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Ford Sailor selected as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate of the Year
USS Gerald R. Ford Public Affairs
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Zack Guth
NORFOLK, Va. — Aviation Boatswain’s Mates, the backbone of the flight deck, they work on one of the most dangerous places on earth. It is here, where leaders are forged, to ensure the safety of all their sailors, their ship, and the aircraft onboard, rain or shine.
Forged in this fire for 11 years, is Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 1st Class Corey Williams, from Houston, USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) air department leading petty officer. For his hard work, dedication, and willingness to keep improving, ABH1 Williams has been named the AB of the year for the Atlantic Fleet.
“It was definitely something I personally didn’t imagine myself achieving,” said Williams, who has been onboard for two and a half years. “Coming up as an AB, the previous AB of the years weren’t around me, so when you see somebody win such a prestigious award for your community, you always wonder ‘man, I wonder how they get that’, and you never see a blueprint on how to get those rewards, they’re just situational.”
The Aviation Boatswain’s Mate of the Year captures everything that ABEs (equipment), ABFs (fuels) and ABHs (handling) do throughout the year to help support the ever-going mission. They must represent the community through leadership, dedication and most importantly doing their job safely and according to all regulations set forth.
“ABH1 Corey Williams exemplifies those characteristics on a daily basis. We would not have been successful in any evolution this past year without his dedication to completing every task on time and without fault,” remarked Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Equipment) Carl Higdon, Ford’s air department leading chief petty officer. “All of the candidates that went up are the best the fleet has to offer. It is my sincerest opinion that ABH1 Williams being fully qualified as a Deck Caller and Crash and Salvage Officer led to the on time delivery of Naval Aviators while training an entire department in the safe launch and recovery of over 8,000 aircraft.”
“It’s not just about operational standpoint of performing in your job, but being a well rounded AB, and being what an AB represents,” said Williams. “This includes diversity, overcoming challenges that you may face, and as we say, there are no fair weather AB’s.”
Williams recently moved from the crash and salvage leading petty officer to the air department leading petty officer, increasing the amount of junior Sailors under his supervision ten-fold. This includes sailors that are ABH, ABE, and ABF. As an ABH, Williams works on the flight deck directing aircraft, unlike ABEs that work on equipment used for launch and recovery of aircraft from the Ford, and ABFs which either fuel aircraft, or monitor fuel tanks on the ship. Williams is now challenged by having to learn parts of their every day job, to help them succeed.
“I love motivating, the more motivated Sailors are, the more the morale goes up,” said Williams, regarding part of his leadership style. “Everyone loves a good challenge, and everyone loves feeling involved, so the more I get around to the other rates, by going down to the pump rooms, going to the arresting gear, or the catapults, and leave them with a challenge I have to come back and check on.
“I’ll go and ask them and talk about their next qualifications they’re chasing, which gives me the opportunity to come back and ask ‘hey, how that’s qual coming?’ or ‘what have you learned new?’, which in return they’re teaching me while proving that they’re learning.”
“He is the epitome of what it is to be an Aviation Boatswain Mate and is second to none,” said Higdon. “He would be the best AB on any platform and we are proud that he represents Gerald R. Ford.”
For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78 or www.facebook.com/USSGeraldRFord.
|Date Posted:||06.12.2021 11:28|
|Hometown:||HOUSTON, TX, US|
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