News: VMFA-122 receives SECNAV safety award
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C.-Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 were recognized for their efforts in safety when they received the 2013 Secretary of the Navy’s Safety Excellence Award, July 24.
The award was announced in a July message listing VMFA-122 as the only recipient of the award in the Marine Corps’ active-duty aviation community. The award signifies the unparalleled safety achievements of the squadron throughout 2012.
"Safety and keeping our Sailors and Marines safe is one of the most important things we do, it's one of the things that makes us the most formidable fighting force there's ever been," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. "It's important to recognize those that do such an excellent job because they are models for the rest of the fleet and the rest of the Marine Corps. It's important to say Bravo Zulu, job well done."
The squadron, which just returned from a six-month deployment to the Pacific in support of the Unit Deployment Program, was rewarded for their safety efforts by receiving a citation, plaque and the Secretary of the Navy’s safety flag which they are authorized to fly for the next year.
“It’s amazing, the amount of work they pour into making sure the aircraft is safe to fly,” said Sgt. Maj. James Hagle, the squadron sergeant major for VMFA-122. “Getting the safety award is just a testament of their hard work and their diligence and making sure everything is done correctly.”
The safety award is presented to commands across the Navy and Marine Corps both active duty and reserve who demonstrate critical initiatives and a cultural philosophy that fulfills their responsibility to maintain a mission-ready, capable Navy and Marine Corps.
"Safety and Risk Management are indispensable to effectively prepare for and complete our mission, whether at home or deployed in harm's way,” stated Mabus. “Your safety accomplishments are proof positive of your mission safety command culture and your commitment to each other, to safety excellence, to the Nation, and to the Department of the Navy as a world class safety organization.”
According to SECNAV Instruction 5305.4B, the objective of the awards program is to encourage increased mission readiness by mishap and hazard reduction demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the Department of the Navy safety vision and achieving the goal of being the best military safety organization in the world.
“The marines will correct me if I’m not doing anything safety wise,” said Hagle. “They know safety has no rank; no cutting corners on maintenance, no cutting corners on anything.”
“My personal congratulations to all SECNAV Safety Excellence Award recipients," said Mabus.
Established in 2002 by former SECNAV Gordon R. England, the Safety Excellence Awards are designed to promote safe practices throughout the Department of the Navy and personally recognize those commands that have integrated an awareness of safety in everyday operations, reducing loss in man-hours, material damage, among other factors that may decrease Navy assets.