By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffMay 28, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- In recognition of its outstanding safety record, the 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment 'Spartans' received its eighth Order of the Daedalians, Lt. Gen. Allen M. Burdett Jr. Army Aviation Flight Safety Award May 18.
Col. Timothy Edens, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker chief of staff, presented Lt. Col. Joseph Matthew, battalion commander, the prestigious award during a brief ceremony in the headquarters building.
Unit safety accomplishments for the award period - fiscal year 2009 - included more than 105,000 programmed flight hours and training 2,430 pilots without Class A or B accidents, according to the award citation. The battalion also had an accident-free student transportation driving record of more than 58,700 miles.
First Bn., 223rd Avn. Regt. is responsible for a variety of helicopter missions and courses. Staff conducts flight instruction at Cairns Army Airfield and Knox Army Heliport, training CH-47 Chinook instructors.
The unit also oversees Initial Entry Rotary Wing, Instrument Flight Examiner, Maintenance Test Pilot, Maintenance Evaluator and C-12 fixed-wing qualification courses, Matthew said. The installation's Air Ambulance Detachment, "Flatiron," also falls under the unit.
Matthew attributed winning the award again to his unit's Soldiers', contractors' and civilians' hard work and "professionalism, dedication and commitment to being vigilant about safety at the lowest levels."
Safety is critical to completing the unit's mission successfully, Matthew said. In order to ensure proper safety levels are met, leadership looks for ways to mitigate risk during training.
Communication between leaders is also important, according to Capt. Joseph Marshall, A Company commander.
"We have to make sure when we operate, day or night, everyone's on the same sheet of music," he said.
Since most of the pilots they produce either become instructors or enter combat zones, the work ethics set here carry over and affect many other installations, Sgt. 1st Class John Langley, A Company first sergeant, noted.
"The standards we set are followed by others when they do their jobs (outside of training)," he said.