Story by Sgt Breanna Weisenberger on 03/13/2019Marines of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station New River were presented with the Joint Operational Support Airlift Center Squadron of the Year award and the 2nd place overall Unit of the Year award by U.S. Transport Command's Director of Operations, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rickey N. Rupp, March 7, 2019 at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.
The awards are judged based off of the availability of the aircraft and units and experience the passengers receive from the crew.
"It's not just about flight hours or the personnel we transferred, the voting system also takes into consideration how you open the airplanes up," said U.S. Marine Maj. Ronald J. Dagenhart, the operations officer with H&HS. "We will open up from (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) eastern time to give (JOSAC) the maximum amount of flexibility."
The JOSAC Unit of the Year award is given to operational support lift units from any branch of service by the U.S. TRANSCOM as an acknowledgement of their contribution to the Operational Support Airlift Program with enthusiasm, cooperation and flexibility. The JOSAC Squadron of the Year award is given exclusively to Marine Corps units.
"We have a different balance between the installation staff because some of the installation staff have a very dynamic schedule," Dagenhart said. "We set the precedent here that your availability is you can fly all day long' and that gives us the flexibility and ease to work with JOSAC."
JOSAC is a branch of U.S. TRANSCOM specializing in the airlift of senior defense officials within the continental U.S. JOSAC scheduled aircraft from the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy meet airlift requests from Department of Defense officials.
"I cannot emphasize enough that I didn't fly every mission and no one person did," Maj. Hyunhak Yim, H&HS executive officer, MCAS New River. "It was us as a squadron focusing on being the best customer service provider to the whole of the Department of Defense, and (JOSAC) recognized that. They were able to see that even with our two little airplanes we were able to provide lift for hundreds and hundreds of passengers."
This is the squadron's eleventh consecutive JOSAC Squadron of the Year award, but this is the first year JOSAC has had overall Unit of the Year awards.
"This award means that this little old unit adjacent to (Marine Corps Base) Camp Lejeune, cares very much about this mission," Yim said. "It's unbelievable what a squadron of Marines will do to get the mission done. The message that I hope other Marines hear is that we have a really great unit that wants to provide travel for the entire DOD. Anything east of the Mississippi River, we can take you there."