Commander Matthew K. Matsuoka
Dear Commander Matthew K. Matsuoka,
It is my distinct pleasure to congratulate you as the 2022 recipient of the Captain William J. Kossler Coast Guard Aeronautical Engineering Officer of the Year Award. The Coast Guard Aviation Association presents this prestigious award annually to recognize an aeronautical engineering officer who has distinguished him or herself in the field of aviation maintenance and aeronautical engineering.
You distinguished yourself through unmatched professional competence, outstanding performance, and servant leadership. Your management of simultaneous airframe upgrades from the HC-l 44A to the HC-144B, and the MH-65D to the MH-65E highlighted the nimble, responsive and resilient characteristics of Coast Guard aviation maintenance that sets us apart from any other organization in the world. Your ability to orchestrate complex logistics to repair or recover seven aircraft grounded in remote international locations in a timely manner, while simultaneously meeting the demands of one of the busiest Districts in the Coast Guard, underscored the Coast Guard’s tremendous global reach. Most importantly, your focus on the professional development of others led to unparalleled career successes for your personnel, including two Officer Candidate accessions, four Aeronautical Engineer student selections, two graduate school student selections, two Master Chief Petty Officer advancements, and a prestigious Douglas Munro Award selectee. I applaud you for your commitment to recruiting, retaining, and growing our diverse workforce.
Your consummate professionalism, exceptional leadership, superior mentorship, and dedication to the Coast Guard’s core values make you a role model for the aeronautical engineering and aviation maintenance community, and you have set the standard for excellence in mission support. Your devotion to duty is most heartily commended and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. Bravo Zulu!
C. J. List
Rear Admiral U.S. Coast Guard
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.
2020 LCDR Sean T. Groark
2019 CDR Jerry J. Krywanczyk
Sector Columbia River/Air Station Astoria Safety Department Flight Safety Officer (FSO) LCDR Jane Peña, and Sector Safety Manager (SSM)/Ground Safety Officer (GSO) LT Amanda Thrasher
The 2022 Captain Marion Gus Shrode Aviation Safety Award recipient is Sector Columbia River/Air Station Astoria. As host to the Advanced Helicopter Rescue School (AHRS), which provides challenging and high-risk joint and international training, and home to a diverse and complex aviation mission and area of responsibility, Sector Columbia River’s Safety Department has built and maintained an exceptional Safety Management System (SMS). Mindful of the unique challenges associated with combined Sector and Air Station operations, the Safety Department spearheaded training, education, and mishap drills to prepare unit personnel to systematically anticipate, identify, and mitigate hazards. The Safety Department insightfully developed an AHRS specific addendum to the unit’s mishap response plan, and integrated temporary AHRS instructors and Sector permanent mishap board personnel into unit mishap drills. These initiatives proved instrumental in excellent mishap reporting and response, notably during an AHRS aircraft emergency beach landing. The Safety Department was particularly outstanding at safety promotion, by developing a lessons learned library, creating a professional literature lending-library, revamping the Eagle Eye program, a redesign of the unit level anonymous hazard reporting tool, and initiating an engineering safety petty officer program. Sector Columbia River also expertly addressed the Hexavalent Chromium hazard, by educating maintainers of the risks and ensuring proper PPE availability and usage, through a revamp of the unit’s Occupational Medical Safety Evaluation program. These efforts of the Safety Department, and many others, culminated in the safe execution of 1,700 flight hours, and the prosecution of 88 SAR cases.
The Coast Guard Aviation Association annually presents the Captain Marion “Gus” Shrode Aviation Safety Award to recognize superior performance and outstanding contributions to Coast Guard aviation safety. Captain Shrode was a pioneer in the development of Coast Guard aviation standardization programs, including publication of the Coast Guard’s first aircraft standardization manual. Captain Shrode was also instrumental in creating the Coast Guard’s Aviation Training Center in 1966, served as the Aviation Safety Chief, and completed seven years of continuous aviation command with distinction.
