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    Training Squadron 22 earns Adm. John H. Towers Flight Safety Award

    VT-22 earns 2020 Adm. John H. Towers Award

    Photo By Anne Owens | 210301-N-OT909-1034 KINGSVILLE, Texas (March 1, 2021) - Training Squadron (VT) 22...... read more read more



    Story by Anne Owens 

    Chief of Naval Air Training

    The Order of Daedalians presented the “Golden Eagles” of strike Training Squadron (VT) 22 the 2020 Adm. John H. Towers Flight Safety Award during a small ceremony held at the squadron aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas, March 1.

    The award recognizes the Naval Air Training Command squadron that has made the most significant contributions to the Naval Aviation Safety program throughout the year.

    All student naval aviator and student naval flight officer training squadrons under the Naval Air Training Command are eligible to receive this award. Selection is based on squadrons’ safety records, quality of mishap reports and time between mishap reports, all while considering the number of aircraft being flown and number of days the aircraft spent detached from the squadron.

    Order of the Daedalians National Commander retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Jerry Allen presented the award to VT-22 Commanding Officer Marine Lt. Col. Kevin Goodwin. Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff also attended the ceremony to congratulate the Golden Eagles team.

    “Adm. Towers was a pioneer in aviation safety,” Allen said. “VT-22 compiled a remarkable flight safety record in 2020. You flew demanding sorties, accomplished carrier-arrested landings and deployed to El Centro, California, for weapons training. You took the initiative to conduct a host of safety programs to keep the focus on flying safely. This award reflects the hard, smart work of every member of the squadron.”

    VT-22 has received the Towers Award four times, most recently in 1994.

    “VT-22 being recognized in this manner is a tremendous accomplishment and one that meets our mission of safely and efficiently training students,” Goodwin, a native of Milton, Massachusetts, said. “Our instructor pilots and students work tirelessly to ensure safety is the primary factor in our decision-making process. Every instructor and student is empowered to stop any evolution if safety becomes a factor or there is any confusion hindering safe operations. Essentially, if there is any doubt, there is no doubt.

    “During a year that saw our flight hours reduced and COVID-19 fundamentally changing the way we operate, VT-22 rose to the challenge and optimized our training opportunities to overcome many barriers to production.”

    All CNATRA squadrons incorporate Safety Management Systems into daily operations. Operational Risk Management (ORM) begins before a flight is even scheduled, with the assurance that all personnel are qualified and current. On the day of the flight, each brief includes a discussion about potential ORM issues that may exist. Those ORM decisions are made continually throughout the flight in an effort to avoid unsafe circumstances.

    “My command priority is safety,” Westendorff said. “There’s no mission we do to train an aviator or naval flight officer that’s worth unnecessarily jeopardizing lives. We always accept some risk when we fly, but with a safety mindset and by implementing ORM approaches, we mitigate those risks.”

    All safety issues and concerns are brought to the squadron’s attention as quickly as possible through a variety of means, including all-hands calls and checklists, to ensure all aviators are aware of new procedures and associated risks.

    “Our CNATRA safety team develops and supports a safety-value culture in conjunction with high-velocity learning,” CNATRA Aviation Safety Officer Henry Schwerdtfeger said. “This is the foundation of our squadron safety management systems and how we continue to create the finest aviation professionals.”

    Headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, the Order of Daedalians is a non-profit organization that advocates for air and space power, and honors past and present military aviators. The award, named for Adm. John H. Towers who was designated a naval aviator in 1911, recognizes squadrons for their commitment to flight safety. Towers was known for many pioneering accomplishments during his career, including the establishment of the first naval flight school in Pensacola, Florida.

    VT-22, formed in 1949, conducts strike training for student naval aviators in the Navy, Marine Corps and select international military partners. VT-22 is one of two strike training squadrons under Training Air Wing 2 aboard NAS Kingsville.



    Date Taken: 03.01.2021
    Date Posted: 03.02.2021 14:05
    Story ID: 390350
    Location: KINGSVILLE, US
    Hometown: MILTON, MA, US

    Web Views: 500
    Downloads: 0