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3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Legacy lives on: Vikings receive CNO award

By Sgt. David Bickel | 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | July 19, 2018


Marines from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron [VMFA(AW)] 225 received a prestigious award praising the squadron’s ability to lead within sections, perform safe operations and ultimately meet mission requirements.

The Chief of Naval Operations award was presented to the “Vikings” at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, June 29.

“Achieving this award was made possible by several hundred “Vikings” who currently work for the squadron and previously served with us,” said Lt. Col. Richard Allain, commanding officer of VMFA(AW)-225. “There was a lot of teamwork, respect for potential threats, open communication and active listening, which aided in the legacy that ultimately allowed us to receive this award.”

This award helped affirm that every Marine’s job is important to the “Viking” mission as a whole.

“This validates why we do what we do and why doing things by the book is so important,” said Maj. Yates Minner, the squadron’s aviation safety officer. “We have set the standard and proved that we can uphold the “Viking” name. It’s evident by how long it has been since we have had a mishap.”

The squadron has flown nearly 45,000 mishap-free flight hours totaling over 10 years of accident and incident prevention within the squadron.
“This was made possible by thousands of “Vikings” who aided in safe maintenance and by the book flying,” said Allain. “This is a powerful legacy our Marines get to be a part of on a daily basis.”

Marines receive praise from their command frequently, but the CNO award acknowledges the successful workflow the squadron is completing and allows units across the Marine Corps and the Navy to see what standard the “Vikings” hold.

“This really highlights all of the hard work the Marines have put in and reminds them that what they do matters,” said Allian. “We can use this as a platform to build on and educate Marines to come. This squadron will continue to exist after all of us have left, and we need to ensure the legacy of the “Vikings” will live on.”