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Release No: 366-96
June 19, 1996


Deputy Secretary of Defense John P. White presented the 1996 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards, including the prestigious Phoenix Trophy, during a Pentagon ceremony June 13, 1996. The Maintenance Awards recognize annually the most significant weapon system and equipment maintenance achievements within the Department of Defense.

All four military services were represented this year in the competition categories of small, medium, and large units. This is the 12th 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 American Defense Preparedness Association.

The 1996 Maintenance Awards recipients are:

Air Force -- 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England -- Winner of the Phoenix Trophy, which recognizes the most significant weapon system and equipment maintenance achievements within the DoD. The 2,100 maintenance personnel of the 48th Fighter Wing distinguished themselves by accomplishing superior aircraft maintenance (highest F-15 maintenance performance statistics in the Air Force), while sustaining one of DoD's most aggressive operating tempos, with 25 percent of its workforce continuously deployed. The wing simultaneously supported operations Provide Comfort, Deny Flight, and Deliberate Force, generating 2,260 combat sorties in support of the no-fly zone over northern Iraq and air operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Air Force -- 1st Component Repair Squadron, 1st Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Va. -- The 366 men and women of this squadron distinguished themselves by creating an environment of innovation, teamwork, and trust. The unit set production records in F100 engine spare levels, test measurement and diagnostic equipment production, avionics electronic warfare effectiveness, and servicing cart in-commission rates. Their commitment to improving every process resulted in savings of more than $3.8 million and over 9,500 man-hours in FY 95.

Air Force -- 31st Special Operation Squadron -- The 170 maintenance personnel of this unit at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, distinguished themselves by accomplishing superior aircraft maintenance supporting numerous Joint Chiefs of Staff- directed exercises and joint/combined exercise training events, local exercises, and training sorties. Despite experiencing an 85 percent turnover in personnel during a 12-month period, the squadron performed outstandingly. Intense on-the-job training quickly reversed a high inexperience level, enabling the unit to meet or exceed all its tasks.

Army -- 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Irwin, Calif. -- The 2,356 men and women in this regiment sustained combat readiness ratings that consistently exceeded Department of Army standards, while operating at an operations rate of over three times the Army average. During fiscal year 1995, their performance as the Opposing Force (a unit trained and equipped to replicate major combat elements of potential adversaries) maintained an operational readiness rate exceeding 98 percent. Innovative maintenance actions allowed the regiment to surpass by 5.7 percent the Army's readiness average on five critical pieces of wartime equipment.

Navy -- Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117, Naval Air Station Miramar, Calif. -- This squadron distinguished itself by demonstrating exemplary maintenance practices for outstanding achievement in aviation maintenance. The unit achieved a 100 percent sortie completion rate and consistently provided Joint Task Force Southwest Asia with full-mission-capable command and control aircraft for the control of joint and combined forces. Emphasizing cost-saving measures, the squadron promoted a model price fighter program, which has shown a potential cost savings in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Marine Corps -- Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan -- The 565 marines and sailors of this squadron distinguished themselves by providing logistics support to numerous units throughout the Pacific theater. Their cost and labor initiatives have resulted in savings of more than $3. 3 million over the past year. The unit realized mission capability rates of 81.5 percent and full mission capability rates of 78.2 percent for five tactical aircraft squadrons each consisting of more than 50 aircraft. The squadron provided outstanding customer service and innovative logistics techniques in all operations.

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