Brooksville aviators earn ‘unit of the year’ award

Written by  //  July 13, 2012  //  Feature Stories, News

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (July 13, 2012) — The Operational Support Airlift Agency (OSAA) recently honored Detachment 1, Company H, 171st Aviation with their unit of the year award for the eastern region. The eight-member detachment was one of the top three of 60 detachments nationwide to earn the recognition.

Aviators from the Florida National Guard's Detachment 1, Company H, 171st Aviation prepare to take specialists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on a daily observation flight over the Gulf of Mexico on a C-23 Sherpa airplane during Deepwater Horizon response operations, June 22, 2010. Photo by Master Sgt. Thomas Kielbasa

“I’m proud of them,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joseph Langlois, Detachment Commander. “They spent countless hours going above and beyond to prepare for inspection, in addition to flying and maintaining our regular support for OSAA.”

The unit received a 97.33 on its recent inspection, exceeding the set standard. The aviators also went above and beyond by executing 45 percent over the standard C-23 flying hour program, moving more than 3,000 passengers and transporting more than 21,000 pounds of cargo during the evaluation period. All of this was accomplished without any accidents or mishaps.

“We don’t like turning down missions,” Langlois said, adding that the unit’s five full-time personnel and three drill status personnel often fly on weekends and holidays.

The detachment has two C-23 B Sherpa aircraft, which are light military transport fixed wing aircraft that can transport personnel or cargo for various state or federal missions. The unit has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn in 2004, 2007 and 2010.