The 1998 Department of Defense Maintenance Awards, including the prestigious Phoenix Trophy, were presented Oct. 20 at an awards banquet during the second annual DoD Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition held at the Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics Roger W. Kallock made the presentations. The maintenance awards recognize annually the most significant weapon system and equipment maintenance achievements within the DoD during the past fiscal year.
All four military Services were represented this year in the competition categories of small, medium, and large units. This is the 14th year of the maintenance awards program that was established to encourage maintenance excellence, to recognize outstanding achievements in maintenance management and production, and to demonstrate the essential role of maintenance in the readiness and sustainability of U. S. forces. The program is sponsored in conjunction with the National Defense Industrial Association.
The 1998 Maintenance Awards recipients are:
Army - 68th Transportation Company, U. S. Army Europe - Winner of the Phoenix Trophy, which recognizes the most significant weapon system and equipment maintenance achievements within DoD. The members of this company distinguished themselves while deployed to the former Yugoslavia and Hungary in support of Operation Joint Endeavor/Guard for the period Oct. 1, 1996 to May 15, 1997. During this time the company replaced the entire 181st Transportation Battalion and both the 66th and 69th Transportation Companies. The 68th maintained a fleet consisting of 60 M915A1 tractors, 50 M1074/1075 palletized load systems, and 17 command and control vehicles spread across four countries with only 15 maintenance personnel. As a result of the company's outstanding maintenance program, it earned a 37th Transportation Command award for driving more than 1 million miles throughout the deployment zone with an average 92 percent readiness rate.
Navy - USS Enterprise (CVN 65) - As the hub of carrier battle group operations while deployed with the Fifth and Sixth Fleets, USS Enterprise projected America's presence in sea and air power throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Arabian Gulf. The aircraft carrier reduced the time to accomplish repair tasks and the cost of doing business. It cut a standard six-month shipyard period to four and a half months, saving $13 million.
Air Force - 437th (Active Duty) and 315th (Reserve) Airlift Wings - From Oct. 1, 1996 through Sept. 30, 1997, these units maximized the performance of 24 aging C-141Bs and set new performance levels for 27 C-17As, projecting global reach while improving upon excellence in all their operations. They integrated "excellence through innovation" into daily operations by launching more than 5,000 sorties, logging 39,233 flying hours, achieving a 93.1 percent reliability rate for fiscal year 1997.
Air Force - 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, Lakenheath, England - This group distinguished itself by accomplishing superior aircraft and munitions maintenance in fiscal year 1997. Squadron members supported 21 various exercises, inspections, and deployments throughout the European and Southwest Asian theaters as well as in the United States. The squadron was a major force behind the 48th Fighter Wing's success during the October 1996 Phase II NATO tactical evaluation and earned one individual and one team award of merit.
Air Force - 422d Air Base Squadron Communications and Information Flight - Despite budget cuts, this group's maintenance professionals delivered outstanding global reach communications to the National Command Authorities, DoD, and NATO. Their efforts made them first in theater to turn on scope command automated high frequency radio technology, and accelerated their heavy earth terminal upgrade by one year, doubling their capacity to connect warfighters to the defense information infrastructure. Through smart innovation, they saved the government $2.8 million in fiscal year 1997.
Marine Corps - Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Pacific - Marines and sailors of this group consistently provided timely, effective support tailored to fit mission requirements. Despite a challenging operational tempo supporting 22 deployments and exercises, the unit demonstrated its commitment to excellence and made improvements in maintenance that assisted in resolving T-700 engine flameout/rollback problems that had plagued the AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter community. With this and other efforts, the professionals in this unit produced cost savings of more than $1.2 million.