2020 Air Station Houston Safety Department
2019 Aviation Training Center (ATC) Mobile Safety Department
2018 Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON) LCDR Jessica S. Davila, LT John R. Sauve, LT David H. Blue, LT Joseph P. Rozycki, LT Thomas E. Horejs and Lt Michael J. Gereau
2017 LCDR Heather Majeska, LCDR Dave McCarthy, LT Dustin Burton, LT David Wright, LTJG Carter Schlank, AND MST1 Lizette Guiterrez, AirSta Clearwater Av Safety Dept
2016 LCDR James Cooley, CGAS Astoria
2015 LT Daniel Crowley, CGAS Houston
2014 Air Station Cape Cod Safety Department: LT Arthur Mahar, LT Garin Kirkpatrick, LT Kimberly Hess
2013 AS North Bend Safety Department: LCDR Jason Gelfand, LT Caroline Kearney
2012 AS Humboldt Bay Safety Department: LT Kelly Deuterman, LT Terrance Herdliska
2011 AS E-City Safety Department: LT Jeremy Davis, LT Thomas Huntley, LT Nicholas Hazlett
2010 AS Los Angeles Safety Department: LT Patrick Dill, LT Barry Miles, LT Joel Cooper (RAN)
2009 LT Robert Fitzgerald, CGAS San Francisco
2008 AS Clearwater Safety Department: LT Rob Donnell, LT Josh Fitzgerald, LTJG James Bates and MST1 Jon Gebo
2007 AS Atlantic City Safety Department: LT Brian Potter and LT Frank Fusco
2006 Sector Corpus Christi Safety Department: CDR John Danaher, LT Juan Posada and Ms Jammie Fisher
2005 LT Sean O’Brien, CGAS Houston
2004 AS Kodiak Safety Department: LCDR Brian Washburn, LT Jeremy Smith, LT Timothy Eason and Mr. Scott Tobias
2003 LT Richard Bates, HITRON Jacksonville
2002 LT Charles Carrulo, AS Atlantic City
2001 LT John Rivers, CGAS Miami
2000 CWO Chirstopher Toupin, AR&SC
1999 LT Randy Emery, CGAS Atlantic City
1998 LT David Scott, CGAS Borenquen
USCG Air Station Kodiak, AK – Crew of MH-60 CG-6037:
LCDR John A. Filipowicz, USCG – Acft. Cmdr.
LCDR Alex C. Martfeld, USCG - Copilot
AMT2 Christian R. Sandberg, USCG – Flt. Mech.
AST3 Robert R. Burke III, USCG – RS
In recognition of their heroic efforts on October 19, 2021, when CG-6037 responded to the alert of the fishing vessel PATRICIA LEE.
For heroic achievement while serving as aircrew aboard CG-6037 on October 19, 2021. At 1900L, the crew departed from the forward operating location Cold Bay, Alaska, to MEDEVAC a critically injured crewmember aboard F/V Patricia Lee, 60 NM East of Adak, Alaska. This was a high risk due to severe turbulence, icing, high seas, and IFR conditions. CG6037 proceeded through areas of extreme turbulence and low visibility conditions to refuel in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Downdrafts shot plumes of water 100-200 feet into the air. CG-6037 departed Dutch Harbor at 2230L. The wind gusted to 62 knots and snow squalls limited visibility. After a two-hour transit, CG-6037 found the vessel violently pitching and rolling in 25-foot seas. With the hoisting area located between two 70-foot masts, they proceeded with a dry run overhead check to evaluate the feasibility of a hoist. The pilot flying quickly went lost target, and with the masts moving unpredictably in the confused seas, elected to fly away. A second dry-run resulted in near lost-target conditions, and the crew elected to back away to formulate a plan. Despite steady 45-knot winds, the crew put the aircraft 30 degrees out of the wind line and moved in for a third try. The flight mechanic began to lower the rescue swimmer using the hoist. Waves crashing over the ship’s deck caused the weight bags to become fouled in a scupper drain. The Rescue Swimmer readied his survival knife to cut the trail line if an abort was needed. The swimmer made it to the ship safely. Next, the litter was delivered. After the litter was safely delivered, the swimmer passed word that weight bags were lost and proceeded to ready the patient. Demonstrating superb ingenuity, the flight mechanic identified a water bottle to use as a weight bag. During the recovery of the litter, an abnormally large swell struck the stern of the vessel.
Quick conning commands and control inputs prevented the litter from striking the pilothouse as the mast surged forward toward the helicopter but only narrowly. With highly trained crew coordination the flight mechanic and the pilot kept position and controlled the litter to bring the patient into the cabin. Misfortune struck at the worst time – the flight mechanic’s intercommunications cord became entangled in the litter and disconnected. The pilot monitoring quickly recognized the situation and proceeded to provide conning commands to maintain position using video from the hoist camera. He also directed a civilian camera crewman on the mission to assist the flight mechanic. After a full minute of maintaining position over the vessel, the flight mechanic was able to reestablish ICS communications and recover the swimmer. The crew departed the vessel with one minute of fuel to bingo and safely navigated severe turbulence to deliver the patient to EMS in Dutch Harbor. The crew of CG-6037 demonstrated exceptional bravery, determination, and ingenuity during a rescue that reached a national audience. Their actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Coast Guard Aviation Association and the United States Coast Guard.
