Canadian Forces Squadron 103 Team Awarded 2012 Cormorant Trophy
AgustaWestland has awarded its annual Cormorant Trophy for Helicopter Rescue to a Canadian Forces SAR team from Squadron 103 for their October 27, 2011 rescue of two walrus hunters who were stranded on an Arctic Sea ice flow near Nunavut. The trophy recognizes the “Canadian civilian, government or military crew that has performed the most demanding helicopter rescue of the year.” The mission required 18 hours of flying and multiple fuel stops in an AW101. Conditions at the rescue site included 32-foot waves, 56-mph wind and survivors in multiple locations, including a trio of rescue swimmers who previously had parachuted into the site from a C-130. One of those swimmers, Sgt. Janick Gilbert, perished. The recipients of this year’s award from 103 Search and Rescue Squadron at Canadian Forces Base Gander, Newfoundland are Capt. Aaron Noble (aircraft commander), Capt. Dean Vey (copilot), Sgt. Brad Hiscock (flight engineer), Sgt. Daniel Villeneuve (SAR Tech team lead) and Master Cpl. Shawn Bretschneider (SAR Tech team member).