. At 1,300’, the aircrew located the plane wreckage scattered amongst 200’ tall trees. Unable to be lowered directly to the crash site, the Rescue Swimmer, Aviation Mission Specialist (AMS) corpsman and the two JMR personnel were hoisted to a small clearing 100’ above the wreckage where they carefully descended via a precipitous 60 degree slope to assess the victims. Discovering two hypothermic victims and one suffering life threatening injuries, the four ground personnel painstakingly transported one littered survivor and assisted two others up the treacherously steep slope littered with aircraft debris, downed limbs, and high winds to reach the only available hoisting area.
With weather worsening, the crew of CG6032 conducted four demanding hoists of the injured survivors and AMS while overcoming a faulty internal communications system due to water intrusion from heavy rain. In order to avoid terrain and begin the transit to Juneau, CG6032 was forced to climb into instrument conditions and then execute an approach to the water from 1500’ down to 300’. Despite the malfunctioning communication system, they successfully navigated through 1/4 mile visibility, driving winds and rain to deliver the first three victims to emergency care. After delivering the survivors to awaiting EMS, CG6032 retraced the treacherous route to recover the last survivor and rescue team personnel.
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
BARBERS POINT AIR STATION CREW OF HC-130 1790
LCDR ANTONE ALONGI
LT MATTHEW CHASE
AMTC JAMES STARR
AET1 CLASS WILLIAM OSTERHOUT
AET2 CLASS ROBERT WANDELL
AMT2 CLASS JEREMY ANDREWS
AMT2 DAELYN CHANEY
The Commander Elmer F. Stone Award is presented to Air Station Barbers Point crew CGNR 1790 in recognition of their heroic efforts 9 July to 11 July 2015. The actions of LCDR Alongi, LT Chase, AMTC Starr, AET2 Osterhout, AET2 Wandell, AMT2 Andrew, and AMT3 Chaney resulted in the saving of 5 lives. On July 9th, Air Station Barbers Point received a launch notification to assist the island nation of Kiribati in finding five fishermen, who departed Teraina Island in a 14 foot skiff with no motor, radio or survival equipment, and had been missing for two days. The crew of CGNR 1790 oversaw the extensive planning effort to stage out of Christmas Island, and overcame significant logistical obstacles involved with operating out of an isolated foreign island nation. During the search effort, the aircrew mitigated the challenges presented by the lack of assets and planning tools by enlisting local sailing vessels in the search, and obtaining drift calculations from a nearby schooner.
After completing multiple patterns on the second day, the crew demonstrated exceptional on scene initiative by modifying the search action plan provided, taking into account the previously deployed Self Locating Datum Marker Buoy drift information, on scene environmental data and local knowledge. On the second leg of the new search, CGNR 1719 located the vessel and five survivors over 200 miles from their departure location, well outside of any assigned search area. With no vessels within 200 miles and nearing BINGO fuel state, the crew elected to deliver a Personal Locator Beacon from a crew survival vest along with a raft and supplies to ensure the stranded fishermen would survive overnight until a surface vessel could transit to their location. Knowing that returning to scene in time to vector the rescue vessel to the location was paramount, the crew decided to request a waiver of crew rest requirements from the Commanding Officer, in order to relocate the skiff and provide position updates. Shortly after arriving back on scene with the skiff, the rescue vessel was vectored alongside the survivors, saving five lives.
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
Aviation Maintenance Award
AMT1 Jeremiah D. Branscomb, Aviation Logistics Center
AMT1 Jeremiah D. Branscomb of the Aviation Logistics Center (SRR Product Line) has demonstrated exemplary performance, technical expertise and leadership in all his many duties. AMT1 Branscomb 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 Berry and a credit to Coast Guard Aviation and the profession of aeronautical engineering.
The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer
Meritorious Achievement Award
Awarded every 2 years, last awarded in 2015:
ASTCM Thomas “Buck” Beaudry, USCG (AIRSTA Miami)
ASMCM Larry Farmer, USCG (Ret.)
ASTCM Joseph “Butch” Flythe, USCG (Ret.)
ASMCM Darell M. Gelakoska, USCG (Ret.)
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.