April 7, 2011Bookmark and Share

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release #039-11

Wrenches are Golden at VP-8

By: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pedro A. Rodriguez, VP-8 Public Affairs

MANAMA, Bahrain - The hard work and dedication of the "Fighting Tigers" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, was recently acknowledged when the command was notified that they had earned the 2010 AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the "Golden Wrench" for patrol squadron (VP) East, March 26.

The maritime patrol squadron continued its standard of maintenance excellence and mission accomplishment in 2010, skillfully executing a dynamic operational inter-deployment readiness cycle and combat deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom. VP 8 deftly balanced resources and requirements to achieve a 87.8% mission completion rate and 58.0% aircraft mission capable rate while completing more than 600 sorties and 3,000 flight hours in the P-3 Orion aircraft.

The squadron's maintenance department generated a 100% mission completion rate during Operation Unified Response in support of humanitarian assistance operations in Haiti, completing 15 sorties with a total of 148 flight hours. They also achieved every objective while forward detached for exercises Noble Manta in Sicily, UNITAS in Argentina, HALCYON in Canada, and RIMPAC in Hawaii.

The Tigers outstanding commitment to by-the-book maintenance led all contenders for the award with 40 of 41 graded aircraft maintenance inspection programs "on-track".

"VP 8 maintenance department set the standard for productivity, efficiency, and safety across the group," said Rear Adm. Michael W. Hewitt, commander, patrol reconnaissance group, via naval message.

The "Golden Wrench" award was established in 1965 by the Chief of Naval Operations and sponsored by Lockheed Martin to acknowledge maintenance performance that goes above and beyond the extraordinary effort that aircraft maintenance requires. The Golden Wrench is presented annually to a VP squadron in the categories of Atlantic, Pacific and Special Projects.

"Every Tiger showed unrelenting commitment to the organization and our mission," said Lt. Cmdr. Arnold Roper, VP 8 maintenance officer. "They want to make our command successful."

The maintenance department of VP 8 worked around the clock to have more than 10 aircraft ready to fly training missions during work ups on the last home cycle, before deploying to the 5th Fleet AOR.

"One of the biggest challenges we had during the home cycle was the high turnover due to the squadron's homeport change from Maine to Jacksonville," said Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman Daniel Fernandez, VP 8's maintenance master chief.

With the combined effort of maintainers and aircrew the "Fighting Tigers" flew more than 4,450 flight hours during its 957 flights.

"It is very exciting news to know VP 8 won the 2010 "Golden Wrench" Award for aircraft maintenance excellence," said Cmdr. Jiancarlo Villa, VP 8's commanding officer.

Our entire maintenance team has earned this prestigious award through tremendous hard work."

Villa also said, "The role of maintenance personnel was very important, they were continuously self-motivated. We are not an organization that waits to see if things are going to be ok, that is not the Tiger way. We are extremely good at self-evaluating ourselves, honestly and brutally. This allows us to fix things before they become a problem." They continued on to acknowledge that leaders like Master Chief Holden, previous maintenance master chief, Lt. Cmdr. Brinson, previous operations officer, Chief Benson, maintenance control chief, and Lt. Seymour, quality assurance officer ensured a rigorous process of self-evaluation was in place and being executed. Our program managers responded well and delivered," said Villa.

VP 8 is on a scheduled deployment to the 5th Fleet area of responsibility in support of operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

Photos:

MANAMA, Bahrain - The hard work and dedication of the ''Fighting Tigers'' of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, was recently acknowledged when the command was notified that they had earned the 2010 AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the Golden Wrench for patrol squadron (VP)
East, March 26.

MANAMA, Bahrain - The hard work and dedication of the "Fighting Tigers" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, was recently acknowledged when the command was notified that they had earned the 2010 AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the "Golden Wrench" for patrol squadron (VP) East, March 26.

MANAMA, Bahrain - The hard work and dedication of the ''Fighting Tigers'' of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, was recently acknowledged when the command was notified that they had earned the 2010 AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the Golden Wrench for patrol squadron (VP) East, March 26.

MANAMA, Bahrain - The hard work and dedication of the "Fighting Tigers" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 8, was recently acknowledged when the command was notified that they had earned the 2010 AVCM Donald M. Neal Aircraft Maintenance Award, known as the "Golden Wrench" for patrol squadron (VP) East, March 26.

 

For further questions, please contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs Office at 011-973-1785-4027.
For Naval Support Activity Bahrain at 11-973-1785-4000.
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