Being honored by British royalty is not an everyday occurrence for Guardians but that is exactly what LT Sean Krueger experienced at an awards ceremony in London on October 29.
LT Krueger, the aircraft commander of the Rescue 193 helicopter based at Culdrose Royal Naval Air Station in Helston, Cornwall, UK and his crew, including an embedded BBC camerawoman filming for the television series “Seaside Rescue,” were presented with the prestigious Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award by the Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators (GAPAN) for “outstanding courage and devotion to duty” during an arduous 20 hour mission to rescue a severely fisherman in gale force 8 conditions.
“It was a great honor to receive this award and be a part of this mission,” LT Krueger said. “I have to credit the excellent training received during my time with the Royal Navy and the exceptional crew for making this mission a success.”
LT Krueger was selected for an exchange program with the Royal Navy that began in January, 2007 and ended in March, 2009. LT Krueger served as a SAR pilot of a Sea King MK5 rescue helicopter with 771 Squadron at the Culdrose Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS).
LT Krueger went through an extensive 8-month training program to meet the incredibly high standard the Royal Navy holds for its pilots. “It definitely prepared me for the challenges we would face later on,” Krueger said. “Culdrose is a very busy SAR station that covers a wide area. We had a lot of challenging cases.”
LT Krueger’s family, including wife Kyla, son Trevor, age seven and daughter Kerry Ann, age five also enjoyed the experience of living in a foreign country and attending the local schools. One challenge though was the language barrier. “It’s an English speaking country but sometimes it was hard to understand what people were saying,” Krueger said.
According to the GAPAN Award citation, the crew of Rescue 193 faced considerable challenges and performed admirably. “Gale Force winds, extremely rough seas, the initial lack of Nimrod ‘top cover’ whilst operating at the edge of the Sea King’s range on a very dark night, all added to the pressures faced by the crew. Although the casualty succumbed to his severe injuries, the crew found solace and consolation in the knowledge that they had performed to the best of their abilities and at the extremities of the aircraft’s operating capabilities”.
Bravo Zulu and Semper Paratus to LT Sean Krueger for earning this prestigious award, his exceptional service and distinguishing himself during his service with the Royal Navy.
Do you know someone in the Coast Guard that has done something great for the service, the missions or the public? Please submit your nominations for Guardian of the Week using the submit button at the top of the page.