News: 2012 CNO award winners aboard MCAS Cherry Point
Story by Cpl. Glen Santy
CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Marine Transport Squadron 1 received the Chief of Naval Operations aviation safety award at the VMR-1 hangar, June 27.
The squadron’s guest of honor Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installation East, presented the award to Lt. Col. Edward Lang, the commanding officer of VMR-1, who accepted on behalf of the squadron.
“The aviation safety award is indicative of long-term commitment to safety and to flying excellence,” said Gorry. “It’s an award that the whole squadron contributes to on a day-to-day basis and it’s indeed an honor and a privilege to present this prestigious award to such a professional organization.”
The Chief of Naval Operations annual awards program recognizes Navy ships, Navy and Marine Corps installations and people for outstanding performance, according to the Navy’s official website.To receive the CNO award the recipient has to be chosen from under an aircraft controlling custodian such as Marine Corps Installation East.
MCI-East’s subordinate commands and VMR-1’s competitors included Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island, Fla., and Deployment Processing Command East.
According to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Instruction 1650.28A (OPNAVIST), Safety awards are given to recognize operational excellence, exemplary safety contributions and to further the Naval Aviation Safety Program. The awards serve to recognize economy of operations through safety.
This award is the squadron’s 19th recorded safety award, their first was in 1990.
The last CNO award received by VMR-1 was in 2009. The squadron consecutively received the award from 1995 to 2009.
Maj. Bryan Donovan, a search-and-rescue pilot who serves as the director of safety and standardization for VMR-1, said the squadron had recently taken a different approach to their operating procedures after identifying and addressing deficiencies.
“We adopted the ‘back-to-the-basics’ approach to redefine each Marine’s job in the squadron, their individual responsibilities, and the publications that guide them, in order to change the paradigm of ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it.’”
VMR-1’s mission is to provide search-and-rescue support to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, and short to medium range rapid response to the Air Station and the local Eastern Carolina area.
“This award is a result of a total team effort, hard work and doing things the right way all the time,” said Donovan
He explained the squadron plans to not “rest on our laurels,” and keep striving to improve.
“The Marines will continue to fix and fly aircraft and do things by the book and seek innovative ways to improve squadron safety both on and off duty,” said Donovan. “I'm extremely proud to be a part of a top notch organization working alongside true professionals.”