By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class (SW) Rachael L. Leslie, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs
The Order of the Daedalians presented Rear Adm. Bill Goodwin, Commander Naval Air Force Atlantic (NAVAIRLANT), with the Adm. James S. Russell Naval Aviation Flight Safety Award during a ceremony in Colorado Springs on June 16.
The Adm. James S. Russell Naval Aviation Flight Safety Award, first presented in 1978, is given annually to the U.S. Navy flying unit selected by the CNO as having the most effective flight safety accident prevention program. The Order of Daedalians is a civilian fraternal organization whose members are American military pilots.
“I am honored to accept the Adm. James S. Russell Naval Aviation Flight Safety Award on behalf of the more than 50,000 Navy, Marine Corps and civilian team members who dedicated themselves to safety throughout 2006,” said Goodwin. “When you consider the sheer size of forces under Naval Air Force Atlantic, including five aircraft carriers, 70 squadrons with more than 1,200 aircraft divided among five carrier air wings and two helicopter wings, this award is especially remarkable.”
NAVAIRLANT won the award because of the success of its aviation safety and mishap prevention program during calendar year 2006. The command accumulated nearly 228,000 flight hours in training, work-ups and combat missions during strike group deployments without a Class "A" mishap or fatality.
“I am honored to represent the amazing Sailors and Marines whose dedication to safety made this award possible,” said Goodwin. “I am humbled by their unselfish dedication, their expertise, their initiative and, most of all, their focus on safety, but we will not rest on the acheivements of 2006.”
According to the award citation, the command achieved, for the first time, a zero mishap rate, well below the Secretary of Defense mandated goal of a 50 percent reduction from the CY 2002 rate and the Department of Navy strategic planning guidance of 75 percent reduction of mishaps by the end of fiscal year 2008.
“2007 has brought new challenges, including training, exercises and combat deployments in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom,” said Goodwin. “Our focus on safety will continue and it will grow stronger as our Sailors and Marines operate the aircraft and ships entrusted to us.”