2015 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.
The Victor Roulund Rescue Swimmer
Meritorious Achievement Award
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.
Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode
Flight Safety Award
LT Daniel Crowley, CGAS Houston
During the period of 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2015 LT Crowley exhibited superior performance as both the Flight and Ground Safety Officer for Air Station Houston. Working closely with the Air Station Houston command cadre, LT Crowley worked tirelessly to forge an open reporting culture that was founded on the Just Culture ethos and the Commandant’s core values. As a result, Air Station Houston set the standard for the Coast Guard Aviation Community in mishap response, analysis and reporting all of which culminated in a significant reduction in the Air Station Houston mishap rate.
Other accomplishments of note included the establishment of a unit Human Factors Council to address the safety and performance of all aircrew; a complete overhaul of the unit’s operational risk management program as well as the monthly Flight and Ground Safety Boards to identify safety concerns, enhance aircrew proficiency, and ensure all air station processes were continually monitored for effectiveness; the implementation of an innovative weather safety alerting system for command personnel; partnering with the NTSB to thoroughly analyze a Class A mishap involving a local Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft; the planning and execution of two full-scale mishap drills with local, district, and HQ entities; the implementation of a 4-month safety pause for night shift maintenance and the enactment of a duty section maintenance plan following the loss of the unit hangar lighting system; leveraging fallout funding to purchase a drive-on fuel truck spill containment system and procuring enhanced spill response kits; and initiating numerous safety recommendations resulting in enterprise-wide improvements in operational reliability and efficiency.
As the Air Station Houston Flight Safety Officer, LT Crowley embodies the Commandant’s guiding principles of Duty to People and Commitment to Excellence. His attention to detail and devotion to duty are paramount to the unit’s safe execution of Coast Guard missions, and as such are highly deserving of the 2015 Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode Aviation Safety Award.
Captain Frank Erickson
Rotary Wing Rescue Award
MH-60 CGNR 6033 crew AS Cape Cod
LT John D. Hess
LT Matthew R. Vanderslice
AMT2 Derrick P Suba
AST3 Evan A. Staph
The Captain Frank A. Erickson Award is presented to Air Station Cape Cod crew of CGNR 6033 in recognition of their heroic efforts on 15 February 2015. The action of LT Hess, LT Vanderslice, AMT2 Suba and AST3 Staph resulted in saving two sailors from the sailing vessel SEDONA. Demonstrating superior airmanship and judgment, the aircrew of CGNR 6033 responded to a 406 MHZ EPIRB from the SN SEDONA located 200 nm south of Cape Cod in the middle of a severe winter blizzard.
The treacherous weather engulfing the entire East Coast grounded three other Coast Guard aircraft, leaving the CGNR 6033 150 NM from the closest point of land without a cover aircraft to provide communications or rescue assistance. After battling snow, ice, turbulence and hurricane force winds for over an hour and a half, CGNR 6033 arrived on scene and lowered the rescue swimmer into 60 knot winds and 35′, raging,freezing seas. The temperatures were so cold, immediately upon opening the cabin door, the flight mechanic was blinded when his visor flash froze. Further complicating the rescue,during the third of seven hoists CGNR 6033’s primary hoist control unit failed and would only operate in the up direction.
During the recovery of the second survivor on back up hoist controls, the rescue basket began to swing towards the survivor. The rescue swimmer bravely blocked the basket with his arm to prevent the basket from contacting the survivor’s head. Due to the lack of adequate hoist controls, the basket had not discharged its static buildup in the ocean. When the basket struck the rescue swimmer, the static discharge was so great it temporarily disoriented the rescue swimmer for approximately five seconds. During that time, the rescue swimmer never let go of the survivor. Quickly recovering his senses, the rescue swimmer assisted the survivor into the rescue basket and completed the hoist. After completing the recovery of the rescue swimmer, CGNR 6033 turned for home and encountered the same blizzard conditions for the transit back to Cape Cod. Arriving in white out conditions and relying on sea dye markers to identify the runway, CGNR 6033 landed afely on deck at Air Station Cape Cod and delivered the survivors to awaiting EMS.
Commander Elmer Stone
Fixed Wing Rescue Award
HC-144 CGNR 2309 crew, CGAS Cape Cod
LT Jamison R. Ferriell
LT Erik J. Price
AMT3 Eric C. Woods
AMT3 Christopher S. Lelyo
The Commander Elmer F. Stone Award is presented to the Air Station Cape Cod crew CGNR 2309 in recognition of their heroic efforts on 08 February 2015. The actions of LT Ferriell,LT Price, AMT3 Woods ,and AMT3 Lelyo resulted in the saving of a premature baby via medical evacuation (MEDEVAC). Demonstrating superior airmanship and judgment the crew of CGNR 2309 launched for the transport of a neonatal medical team and an emergency MEDEVAC of an infant on Nantucket Island. Time was of the essence for the crew of CGNR 2309 as doctors indicated that the infant had less than four hours to live. A daunting winter storm grounded civilian Life Flight services, leaving the infant struggling to breathe and without critical medical assistance. Immediately upon notification, the aircrew began to configure the aircraft for the demanding mission and the pilots coordinated complex aircraft weight and balance to ensure the aircraft’s limited cargo capacity was adequate for the delivery of a three man specialized medical team and a 455 pound neonatal
self-contained incubator. Taking off at the extreme limits of the aircraft performance envelope and into white out, blizzard conditions, the crew battled snow, ice, and turbulence enroute to Nantucket. Upon arriving on scene, the crew found the short, narrow, uncontrolled field to be near approach minimums. Once on deck, the crew’s expert direction of airport ground and ambulance crews facilitated a speedy and life saving medical transfer. Returning to Air Station Cape Cod was even more difficult than the departure with ceilings and visibility at precision approach minimums and crosswinds at limits. The crew safely executed an approach to the ice and snow covered runway, saving one life.
Chief Aviation Machinist Mate
Aviation Maintenance Award
AMTC Joshua E. Vogan, CGAS Barbers Point
Awarded for Demonstrating exceptional leadership, superb technical expertise and professionalism, AMTC Vogen played a key role in the success of Air Station Barbers Point’s Aviation Engineering Division and improved the maintenance quality and efficiency of the HC-130 program as a whole. He successfully leveraged his technical expertise, systems knowledge, and outstanding initiative to achieve success with the Barber’s Point aircrew training program, unit HC-130H maintenance execution, and continuous improvement of the HC-130H’s T-56-15 engine power plant maintenance program for the entire HC-130H fleet. His work to identify a replaceable filter stem for both the engine power section and gearbox oil filter assemblies alleviated the need to replace the entire filter assembly and still maintained the requisite airworthiness standards, achieving over $50,000 in annual cost avoidance for the Coast Guard HC-130H program.
For sustained professionalism, leadership, and mentorship supporting a benchmark HC-130H maintenance program that directly enhanced the operational capability of Coast Guard Aviation. His outstanding contributions and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard.