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AIR FORCE November 12, 2009
By LAC Aaron Curran
ATTENTION to detail, diligence
and high standards are some of the
attributes of SGT Troy Smith, this
year's winner of the prestigious
Rolls-Royce Eagle Trophy.
The Rolls-Royce Eagle Trophy is
presented annually by CAF to senior
non-commissioned officers or junior
engineering officers selected by the
Air Force for exceptional performance
or outstanding contributions in a tech-
nical or engineering field.
SGT Smith, an avionic technician
from 36SQN, was awarded the trophy
at a ceremony in Canberra on October
20. He had only just arrived back in
Australia after a tour of the Middle
East Area of Operations (MEAO).
"I was blown away," SGT Smith said.
"To be considered worthy of a nomina-
tion for such a prestigious honour was,
quite frankly, mind boggling."
He enlisted in the Navy in
July 1998 and transferred to the
Air Force in July, 2004. His post-
ings have been to 10SQN, 86WG
Detachment A and finally to 36SQN
-- gaining the rank of SGT on
January 1, 2008. At 36SQN, SGT
Smith is employed as Flightline
Maintenance Team Two Leader in
CO 36SQN WGCDR Adam
Williams said SGT Smith's work as
a maintenance team leader had been
"His tenacity and will to get it done
and done right has directly increased
our operational capability and helped
keep us safe," WGCDR Williams said.
"His efforts are reflective of
the wider standard of maintenance
within the squadron. We have a great
maintenance team and it's really nice
to see Troy recognised for his part
On the nomination form, SGT
Smith had four key achievements men-
The first was the fixing of a C-17
pitch trim fault. It had appeared to
be repaired but SGT Smith was not
confident and ordered a full review
of the fault-finding process which
resulted in the aircraft being returned
Secondly, SGT Smith averted a
potential safety breach by shutting
down a C-17 after he discovered a
checklist had fallen in a gap in the
centre console. He then explained
to the aircrew the significance of
the requirement, given that the area
where the checklist entered contains
engine and flight control cables.
Thirdly, due to the high operational
tempo of 36SQN and the pressure it
has placed on maintenance staff and
the shortage of SNCOs, SGT Smith
had volunteered for extra shifts and
deployments to ensure sufficient cov-
And finally it was his personal
attributes. It was said his willingness
to work hard, coupled with his unwa-
vering commitment to maintain very
high levels of safe working practices
displayed excellent personal qualities
and service attitude towards the values
and traditions of the Air Force.
SGT Smith said he has two phi-
losophies towards his work.
"Firstly, show up, do the very
best you can and hope nothing goes
wrong," he said. "Secondly always
speak your mind."
He flew straight into Canberra from
the MEAO in time to accept his award
and said the whole experience had
been surreal. "It was long trip home
and I was running on coffee and ener-
gy drinks," he said.
"I see this award as a reflection of
every 36SQN member's efforts since
the squadron was stood up.
"To me this award belongs to the
WELL DONE: AIRMSHL Mark Binskin presents SGT Troy Smith with a CAF Commendation as recognition
of him winning the Rolls-Royce Eagle perpetual trophy. Also pictured is Dan Korte, president of Rolls Royce
Defence Aerospace, and SGT Smith's wife Nicole.
Photo: FSGT John Carroll
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