The Frank Erickson Award recognizes Rotary-Wing aircrews who have demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations:
2020 Sector Humboldt Bay crew of CGNR 6561:
LCDR Derek L. Schramel, LTJG Adam J. Ownbey, AMT3 Tyler S. Cook, AST1 P. Graham McGinnis
2019 Aircraft CGNR 6032
LCDR William J. Burwell, CP: LT Katelyn M. Dacimo, RS: AST2 Michael W. Kelly, RS: AST3 Luke M. Headley, FM: AMT1 Devin R. Lloyd
2018 Air Station Kodiak crew of CG-6593
LCDR Daniel A. Schrader, LCDR Adam L. Mullins, AMT2 Jentzen D. Green, AET1 Gregory K. Mayes, AET2 Jacqueline V. Gutierrez
2017 North Bend crew of CGNR 6559
LT Zachary Wiest, LT Wesley Jones, AMT2 Jason Caristo, and AST3 Chad Morris
2016 CGNR 6032 crew, AS Sitka
LCDR Christopher S. Stoeckler, LT Matthew R. Herring, AET3 Class Jeremy A. Reed, AST2 Class Brendan D.Dent, HS2 Class Ryan F. Ransom
2015 MH-60 CGNR 6033 crew AS Cape Cod
LT John D. Hess, LT Matthew R. Vanderslice, AMT2 Derrick P Suba, AST3 Evan A. Staph
2014 MH-65 CGNR 6515 crew, AS San Francisco
LCDR James Kenshalo, LT Beau Belanger, AST3 Corey Fix, AMT2 Travis Swain
2013 MH60T CGNR 6012 crew, Elizabeth City
LCDR Steven Cerveny, LT Jane Pena, AMT3 Michael Lufkin, AST2 Randy Haba
2012 HH-60 CG-6010 Crew, AS Kodiak
CDR Matthew Breckel, LT John Filipowicz, AMT2 Joshua Harris, AST2 Steven Fischer
2011 HH-60 CG-6013 crew, AS Kodiak
LCDR JAMES HARKINS, LT CHRISTOPHER STOECKLER, AET2 DAVID BALL, AST2 MICHAEL GERENT
2010 HH-65C crew, AS Atlantic City
LCDR Sean O’Brien, LT Neal Corbin, AMT2 Ian Berg, AST2 David Downham
2009 HH-60J crew, AS Clearwater
LCDR Mark Turner, LTjg Daniel Cathell, AMT2 Jason Menezes, AST3 Jon Geskus
2008 HH-65 crew, AS Kodiak
LT Timothy Schmitz, LT Greg Gederner, AMT2 Alfred Musgrave, AST2 Abram Heller
2007 HH-65 crew, AS Kodiak
LCDR Joseph Carroll, LT Devin Townsend, AST1 Willard Milam, AET2 John Maghupoy
2006 HH-60 crew, AS Sitka
LCDR William Simmons, LCDR Walter Horne, AMT3 Karl Schickle, AST3 Jon Houlberg
2005 HH-65 crew, AS Kodiak
LT Timothy Eason, LT Robert Kornexl, AMT3 Gibbons
2004 HH-60 crew, AS Kodiak
LCDR Joseph Uxmann, LT Jeremy Smith, AMT2 Joseph Triechel, AST2 Joshua Mitcheltree, HS2 Marc Capra
2003 HH-65 crew, AS Humboldt Bay
LVCDR Even Grant, LT Andrea Sacchetti, AMT2 Raymond Morris
2002 HH-65 crew, AS North Bend
CDR Douglas Kaup, LT Steven Detton, AVT3 Benjamin Berman, AST3 Erick Biehn
2001 HH-65 crew, AS Savannah
LT Lance Belben, LT Sean Morrisey, AMT3 Curtis Winn, AST2 Jason Mathers
2000 HH-60 crew, AS Sitka
LCDR Robert Yerex, LT james O’Keefe, AMT1 Christian Bloanco, AST3 Noel Hutton
USCG Air Station Kodiak, AK – Crew of HC-130 CG-2006
CDR Stephen W. Pittman, USCG - Acft. Cmdr.
