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Awards

VAQ-134 received the 2004 CNO Aviation Safety Award, their second consecutive award. Above, CO Cdr. Jay Johnston, left, and XO Cdr. Randy Lynch accept the award from Commander Electronic Attack Wing, Pacific Capt. Chris Field, center.

VMFA-232 was awarded the 2004 CNO Aviation Safety Award.

Kitty Hawk's (CV 63) AO1 (AW/SW) Michael J. Dasch received the 2005 John W. Finn Aviation Ordnanceman of the Year award, presented by the Association of Aviation Ordnancemen.

VR-61 was awarded their seventh Safety "S" in eleven years. The award recognizes VR-61's more than 91,000 mishap-free hours of service to the fleet.

The Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award for 2005 recognizes outstanding achievements in military equipment and weapon systems maintenance by field-level organizations of the military services. The Naval Aviation winners are, Small Category: Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department NAS JRB New Orleans, La.; Large Category: George Washington (CVN 73).

Kitty Hawk's ABH1 (AW/SW) Shane Krueger was named the 2004 Navy Military Fire Fighter of the Year as well as the 2004 DoD Military Firefighter of the Year. The Navy award is given out annually by the Navy Fire and Emergency Services Program Office to honor an individual's superior job performance and outstanding contributions to the Navy fire service. The Navy winner then competes with winners from other services for the DOD award.

Capt. Michael D. Trapp of MAG-13 received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat "V" for actions performed in Afghanistan while attached to VMA-153 in 2003.

VFA-195 received the Golden Wrench Award, recognizing the squadron's excellent maintenance standards.

MALS-13 Sgt. Maj. Joe L. Vines Sr. was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat distinguishing device and a Meritorious Service Medal for his actions while serving with the 1 MEF from March to June 2003, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Harry S. Truman's (CVN 75) supply department received the 2004 Adm. Stan Arthur Award for excellence in operational logistics.

Records

HSC-3 surpassed 200,000 Class A mishap-free flight hours.

VMFA(AW)-332 surpassed 100,000 Class A mishap-free flight hours.

VR-46 surpassed 30 years and 90,000 Class A mishap-free hours.

VAQ-134 surpassed 25 years and 50,000 Class A mishap-free flight hours.

HSL-47 surpassed 22,000 Class A mishap-free flight hours.

Scan Pattern

Boxer (LHD 4) participated in the third annual Joint Air and Sea Exercise (JASEX) in August with five AV-8B Harrier IIs, a team of 87 Marines, and more than 1,200 crew members on board. The seven-day exercise off Okinawa emphasized training to support solidarity throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Boxer, the Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Carrier Strike Group, the 1st Marine Air Wing, and the U.S. Air Force's 18th Wing, 5th Air Force conducted joint training combining carrier and amphibious operations.

HM-14 Det 2 participated in New Horizons Haiti 2005, right. They provided Amphibious Squadron 6 with two MH-53E Sea Dragons for heavy-lift support in the withdrawal of all U.S. military equipment located in the port cities of Gonaives and Port-au-Prince. Both aircraft were maintained as full mission capable for the duration of the mission, during which the det completed 100 percent of its scheduled sorties and carried over 250,000 pounds of equipment.

On 24 July, UNITAS 46-05 came to an end after two weeks of training in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. UNITAS involved more than 2,000 sailors and Coast Guardsmen aboard 18 ships, 2 submarines, and 18 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft from Chile, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and the United States. The exercise gave HSL-42 and HSL-48 the opportunity to search for Type-209 diesel subs from the Peruvian and Columbian navies. In addition, Colombian air force M-5 Mirage, KFIR, and A-37 aircraft played opposition roles during air defense training events. U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command sponsors UNITAS to increase interoperability, communications, and cooperation among naval forces in the region.

On 3 June, HMM-263 flew its last flights with the CH-46E Sea Knight. After training with VMMT-204, the Thunder Chickens will become the first operational Osprey squadron. Transition to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 is scheduled to be complete by summer 2006.

