News | Sept. 7, 2023

FRCSW Receives Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award

By Janina Lamoglia

Since the 1950s, the Naval Aviation Safety Program has been enhancing the safety of aviation officers through risk assessment, investigation and reporting of hazardous events. The Aviation Safety Program at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest (FRCSW) takes these safety tenants to heart. The command knows just how important each employee is at every level of the operation and makes every effort to ensure their ongoing safety.  

In recognition of FRCSW’s consistent and effective airborne operations, FRCSW was recently selected to receive a Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Aviation Safety Award for Fiscal Year 2022. The CNO Aviation Safety Award is given annually to Navy and Marine Corps aviation units operating under Navy’s chain of command. The award recognizes operational excellence, exemplary safety contributions and a command’s ability to further the Naval Aviation Safety Program. In addition to an outstanding safety record, commands and ships selected must have aggressive aviation safety programs that contribute new ideas in mishap prevention for the general benefit of Naval Aviation. 

Along with her team, FRCSW Naval Flight Officer Lt. Erica Sciscoe plays a pivotal role in leading a robust aviation safety program. In addition to her flight operation duties, Sciscoe has been the safety program manager at FRCSW for over two years. The significant success, which led to the command earning the CNO safety award, can be attributed to the consistent meetings with aircrew, officers, and executive leadership run by Sciscoe where aviation concerns, risk management, flying specifics, crew currency requirements and human factors are discussed. These meetings also keep the command updated on applicable changes in safety and ensures dissemination of necessary information. When there is a mishap or notably hazardous event, Sciscoe creates a report in Risk Management Information, which is a centralized information hub for safety data available to all safety representatives. 

“I found that discussing mishaps from the fleet and determining how they relate to flying and operations here has been one of the more unique and beneficial additions to the program. The quality and experience levels of the pilots, aircrew and maintainers here also play a huge part,” Sciscoe said. 

When asked about the success of the safety program and the command’s selection as the winner of the CNO Aviation Safety Award, Sciscoe said, “The entire safety team works constantly to ensure safety is the priority of every evolution, no matter how small or routine that evolution may be. They truly have their ‘finger on the pulse’ of internal and external directives, updates and procedures. We have a good balance between what each of us adds to this program. Our success is most definitely a team effort and winning this award has proven that our team is doing the right thing. The quality and experience levels of the pilots, aircrew and maintainers here also play a huge part in our success; and having the support and trust of Capt. [Marc] Farnsworth (FRCSW Commanding Officer) and Capt. [Luis] Rivera (FRCSW Executive Officer) in making decisions about the aircraft enhances that success as well.” 

While the warfighter depends on FRCSW to provide them with the highest quality products and services, it is imperative that the command runs the operation effectively and safely. The individuals that prioritize safety and ensure the program is running efficiently allow the workplace to continue without injury. FRCSW’s safety program finished the fiscal year with zero mishaps, reducing costs, improving productivity and further solidifying the command’s reputation of excellence. A well-deserved recipient of the CNO Safety Aviation Award, the FRCSW safety program continues a more than 100-year culture in safety and consistently stays up to date on the latest safety reports enabling continuous improvement across the command. 

For the future of aviation safety, Sciscoe said, “brilliance in the basics will always be the critical foundation for a great safety program.”