VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) 2nd Class Dru A. Lansing, assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, was recognized as the Commander, Navy Installations Command Shore-Based Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment Technician of the Year for his leadership and exceptional performance in maintaining aircraft arresting equipment, July 24.
“Petty Officer Lansing is an outstanding Sailor and a leader in his community,” said Capt. John Hewitt, NAS Oceana’s commanding officer. “His selection is a testament to his work ethic, subject matter expertise and dedication to our mission and goals. He is a true inspiration to us all.”
Lansing, who is a native of Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, also received a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for meritorious service as the airfield support division quality assurance leading petty officer at Oceana.
“It’s a real honor,” he said. “I don’t really think there are enough words to describe how awesome it felt to have my hard work recognized at this level.”
In his award, Lansing is cited for leading 65 Sailors in facilitating 24,500 man-hours in support of 800 maintenance actions, resulting in 80 “mishap-free” emergency aircraft arrestments.
“It’s important for us to keep our arresting gear engines up and running at all times,” Lansing explained. “If a pilot has an in-flight emergency, we could catch them with no issue and return them home safe to their families.”
According to his award citation, Lansing saved the Navy more than $375,000 in otherwise outsourced expenses for a refurbishment and corrosion abatement contract. The work provided by Lansing and his team prevented the need to outsource the repair and maintenance of arresting gear engines on the airfield.
Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Victor M. Paulino, NAS Oceana airfield facilities leading chief petty officer, said Lansing was a great candidate for the award.
“What we look for is a fully-qualified Sailor and how they’re helping out other Sailors,” he said. “He shows ownership and leadership, and stepped up into a first-class position.”
He continued, noting that the award was a special achievement for not only Lansing, but the installation as a whole.
“This means that Oceana is leading the way,” he said. “We’re the only facility in the United States Navy that rebuilds arresting gear engines, and Lansing is the one who leads the evolutions.”
NAS Oceana is the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base, home to F/A-18 Super Hornets. The primary mission of NAS Oceana is as a Shore-Based Readiness Integrator, providing the facilities, equipment and personnel to support shored-based readiness, total force readiness and maintain operational access of Oceana-based forces.