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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.

By Capt. David H. Petterson | | September 1, 2000

A popular safety motto states: ?It takes a long time to earn a mishap-free milestone and only seconds to lose.? 

According to the Naval Safety Center, the basis of the statement is everyone contributes, good or bad, to the success or failure of any unit.  The Fixed Wing Fighter Attack squadron 122, Crusaders have taken this message to heart.   

Deployed here under the Unit Deployment Program, the Crusaders from Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C. flew their 60,000 accident-free flight hour Aug. 10.

?The 60,000-hour milestone represents a commitment to quality, safety and professionalism that took the effort of every Marine who served with VMFA-122 during the last 12 years,? said Capt. David Pettersson, VMFA-122 pilot.

In order to accomplish such a milestone, units have to operate without a Class ?A? mishap over a period of time. A Class ?A? mishap is an accident causing $1 million or more, or a loss of life.

According to the Quality Assurance Chief, Gunnery Sgt. Timothy U. Harrison, a Bryce Fla. native, the Crusaders owe their success to the hard work Marines in the squadron put forth each day to ensure a quality product.

?From the morning foreign object damage walk, to the evening tool box inventory, the 122 Marines put safety first in everything they do,? he said. ?Every Crusader is a safety officer, not only responsible for his own safety, but also for the safety of the other Marines in the squadron.?

Continuous checks and maintenance have contributed to the Crusaders? ?mishap-free? milestone, by keeping the aircraft airborne.

?Doing things right the first time,? said Capt. Russel L. Hicks, VMFA-122 Safety and Naval Aviation Training and Operations Standardization officer. ?The squadron?s over all success to the basics: good work discipline and adherence to establish procedures by air crew and maintainers alike.?

Although the efforts of the unit gained them recognition for safety, they ensure the high standards they?ve achieved are being passed on to the junior Marines to continue. 

This is my first deployment and a great squadron to be in, said Lance Cpl. Michael R. Masseau, VMFA-122 plane captain-in-training, Rochester, NY. ?As a plane captain in training, the depth of knowledge and training I receive from this experience will definitely make my enlistment a very positive one.