Cherry Point transport squadron continues legacy of safety

15 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones

Cherry Point’s Marine Transport Squadron One received recognition as one of Naval aviation’s safest squadrons from the Chief of Naval Operations, March 23.

"Our hallways are absolutely lined with these placards for the award," said Capt. Alex T. Kushnir, the quality assurance officer for VMR-1. "I have no idea how many we have."

The Chief of Naval Operations safety award is awarded annually to one squadron in each naval aviation community for safety excellence.

"This award is a testament to the Marines in our squadron who uphold operational safety on a daily basis," Kushnir said. "We haven’t had a Class-A mishap since the 1970s."

Class-A mishaps occur when property damage totals $1 million or there is loss of life, Kushnir said.

Maj. Brian P. Santucci, the Naval air training and operating procedures standardization officer for VMR-1, said that having so many CNO safety awards did not diminish their meaning for the squadron.

"It shows sustained performance over time," Santucci said. "If someone got one and then didn’t get another one for awhile, that would mean less I think."

Kushnir added VMR-1 Marines must not become complacent to keep their awards streak alive.

"It’s a pride thing," Kushnir said. "All it takes is one mistake for it to all go away."

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point