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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 329-95
June 15, 1995

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MAINTENANCE AWARDS PRESENTED

Secretary of Defense William J. Perry today presented the 1995 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards, including the prestigious Phoenix Trophy, during a ceremony held at the Pentagon. The Maintenance Awards recognize annually the most significant weapons 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. This is the eleventh year of the Maintenance Awards program that was established to encourage maintenance excellence, to recognize outstanding achievement 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 1995 Maintenance Awards recipients are:

. Army: 51st Maintenance Battalion, 29th Area Support Group, Mannheim, Germany--winner of the Phoenix Trophy, which recognizes the most significant equipment maintenance achievement within DoD. The battalion demonstrated excellence during the past year by providing outstanding maintenance support for 429 units throughout Germany. The 51st provided direct and general support maintenance for all types of equipment, from small arms to large-wheeled vehicles. The battalion prepared and returned more than 2,000 wheeled and tracked vehicles from Europe to the U. S. in a three-month period as part of the drawdown of Army forces in Germany. The unit also managed the maintenance of all wheeled, tracked, and heavy engineer equipment staged for prepositioning on ships at Antwerp, Belgium. The battalion further provided support for numerous contingency missions in 16 major operations in 10 different countries, including a mission to Africa where it produced and distributed more than 7 million gallons of purified water to crowded refugee camps in Zaire.

. Army: Aviation Company, 1st Support Battalion (Multinational Force and Observers-Sinai), Egypt--The Aviation Company played an extremely important role in support of the multinational mission to ensure a lasting peace between Egypt and Israel. Its mission included around-the-clock aerial medical evacuation, troop movements, resupply, and treaty verification. The Aviation Company provided its own aviation maintenance support to sustain one of the Army's highest peacetime flying hour programs. The unit's UH-1 helicopters flew more than 2,900 accident free flight hours in the course of more than 1,150 operational missions.

. Navy: Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity (SIMA), Guantanamo Bay, Cuba--The 228 men and women of SIMA Guantanamo Bay distinguished themselves as the premier maintenance activity in the Caribbean theater. They excelled in providing timely, responsive, high quality intermediate-level maintenance to ships and vessels of all kinds. The SIMA group aggressively planned and executed maintenance for 170 ships and service craft for the Navy, Coast Guard and Army. In addition, it provided vital support for more than 45,000 Haitian and Cuban migrants housed in the camps at Guantanamo Bay.

. Marines: 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force Pacific, Camp Pendleton, Calif.--The 1st Combat Engineer Battalion is recognized for accomplishing outstanding maintenance while providing close combat engineer support to the 1st Marine Division. The batallion sustained a superb maintenance program for unit equipment--a 90 percent mission capable rate--ranging from wheeled vehicles, road graders and bulldozers to heavy earth excavators. Throughout last year, the battalion supported a demanding schedule of more than 150 operational commitments.

. Air Force: 388th Maintenance Squadron, Air Combat Command, Hill Air Force Base, Utah--The 388th distinguished itself last year by accomplishing superior F-16 aircraft maintenance. The squadron's focus on customer satisfaction and teamwork enabled the wing's three operational fighter squadrons to produce more than 13,000 sorties and 19,000 flying hours while maintaining a 91.1 percent mission capable rate, the best in Air Combat Command. The squadron's workforce consistently delivered command-leading results that were capped with a victory in the "Gunsmoke" worldwide tactical fighter team competition.

. Air Force: 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.--In 1994, the maintainers at the "Home of Air Superiority" reached record levels in nine of 15 primary maintenance indicators, despite having the oldest F-15s in the fleet. The 1,408 men and women in the logistics and operations groups supported 14,687 training sorties and 18,654 flying hours, while averaging a 90.1 percent fully mission capable rate--the highest in the F-15 community.

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