Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 received the Aviation Safety Award for upholding outstanding safety standards in 2011 from Col. Christopher C. Seymour, Marine Aircraft Group 26 commanding officer, Aug. 1.
Units are eligible for this award based on their ability to go without any mishaps on the flight line, identifying risks and taking appropriate actions to correct them, and aggressively challenging unsafe conditions according to the Marine Corps Safety Division Force Preservation Initiative.
The standards for the award are part of the Aviation Safety program whose goal is to eliminate the cause of damage and injury by eliminating hazards according to http://www.Marines.mil.
“VMM-266 has a history of upholding its Marines to a higher standard,” said Lance Cpl. Alejandro Perez, VMM-266 crew chief. “The squadron is known for its ability to make the best decisions when it comes to the welfare of its Marines.”
As for the command of MAG-26, Seymour expressed his excitement of the squadron’s progress.
“You’re all on the top of your game right now,” said Seymour, addressing VMM-266 after presenting the award to the squadron. “That comes with all of the hard work and dedication that everyone here does.”
When a squadron comes together and can get the job done efficiently, it is such dedication that allows new Marines to step into their roles at VMM-266 and be successful, said Sgt. Thornton West, VMM-266 mechanic. The revolving door of new junior Marines provides those in charge of them with an opportunity to not only enhance their leadership abilities, but also the chance to have a direct hand in the development of the squadron, he added.
“From the guys that have already left, there’s a set standard for 266,” said Perez. “There is a huge standard when it comes to this squadron, and it’s like we’re keeping the legacy going by keeping up with those standards.”
Noncommissioned officers play a key role in taking care of junior Marines, leading them in the right direction and correcting them when they make mistakes.
VMM-266 breaks down the importance of what they do to junior Marines. NCOs and experienced lance corporals have the mission of guiding junior Marines to do the right thing when no person is looking and making sure they are successful at their job. This ultimately helps junior Marines to get a job done without any supervision.
“No matter what it is we do or who we have, we do it pretty well,” said West. “Any mission we’ve been tasked with we complete. It’s not because we’re going over the top, but it’s because we do things the right way, and that’s what makes us stand out.”