Situated on the western edge of Alaska’s Baranof Island is the seaside town of Sitka, home to Coast Guard Air Station Sitka. The men and women stationed here are responsible for executing missions in Southeast Alaska’s 12,000 miles of jagged coastline, mountainous terrain and severe weather. To operate in this remote and rugged environment requires a certain amount of determination that many cannot grasp. But this tenacity and drive is part of daily life for Coast Guardsmen in Alaska, and one of the most tenacious is Chief Petty Officer Troy Brevik.
Brevik, an aviation maintenance technician, was Air Station Sitka’s cornerstone during a year when the unit overcame numerous challenges. Amongst transitioning to new aircraft, compliance inspections, standardization evaluations and the tragic loss of three crewmembers, Brevik was someone the entire air station counted on.
A key member of the engineering division, Brevik was handpicked to take over as quality assurance supervisor at the air station, a position normally reserved for higher ranks. As supervisor he was responsible for inspecting critical maintenance items and was the engineering officer’s final line of examination in providing safe, flight-worthy aircraft; in just one year, he oversaw 950 flight critical inspections.
Amongst daily operations and inspections, Brevik and the engineering crew also had to transition from the older model of the Jayhawk helicopter to the newer MH-60T model. Through this transition he knew his duty wasn’t to maintain the status quo, but instead aim for the utmost professional competence and excellence.
Brevik formulated an intensive training plan to transition to the new aircraft and immersed all 55 members of the hangar deck in the process. Brevik’s plan included small group classes and individual training sessions that allowed crews to really hone in on their professional development. His leadership throughout the training paid off, as 80 percent of the hangar deck completed their qualifications by the time the air station received their first new aircraft.
While he was the foundation of engineering excellence in the hangar, his ability to execute missions was equally unparalleled. Brevik was part of 150 missions, amassing more than 2,100 flight hours.
Brevik’s passion for what he does is also evident in his volunteer work with Sitka Mountain Rescue, a civilian rescue organization for Southeast Alaska. While on duty with the mountain rescue crews this past year, Brevik responded to 35 search and rescue cases, including a four-day search for a lost hunter where he led a team of 21.
“What impresses me the most as I heard about Petty Officer Brevik’s accomplishments was his hard work, his dedication and his leadership both on and off duty,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael P. Leavitt. “He has set a positive example for all of us to follow and that is an extension of his leadership.”
Brevik’s strength of character has led him to be selected as the Coast Guard Enlisted Person of the Year and at a ceremony held today in Washington D.C., Brevik was meritoriously advanced from first class to chief petty officer. Bravo Zulu Chief Brevik, you are the very embodiment of the Coast Guard’s core values, and a true testament to the powerful tenacity required for operating in “The Last Frontier.”