LT Austin S. English, USCG - Copilot
AMT1 Julio A. Guillermo, USCG - Loadmaster
AET2 Mykola O. Polovko, USCG - MSO
AET2 Corey J. Walker, USCG - MSO
AMT3 Ian R. Tuel, USCG - Dropmaster
AET3 Michael E. Madrigal, USCG -Basic AC
The Commander Elmer Stone Award is presented in recognition of the performance of the crew of CG-2006 on October 8, 2021. This crew displayed exceptional adaptability and skill that saved a mariner’s life and reduced the risks encountered by a helicopter crew responding to a distress call from the Fishing Vessel ALASKA VICTORY.
For heroic achievement while serving as aircrew aboard CGNR 2006 on October 8h, 2021. On the evening of 8 October 2021, Air Station Kodiak received a request to MEDEVAC a patient from the F/V ALASKA VICTORY, 650NM Southwest of Kodiak, AK. The patient was in severe respiratory distress with dangerously low oxygen saturation levels and a limited supply of oxygen on board the vessel. The vessel was within range of the forward deployed MH-60T in Cold Bay, AK, but the on-scene weather made the success of a hoist highly unlikely. The crew of CG-2006 coordinated the delivery of 10 oxygen tanks from the Rockmore-King Clinic in Kodiak and prepared to deliver them to the vessel via parachute in the event the helicopter hoist was not possible. The crew set up the aerial delivery to deliver oxygen bottles in a container not designed for the task. Showing outstanding initiative, they sourced honeycomb cardboard and a package of diapers from the load cage to stabilize the tanks in the aerial delivery can. CG-2006 departed Kodiak to arrive on scene before dark to mitigate risks from on-scene weather. As they descended to the F/V ALASKA VICTORY, what they found were 20-foot seas, and wind gusts over 50 knots. The crew employed a non-standard drop due to the on-scene conditions. This ensured the drop can with the bottles in it landed just prior to the vessel and the drop line landed on the vessel itself for easy retrieval. Had they delivered per the flight manual procedure, the F/V ALASKA VICTORY crew would likely have lost sight of the gear and would not have recovered it. Just prior to aerial delivery, the C-130 crew noted sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts to 52 knots. The drop landed in the ideal position and the crew of the vessel easily recovered the oxygen bottles. Soon after the aerial delivery, CG-6037 arrived on scene in complete darkness with less than 10% illumination from the moon. The MH-60T crew quickly realized the vessel was too unstable to hoist the survivor. Due to the expert delivery of the oxygen, the patient was able to be transported by the vessel to higher care in Dutch Harbor, AK. The crew of CG-2006 saved this person’s life. Their outstanding airmanship and devotion to duty reflect great credit upon themselves and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Coast Guard Aviation Association and the United States Coast Guard.
The Elmer Stone Award recognizes Fixed-Wing aircrews who have demonstrated exceptional performance while engaged in search and rescue operations:
2020 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
2019 CREW CGNR 1720: LT ERIK WYRICK, LT TERRELL JACKSON, AMT2 GREG KNIGH,T AT2 TRENTON GARZA, AMT2 GARTH BOOYE, AT3 KEVIN BLAIR, AMT3 COLBY SMITH
