The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the 2014 winners of the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards for depot and field-level units. These awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in weapon system and military equipment maintenance.
The depot-level award is named in recognition of Robert T. Mason, a former assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for maintenance policy, programs, and resources. Mason served as the champion of organic depot maintenance for three decades and was instrumental in transforming DoD organic depot-level operations. The 2014 Robert T. Mason Depot Maintenance Excellence Award recipient is the Air Force, F-22 Raptor Depot Maintenance Team, Ogden Air Logistics Complex, Utah. With meticulous management, the team repatriated a $41 million workload to Air Force oversight, generating 242,557 man-hours of critical maintenance activities supporting units across the world. The team’s dedication to velocity and forward progress enabled a 109 day average turnaround time per aircraft, setting a program milestone.
A total of six field-level awards are presented in three categories -- large, medium, and small. The recipients of this year’s Secretary of Defense Field-level Maintenance Awards in the large category are the 1st Maintenance Battalion, Camp Pendleton, California, and the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN-73), Yokosuko, Japan. Winners in the medium category are the 333rd Signal Company, 78th Signal Battalion, Okinawa, Japan, and the 801st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Hulburt Field, Florida. The small category winners are the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75, Naval Air Station North Island, California, and the Strike Fighter Squadron 211, NAS Oceana, Virginia.
The Secretary of Defense Field-level Maintenance Awards are symbolized by the legendary Phoenix, a mythological bird which lived for some five centuries, died, was consumed by flames, and then reborn from its own ashes. Periodically, so states the myth, the Phoenix would again and again be reborn. This unique ability of the legendary Phoenix to rejuvenate and renew itself characterizes the role of weapon systems and maintenance in the DoD. The winner of the Phoenix Award, recognized as the best of the best field-level maintenance units, will be selected from the six field-level award winners.
Additionally, the Department has established a new award category recognizing excellence in maintenance training, advice, and assistance of foreign security forces to emphasize the growing importance of capability of our international partners and our role in maturing that capability. Awards are presented in three categories – ministerial, operational (large), and operational (small). The recipients of this year’s Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in Maintenance Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Security Forces Award in the ministerial category is the Ministry of Defense Ministerial Advisory Group Logistics Advisory Team and Sustainment Enterprise Advisory Group Strategic Initiatives Team, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Headquarters, Kabul, Afghanistan, United States Central Command. The winner of the operational (large) category is the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing (438 AEW), 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, Kabul International Airport, Kandahar Air Field, and Shindand Air Field, United States Air Force Central Command. The winner of the operational (small) category is the 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Combined Joint Task Force-10, Regional Command-East, ISAF, Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, United States Central Command.
The awards will be presented to the winners on November 18, 2014 in the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, Birmingham, Alabama during the awards ceremony part of the 2014 DoD Maintenance Symposium.