Top maintenance award unveiled at Robins

wcrenshaw@macon.comJanuary 10, 2013 

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE -- For the first time, the Department of Defense’s top award for depot maintenance is residing at Robins Air Force Base.

Hundreds of C-130 maintainers applauded as officials unveiled the Robert T. Mason Award in a ceremony inside a hangar Thursday. The C-130 maintenance team won the award, which was announced in August, for making significant improvements in on-time delivery and quality.

Base officials received the award in November at a ceremony in Michigan. Thursday’s ceremony marked the trophy’s unveiling to the work force. John Johns, deputy assistant secretary of defense for maintenance policy and programs, came to Robins to present it.

He said maintenance is a vital part of America’s ability to use military power.

“Since there has been a need for weapons, there has been a need for those who maintain those weapons,” he said. “Our success in armed conflict is not based on how much stuff we have, but the skill with which we deploy it and how well we sustain it.”

He also presented commemorative coins to 70 employees for their efforts toward winning the award. Those included both maintainers and support personnel.

Johns noted that maintenance teams in all branches of the military were in competition for the award.

“Many units that you would consider exceptional in the department competed for this award, but only one was selected and that was you,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Cedric George, commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, said after the ceremony it was the first time a Robins unit had won the award.

“It will not be the last time,” he said.

The C-130 unit slashed the time it takes to overhaul the aircraft from 102 days to 69, raising the on-time delivery rate from 18 percent to 100 percent. Customer-reported deficiencies were also reduced 60 percent.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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