By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 13, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 14, 2012) -- The 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment received the Order of Daedalian and was presented with the Brig. Gen. Carl I. Hutton Memorial Award for demonstrated professionalism and valuable contributions to the advancement of Army Aviation flight safety June 11.
The award was presented to Lt. Col. Mike Flowers, commander of the 1-11th Avn. Regt., by retired Maj. Gen. Ronald K. Andreson, awarding officer for the Order of Daedalians, during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
"To be awarded the [Order of Daedalian] … by Major General Andreson is a special honor," said Flowers.
The award is part of a national-level competition and the 1-11th had to submit a detailed narrative outlining what it had accomplished throughout the year, he explained.
According to the general, legend has it that the name of the Order of Daedalian comes from the first individual to fly a heavier-than-air machine, Daedalus, and said the name for the organization is fitting since it is made up of those that fly the nation's aircraft in a time of war.
"What [the 1-11th] has accomplished is truly above and beyond," said Andreson. "I have a personal affiliation with the 11th and it's a wonderful unit."
The general praised the unit as he spoke about his time in Vietnam in 1968 when he was the commander of the 162nd Assault Helicopter Company that was a part of one of four helicopter companies of the 11th, which has a memorial at Fort Rucker's Veterans Park.
The 1-11th successfully accomplished almost 2.5 million military and civilian aircraft movements while sustaining a manning level of only about 70 percent of its authorized level, according to the general.
The 1-11th operated 26 facilities that included five base fields, 15 stage fields, the Molinelli Aerial Gunnery Range Complex, two civilian municipal airport towers, two ground control radar approach facilities and the Army's largest Army Radar Approach Control facility, despite the personnel shortages.
"That's truly exceptional," said Andreson. "There is nothing more important than safe flight operations. [This unit] has done a super job -- you all are certainly above the best."
Safety is the top priority for the unit and helps sustain what Flowers calls "the Army's most precious resource" -- Soldiers.
"Proactive safety measures save lives," he said. "[It] decreases mission distractions, reduces operations costs and overall enhances opportunities for success at every challenge we face as Soldiers."