USS RONALD REAGAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Hull Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Chip E. Land of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) was named the 2006 Commander, Naval Air Forces Pacific (COMNAVAIRPAC) Engineer of the Year Feb. 12.
The award recognizes the contributions to force readiness made by engineering personnel in both conventional and nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Each year, each aircraft carrier in the fleet may nominate a Sailor for the enlisted Engineer of the Year award.
Land serves as the repair division leading petty officer in the carrier's engineering department, and has been assigned to Ronald Reagan for more than two years. He is credited with expertly managing the ship's welder/blazer qualifications program and conducting numerous repairs to the ship, as well as other Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG) ships while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I was very surprised to find out I was selected for the award," said Land. "The Sailors in my division put out outstanding results on a daily basis. They take care of me just as much as I take care of them."
Land was also instrumental in his division attaining the highest warfare qualification rate on board Ronald Reagan during last year's deployment.
"I believe warfare training is important because a lot of my Sailors don't know whether they are staying in or getting out," said Land. "Earning a warfare pin helps them with their rating knowledge, helps them study for advancement, and sets them apart from other Sailors in the department and on the ship."
Cmdr. Lawrence Hill, the chief engineer aboard Ronald Reagan, described Land as a true engineer who looks for long term solutions to problems and permanent corrective action, while providing customer service with prompt repairs.
"He is a team player who does not think of just himself and the engineering department, but looks to make Ronald Reagan a better ship every day," said Hill. "Petty Officer Land is everything we think of when we say the 'Sailors Creed' and talk about the core values of the Navy. He makes my job easy, and he is truly dedicated to the Sailors he leads."
The Ronald Reagan CSG departed San Diego on Jan. 27 on a surge deployment to fill the role of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), the Navy's only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier, as it undergoes scheduled maintenance in Yokosuka, Japan.
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