The Department of Defense announced today the winners of the 2007 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards. Each year the secretary of defense recognizes excellence in both field-level and depot-level maintenance by presenting eight awards, including the Phoenix and the Robert T. Mason Awards.
The field-level maintenance awards honor military maintenance organizations for outstanding performance. The awardees, two from each category of small, medium and large organizations, are chosen from active and reserve organizations that perform unit-or field-level maintenance. Of these organizations, one is singled out as the best of the best and is recognized with the Phoenix Award.
The 2007 winner of the Phoenix Award for field-level maintenance is the Marine Corps’ 1st Maintenance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif. The 1st Maintenance Battalion deployed two maintenance companies for separate 7-month rotational assignments to Iraq. Despite its resources being widely dispersed, the 1st Maintenance Battalion continued to meet its mission responsibilities, increasing its readiness rates for deployed equipment from 94 percent to 97 percent in six months. They also installed fragmentation kits on 112 vehicles and conducted 825 maintenance support team visits to garrison units.
The other field-level maintenance organizations receiving secretary of defense Maintenance Awards are: Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Detachment, Naval Station, Mayport, Fla. for the Navy, and Charlie Company, 501st Military Intelligence Battalion, Wackernheim, Germany, for the Army in the small category; Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, Calif., and 1st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Langley Air Force Base, Va. in the medium category; and 1st Maintenance Battalion, Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and 56th Maintenance Group, Luke Air Force Base, Fla. in the large category.
The Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award for depot-level maintenance, the Robert T. Mason Award, is presented to the major organic depot-level maintenance facility that exemplifies responsive and effective depot-level support to DoD operating units. It is named after a former assistant deputy under secretary of defense for maintenance policy, programs, and resources, who served as a champion for excellence in organic depot maintenance operations.
The 2007 winner of the Robert T. Mason Award for depot maintenance excellence in support of DoD operating units is the Dedicated Design and Prototype Effort (DDPE), Maintenance Center Albany, Ga., U.S. Marine Corps. Established to help meet the continually changing equipment requirements of warfighters engaged in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the DDPE focuses on shortening the time from when an urgent need for new or modified equipment is first identified to when the required equipment is in the field.
Through this program, the DDPE designed and built a training device to help Marines exit from overturned vehicles; fabricated an explosive device roller for mounting on 7-ton tactical trucks; upgraded armor and configured a gunner protection kit for other tactical systems; and designed, prototyped, and prepared for production a lightweight multiple weapons platform gunner shield. The DDPE undertook many of these projects using nothing more than photographs, sketches, or brief descriptions of warfighter needs as starting points.
All awards were presented Thursday, Nov 15 at the 2007 DoD Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.