The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the 2016 winners of the Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards. These awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in weapon systems 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 recipient of the 2016 Robert T. Mason Depot Maintenance Excellence Award is the USS ALEXANDRIA Engineered Overhaul Project Team, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This team executed a 280,000 man-day overhaul and delivered this critical asset back to the fleet two weeks ahead of schedule and $9 million under budget.
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 USS RONALD REAGAN, Yokosuka, Japan and the 48th Maintenance Group, Royal Air Force, Lakenheath, England. Winners in the medium category are the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 29, Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina and 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The small category winners are the Forward Support Co, 3rd BN, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and the 31st Munitions Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy.
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.
The department also recognized excellence in maintenance training , advice, and assistance of foreign security forces. The recipient of this year's Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in Maintenance Training, Advice, and Assistance of Foreign Security Forces is the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, Afghanistan, United States Air Force Central Command.
The awards will be presented to the winners on Dec. 6 in the Albuquerque Convention Center, New Mexico during the awards ceremony as part of the 2016 DoD Maintenance Symposium. Continually updated Symposium information is available at www.sae.org/dod