SAN ANGELO, Texas (NNS) -- A Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Lemoore Learning Site Goodfellow Sailor was awarded the 2018 Tom Smith Fire Instructor of the Year Award at the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation's 16th Annual Firefighter Ball at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo, Texas, April 28.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 1st Class Travis Starr, a native of Tucson, Arizona, was recognized as the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) top firefighting instructor, selected from a field of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Air Force and Army firefighters.
"I knew I had been nominated for the Navy's [firefighting] instructor of the year, but I had no idea that I would win the overall instructor of the year," Starr said. "Recognitions such as this are the direct result of the teamwork firefighters employ on a daily basis. Being able to accept an honor such as this is humbling."
The Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation, an organization designed to preserve the history of DoD firefighters, has hosted the Firefighter Ball since 2001.
The Tom Smith Fire Department of Defense Fire Academy instructor of the year is presented annually, awarded to DoD firefighters who have demonstrated professionalism, devotion to duty and volunteer efforts to their command and local community.
Starr, an instructor supervisor for CNATTU Lemoore Learning Site Goodfellow's Block III Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, spent more than 1,100 hours instructing classes, mentoring students and supervising other instructors. He also volunteered with the Pecan Creek Volunteer Fire Department as a training manager, participated with the area Joint Service Color Guard and continued off-duty education.
"Petty Officer Starr's undeniable professionalism and devotion to his chosen craft is something I don't doubt he's impressing on the students who come through LS Goodfellow's schoolhouse," said Cmdr. Tommy Edgeworth, the CNATTU Lemoore commanding officer. "I'm proud to have these caliber of Sailors staffing out ranks, and the LS Goodfellow learning site is continuing their tradition of putting capable and well-trained Sailors into the Fleet. He is making a difference every day."
CNATTU Lemoore Learning Site Goodfellow is a training site dedicated to aircraft firefighting. The site reports administratively to CNATTU Lemoore, a training unit specific to the F/A-18 Hornet platform. Both are part of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT), headquartered at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.
CNATT is a technical training agent for the Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) an organization designed to advance and sustain Naval Aviation warfighting capabilities at an affordable cost, and is a training center under Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).
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