2018 AIR STATION BARBERS POINT CREW OF CG-1703 LCDR SEAN H. BARTONICEK, LTJG EVAN C. SWINGHAMER, AET2 BEAU F. FISCH, AET2 ANDREW M. DAVIS, AMT2 RYAN A. CABRERA, AET2 JEREMIAH J. STROMBECK, AET3 SHAWN M. FELEPPA
2017 CREW OF HC-130 1790, CGAS BARBER’S POINT LCDR ANTONE ALONGI LT MATTHEW CHASE, AMTC JAMES STARR, AET1 CLASS WILLIAM OSTERHOUT, AET2 CLASS ROBERT WANDELL, AMT2 CLASS JEREMY ANDREWS, AMT2 DAELYN CHANEY
2016 CREW OF HC-130 1790, CGAS BARBER’S POINT LCDR ANTONE ALONGI LT MATTHEW CHASE, AMTC JAMES STARR, AET1 CLASS WILLIAM OSTERHOUT, AET2 CLASS ROBERT WANDELL, AMT2 CLASS JEREMY ANDREWS, AMT2 DAELYN CHANEY
2015 HC-144 CGNR 2309 CREW, CGAS CAPE COD LT JAMISON R. FERRIELL, LT ERIK J. PRICE, AMT3 ERIC C. WOODS, AMT3 CHRISTOPHER S. LELYO
2014 HC-144 CGNR 2309 CREW, CGAS CAPE COD LT DUSTIN LEE, LT STEVEN VANDERLASKE, AMT1 STEPHEN UNDERWOOD, AMT3 ERIC WOODS
2013 HC-130J CGNR 2004 CREW, CGAS ELIZABETH CITY LT MICHAEL MYERS, LTJG FRANK MCINTOSH, AMT3 ERIC LASTER, AMT3 JESSE EMBERT, AMT1 HECTOR RIOS, AET1 JOSHUA ADAMS, AET3 JOSHUA VARGO
2012 HC-130 CGNR 1790 CREW. AS KODIAK LT ISRAEL YOUNG, LT JEANINE MENZE, LCDR MICHAEL BENSON, AET1 RODERICK HANSON, AMTC PAUL HENNING, AET3 DANE BUTLER, AMT1 JARED MORRISON, AET3 CLARK PATTERSON
2011 HC-144 CGNR 2306 CREW, AS MIAMI LT STACIA PARROTT, LTJG DANIEL FEIRMAN, AET1 THOMAS MORRELL, AMT2 CASEY GREEN, AMT2 JACOB EIDE, AET3 JEREMY CHURCH
2010 HC-130 CREW, AS BARBERS POINT LT DAVID SHOOK, LTJG PHILLIP ORTEGA, AET1 ROBERT BLUME, AET2 MICHAEL HOUSE, AMT3 CASE MCCRODEN, AMT3 PAUL JOHNSON
2009 HC-130 CREW, AS SACRAMENTO LCDR CHE BARNES, LT RANDALL BLACK, AMT1 ANDREW KASTEN, AMT1 RANDALL PURDY, AMT1 JASON FERGUSON, AET2 NATHAN LACROIX, AET2 BRENNAN BRIDGEFORD, AMT3 JOSEPH MACKEY
2008 HC-130 CREW, AS KODIAK LT STEVE MCKECHNIE, CDR PAUL TITCOMBE, AMT1 SHAWN CALLIS, AET1 KEVIN DURYEA, AET3 JASON MADDUX, AMT3 COREYT STROBEL, AMT3 COLLIN SPENCER
2007 HC-130 crew, AS Elizabeth City LT Paul Beavis, LT Edward Ahlstrand, AMT1 Trey Jones, AET3 Jesse Bennett, AMT2 Stacey Sorenson, AET3 Ryan Cantu, AMT3 Casey Green
2006 HU-24 CREW, ATC MOBILE LT ANTHONY CELLA, LT STEVEN TALICK, AMT2 RALPH TURNER, AMT3 BOBBY ACREE, AET2 ANDREW GOODISON
2005 HC-130 CREW, AS KODIAK LCDR TODD SCHMIDT, LT STEVEN MCKECHNIE, AMT1 KEVIN KEARNS, AET1MARTIN, AMT2 NORIEGA, AMT2 THOMAS AUITO, AET2 SCOTT MARET
2003 HC-130 CREW, AS ELIZABETH CITY LCDR MICHAEL CALLAHAN, LT ALAN HANSEN, AMTC HOWARD REED, AVT2 PHILIP BENTON, AVT3 BEAU STOUGH, AVT2 BENNET DURHAM, AMT3 CHRISTOPHER TEALL, AMT1 THOMAS BAUGH, AMT3 WENDY MUSSER
2002 HU-25 CREW, AS CAPE COD LT CURTIS SUMROK, LTJG ROB BARTHELMES, AMT2 THOMAS ARNETTE, AVT2 WILLIAM SHRADE
2001 HC-130 CREW, AS CLEARWATER LCDR KIRK BARTNIK, LCDR GEOFF BORREE, LT RONALD DEWITT, LT JONATHAN SPANER, AMT1 STEPHEN
2000 HC-130 CREW, AS ELIZABETH CITY LCDR BILL THOMPSON, LCDR JOHN KEETON, AMT1 JOHN NICHOLSON, AMT1 TIM WALLER, AT1 MIKE MCCLEARY, AMT2 ED HOLLAND, AT2 PAT MUDGE
Petty Officer Ryan G. Hambrick
Dear Petty Officer Ryan G. Hambrick,
It is my great pleasure to congratulate you as the 2022 recipient of the Chief Aviation Machinist Mate Oliver F. Berry Aviation Maintenance Award. The Coast Guard Aviation Association presents this prestigious award annually to an enlisted aviation technician who has demonstrated exceptional performance and enhanced the overall quality of Coast Guard aviation maintenance.
