An award was presented and new members were inducted Oct. 17 during the Old Pueblo Daedalian Flight monthly luncheon at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
Outstanding Mission Support Award
The flight’s new Outstanding Mission Support Award was created to recognize that making the flying mission happen extends well beyond the confines of the cockpit.
In fact, it begins with a chain of effort, populated by a professional cadre of junior NCOs, who invest hours of work in advance of every sortie. It’s often, knuckle-busting, dirty and sweaty toil without which no one is getting airborne.
The list of those eligible to receive the award is expansive and includes maintenance troops, crew chiefs, weapons maintainers and loaders, cargo loaders, drivers (fuel trucks and K-loaders), Air Ground Equipment personnel, life-support techs and many others. The award underscores the fact that the flying mission is a team effort that includes much more than aircrew members. The award is one way the Old Pueblo Flight achieves one of the Daedalian’s objectives — to encourage and recognize improvements in combat support and the overall effectiveness of air power. Without the collective effort of these young Airmen, there would be no air power.
The first recipient of this award is Tech. Sgt. Michael Harvey, 855th Maintenance Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev. Since the 855th falls under Davis-Monthan’s 355th Maintenance Group, he is a Davis-Monthan asset. His background is in HH-60G helicopter hydraulics, and he’s exactly the kind of guy a commander wants working for him. Aside from his hydraulics expertise, he takes in the broader picture, sees what needs to be done and goes after it in a way one would expect from someone more senior.
At Nellis AFB, he worked with the base civil engineer squadron to install cooling units in the maintenance center to combat heat stress for 460 people who worked in the center. For a training event at North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego, he expedited orders and travel arrangements for the support team that facilitated training for 13 Air Force aircrew members to get qualified to land on naval flight decks.
In Iraq, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve he not only had his normal maintenance responsibilities, but he took on a facility management role that helped restore Al Asad Air Base to a fully capable operational location. He identified 115 facility deficiencies and coordinated a $200,000 repair effort.
With ingenuity and scrounging parts, he restored the operation of a large aircraft maintenance shelter door. Improvements in the work environment led to improved maintenance work and ultimately more reliable aircraft for the flying mission.
He mitigated an electrical outage in the rescue operations center with “hurry-up” generator maintenance.
Very importantly, he also performed 2,000 maintenance actions that supported 165 combat sorties.
When it was time to come home, he was a key member of the team that put together load plans for 80 tons of equipment and 56 personnel.
The traditional induction ceremony that welcomes new Daedalians dates back to 1934, the origin of the order. This ceremony is important in the life of a Daedalian Flight. The flight grows with the energy of new members and the ceremony helps bring to focus what it means to be part of something noble and much bigger than the members themselves. Service is tightly woven into the fabric of each member. The order is a way to bring along the generations coming up to continue serving their country. In pursuing that, our member’s service is still needed, and it still matters.
Seven Daedalians were inducted into the order. Inducted into Old Pueblo Flight 12 were Maj. Gage Camp; Lt. Col. Dave Andrew; Maj. Ken Schanke; Navy Cmdr. Dave Friel; Maj. Vern Spohn; Army Chief Warrant Officer Jim Ratley; and Lt. Col. Dick Goddard.
During the ceremony, all members rose and renewed their “Promise of a Daedalian:” To place nation above self, to be worthy of the trust and confidence of a fellow Daedalian.