News: Riverine Sailor Wins Copernicus Award
Story by STEVEN HOSKINS
Electronics Technician 1st Class Edwin Benken assigned to Riverine Squadron 1 was selected as a winner of FY11 Copernicus Award.
The award recognizes individual contributions in the field of naval warfare information systems and information warfare. Twenty-two service members won the award and Benken was the only electronics technician selected.
Benken leading petty officer of RIVRON 1 Detachment 2, serves as manager of tactical communications equipment, which involves everything from command and control computers, communications networking and surveillance for combat craft detachments.
“Petty Officer Benken is everything the Copernicus Awards represent and more,” said Command Master Chief Petty Officer Ross Cramer. “He is second to none in communication networking and he demonstrates the best of what’s expected of our petty officer first class.”
“I am greatly honored to have been selected for an award of this magnitude and thankful to my command for recognizing my hard work,” said Benken.
“There is always a better way to do things,” said Benken. “There is always newer communications system, and learning to integrate those systems into our fleet, and ensuring they are compatible with the Marine Corps and Army, will only make our Navy better.”
Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association and the U.S. Naval Institute will present the award to Benken, Jan. 24. Benken says he looks forward to traveling to San Diego to receive the award and will mark the day as a major milestone in his Naval career. His advice to fellow sailors who have their sights on the Copernicus Award is to “work hard and look for opportunities to improve command communications.”