Rescues

On 23 July, four sailors assigned to Kitty Hawk (CV 63) saved the life of an 8-year-old boy during the ship's four-day port visit to Guam. AZ3 Jonathan Haney, AZAN Stephen Clark, and ABAN Chris Juers were swimming at the Marriot Resort and Spa pool when they noticed an unconscious child at the bottom of the pool. The sailors dove into the pool and pulled him to the surface. Clark then went inside the hotel to call an ambulance and Juers began CPR. HM1 Donald Schrader arrived and used his medical training to revive the boy. Schrader carried him to the side of the building to meet the arriving emergency medical service crew. The following day, the boy and his mother visited Schrader to thank him.

Outreach

On 3 August, sailors from Kearsarge (LHD 3) and Marines from the 26th MEU volunteered at City Hope, a women's shelter in Jumeirah, United Arab Emirates.

On 27 July, Bataan (LHD 5) sailors participated in a community relations project at Ingleside's Live Oak Park at NS Ingleside, Texas, removing grapevines from trees surrounding the local park in a beautification effort.

RELATED ARTICLE: SEAL OPERATES FROM COCKPIT OF F/A-18

Story and Photo by LCpl. Lukas J. Blom

The occupations of U.S. Navy SEAL and fighter pilot don't often mix. The level of dedication and commitment required by each means that one rarely has the opportunity to excel in both. Capt. Aric Liberman, an F/A-18 pilot with VMFA-212, has excelled in both arenas.

Liberman always wanted to be a pilot, but he didn't have a college education. Determined to serve his country, Liberman signed a contract with the Navy guaranteeing him a seat in the Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUDS) course after high school graduation. Upon completion of BUDS, Liberman was placed with SEAL Team 2, Little Creek, Va., where his skill as a marksman made him one of the few snipers on the team. Along with participating in missions during Desert Storm and Operation Deny Flight, Liberman was chosen to teach new SEALs the art of sniping at the Navy Special Warfare Course.

Even within the SEALs, Liberman continued to show a heightened interest in air operations. When the time came to reenlist, Liberman decided to pursue a college degree while keeping his foot in the SEAL community, serving in the active reserves with SEAL Team 4 throughout his years at North Carolina State University. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, Liberman was faced with yet another difficult decision: go back to the SEALs as a commissioned officer or follow his childhood dreams of aviation. Having decided to become a pilot, Liberman considered all the services before deciding the Marine Corps was the best fit for his new career.

Although now pursuing a different military career path with another branch of service, Capt. Liberman continues his pursuit of excellence as a Lancer in VMFA-212. "I couldn't be happier with my choice to become a Marine Corps aviator," he said. "You can't have it all in life, you wish you could but you've only got so much time. Having gone through these two career paths, I've come as close to having it all as I possibly could."

RELATED ARTICLE: IN MEMORIAM: CAPTAIN ROY M. VORIS

Captain Roy M. Voris, USN (Ret.), right, the original flight leader of the Blue Angels, passed away on 10 August at his home in Monterey, Calif. Capt. Voris became an ace in the early years of WW II when he shot down eight Japanese fighter planes. Handpicked by Adm. Chester Nimitz to organize a flight demonstration team to showcase Naval Aviation, he led the Blue Angels and their Grumman F-6F Hellcats during the team's first public performance, held at Craig Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on 15 June 1946. In 1952, Voris was brought back to restart the Blue Angels after their stint as a fighter squadron in the Korean War. During Voris' 33 years in the Navy, he was a two-time Blue Angels flight leader, the skipper of VF-131 and VF-191, and commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing 5.

Capt. Voris was awarded 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 11 Air Medals, 3 Presidential Unit Citations, and a Purple Heart. After retiring from the Navy in 1963, he worked as an executive at Grumman Aircraft Corporation, where he had been instrumental in the development of the F-14 Tomcat. He ended his aviation career as a spokesman for NASA during the historic 1970 moon-shots.

He is a member of the Naval Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Air Hall Show of Fame. An aircraft bearing his name is outside NAS Jacksonville, Fla., and the passenger terminal at the station is named after him. The Air Force named him as one of 20 pilots worldwide who has made significant contributions to aviation.

RELATED ARTICLE: CHANGE OF COMMAND

CSG-5: RAdm. Doug McClain relieved RAdm. Jamie D. Kelly, 22 July.