Demonstrating exceptional leadership, technical expertise, and professionalism, you played a leading role in the success of Air Station Cape Cod and the entire HC-144 fleet. Your renowned attention to detail led to the discovery of a failed universal system clamp, prompting a Time Critical Technical Order (TCTO) inspection. This TCTO resulted in the discovery of 423 failed clamps fleet-wide, which could have compromised fuel system, hydraulic, and engine bleed air components, and jeopardized safety across the fleet. Your commitment to mastering your craft, becoming a unit non-destructive inspection expert on the MH-60T and HC-144, ensured completion of numerous first in fleet mid-life inspections on the HC-144, and your metalsmith skills enabled local completion of depot level repairs that saved the Coast Guard thousands of dollars. Most importantly, I want to commend you on your willingness to lead and mentor your peers as Heavy Maintenance Shift Lead, and as a High Speed Engine Run Instructor. I am told you creatively managed your team’s talents to get the job done, while simultaneously supporting their professional growth.
Your consummate professionalism, exceptional leadership, superior mentorship, and dedication to the Coast Guard’s core values serve as a role model for our aviation workforce, and sets the standard for mission support. Your outstanding contributions and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard. Bravo Zulu!
C. J. List
Rear Admiral U.S. Coast Guard
2020 AMT2 Jaime J. Marrero, Air Station Sacramento
2019 AET1 Brittany Bryant
2018 AET2 Zoltan Peter, C-27 Asset Project Office (APO)
2017 AMT1 John Levi T. Berg, Aviation Logistics Center
2016 AMT1 Jeremiah D. Branscomb, Aviation Logistics Center
2015 AMTC Joshua E. Vogan, CGAS Barbers Point
2014 AMT2 Christopher J. Roode of CGAS Elizabeth City
2013 AMTC Kevin Deininger, CGAS Barbers Point
2012 AMT1 Lawrence Peranto, CGAS Kodiak
2011 AMT1 Jacob Linder, CGAS Humboldt Bay
2010 AMT1 Frank Fontanez, ATC Mobile
2009 AMT2 Brandon Smith, CGAS San Diego
2008 AMT2 Bryan Patrick, CGAS San Francisco
2007 AMT2 David Parker, CGAS Houston
2006 AMT1 Cletis Milan, CGAS Elizabeth City
2005 AMT1 Randy Losada, CGAS Miami
2004 AM1 Brad Barrington, CGAS San Diego
2003 CWO Pete Fonticoba, CGAS Miami
Ronald J. Kaplan
Mr. KAPLAN is cited for exceptional achievement and operational skill in his performance of duties as U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Aircraft Commander, Assistant District Flight Safety Officer (ADFSO) and Branch Assistant of Flight Safety (BA-RAS) from October 2020 to September 2022. Demonstrating superior professional competence and commitment, Mr. KAPLAN consistently performed above and beyond expectations to ensure his assigned aviation missions and projects were achieved with excellence, and has made exceptional contributions to Coast Guard Aviation. Demonstrating his commitment to the Auxiliary’s mission, Mr. KAPLAN completed 100 sorties, totaling almost 500 mission hours of flight time in service to the U. S. Coast Guard. He has flown migrant interdiction missions for Air Stations Miami and Key West, located several migrant vessels, many of which were inadequately constructed and at sea in conditions so extreme that Coast Guard boats were unable to make the rescue. After locating vessels with migrants that were in many cases dehydrated and malnourished in severe sea conditions, Mr. KAPLAN remained on station time and time again, and directed Coast Guard boats, cutters and merchant vessels to provide rescue. Working closely with Air Station Miami, Mr. KAPLAN served as the ADFSO for the Auxiliary Squadron and performed with excellence, delivering flight safety training through a monthly virtual meeting and reinforcing the District Seven Flight Safety Program. Additionally, serving as BA-RAS, Mr. KAPLAN has continued to disseminate relevant Flight Safety information to Auxiliary Aviators in other Districts, tirelessly working to enhance the Auxiliary Flight Safety Program. Mr. Kaplan’s dedication, judgment, perseverance and devotion to duty are most heartedly commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United Stated Coast Guard and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.