CVW-5: Capt. Garry Mace relieved Capt. Joseph Aucoin, 26 Jul.

CVW-7: Capt. Harold F. Bishop relieved Capt. Robert A. Ffield, 11 Aug.

CVWR-20: Cdr. Michael Cross relieved Capt. F. Clay Fearnow, 9 Apr.

HCS-5: Cdr. Patrick Baccanari relieved Cdr. Russell E. Allen, 1 Oct.

MCAS Beaufort, SC: Col. Robert W. Lanham relieved Col. Harmon A. Stockwell, 25 Aug.

MCAS Yuma, AZ: Col. Ben D. Hancock relieved Col. James J. Cooney, 7 Jul.

NAES Lakehurst, NJ: Capt. L. Bret Gordon relieved Capt. Mark L. Bathrick, 25 Aug.

NAS Pensacola, Fla: Capt. Peter S. Frano relieved Capt. John M. Pruitt, 24 Jun.

NATTC: Capt. Robert J. Fiegl, Jr. relieved Capt. Loyd B. Callis, 29 Apr.

NAVAIR Depot Jacksonville, FL: Capt. John Scanlan II relieved Capt. David Beck, 4 Aug.

RESPATWINGLANT: Capt. Christopher A. Patton relieved Capt. Michael J. Szostak, 25 Jun.

TACGRU-1 (RC): Capt. James B. Philpitt relieved Capt. Robert V. Mills, 2 Oct 04.

TACRON-11: Cdr. Scott Fish relieved Cdr. Joe Beadles, 1 Sep.

TACRON-1294: Cdr. Laird W. Hepburn relieved Cdr. Jeffrey Britton, 2 Oct 04.

TRAWING-2: Capt. Victor G. Warriner, Jr. relieved Capt. Thomas W. Hills, 15 Jul.

USNTPS: Lt. Col. Steven W. Kihara, USA relieved Cdr. Paul A. Sohl, 13 Jan.

VAW-121: Cdr. Russell T. McLachlan relieved Cdr. Jeffrey L. Bay, 28 Jul.

VAW-126: Cdr. John Malfitano relieved Cdr. Jeffrey A. Davis, 1 Sep.

VAW-123: Cdr. Matthew W. Danehy relieved Cdr. Kenneth C. Klothe, 12 May.

VF-32: Cdr. Michael S. Wallace relieved Cdr. Russell J. Ariza, 10 Jun.

VFA-25: Cdr. Marcus A. Pritchard relieved Cdr. Donald H. B. Braswell, 14 Apr.

VFA-34: Cdr. Gregory B. Prentiss relieved Cdr. Jeffrey S. Haupt, 24 Jun.

VFA-82: Cdr. Christopher Powell relieved Cdr. Devon Jones, 2 Sep.

VFA-83: Cdr. Joseph Evans relieved Cdr. Reggie P. Carpenter, 22 Apr.

VFA-102: Cdr. Scott Fisher relieved Cdr. Douglas McGowen, 1 Aug.

VFA-151: Cdr. Jon T. Ross relieved Cdr. Kevin F. Greene, 20 May.

VMA-214: Lt. Col. Sean C. Blochberger relieved Lt. Col. Mark P. Everman, 15 Jul.

VMA-513: Lt. Col. Willis E. Price III relieved Lt. Col. Robert D. Deforge, 1 Jul.

VQ-3: Cdr. Stephan M. Smith relieved Cdr. James S. Donnelly, 13 Jun.

VR-51: Cdr. Steven E. Whitmore relieved Cdr. Patrick J. Barrett, 23 Jul.

VRC-40: Cdr. Bradford Brown relieved Cdr. Steven Faggert, 6 Jul.

VS-33: Cdr. Ian V. Vatet relieved Cdr. William J. Nolan, 1 Jun.

VT-22 (RC): Cdr. David H. Norman relieved Cdr. Thomas F. Horan, 17 Mar.

VT-86: Lt. Col. Richard W. Baxter relieved Cdr. Peter Hall, 8 Apr.

Edited By J03 Brandy Fisher
COPYRIGHT 2005 Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center
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Author:Fisher, Brandy
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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