(MIDDLE RIVER, MD)— Although it takes talented pilots to fly Maryland State Police helicopters, the aircraft would not keep flying without( the talented work of the Aviation Command mechanics, including the one chosen as the 2017 Maryland State Police Aviation Command Aviation Mechanic of the Year.

In a recent ceremony at the Maryland State Police Aviation Command Headquarters in Middle River, Md., Aviation Mechanic Kyle Watkins was recognized as the Maintenance Technician of the Year.  He has been the maintenance technician at the Easton Section (Trooper Six) for three and one-half years.  A resident of Talbot County, Aviation Mechanic Watkins was identified by his supervisors as one who consistently exemplifies the greatest of characteristics the Maryland State Police Aviation Command has come to expect from their maintenance personnel.

Aviation Mechanic Watkins was presented this award for being a section level maintenance technician and for his unending willingness to go above and beyond to ensure the Easton Section’s assigned aircraft remains in top condition at all times. His dedication to ensuring aircraft availability prevents interruptions in mission readiness and training.

In addition to his work at the Easton Section, Aviation Mechanic Watkins was recognized for working well with other regional maintenance technicians to ensure overlapping coverage on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  His talent and sense of “can do” has ultimately allowed for a higher aircraft availability status, use of fewer flight hours for maintenance and minimal daily disruptions to crew operations. His work exemplifies the values and principles of the Aviation Command which are focused on safety, excellence, pride, honesty, respect, equality, integrity, commitment, teamwork, and leadership.

Aviation Mechanic Watkins spent four years serving honorably in the United States Navy.  It is there and while attending college courses at Embry Riddle University that he gained knowledge of aircraft systems and components.  He holds a current Airframe and Powerplant certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Just like pilots, there are rules for certification and regulations which must be complied with for the use of their license. An airframe and powerplant technician inspects aircraft and performs, supervises and conducts preventive maintenance.

Aviation Mechanic Watkins is one of more than 200 members of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command whose mission is to protect and improve the quality of life through the airborne delivery of emergency medical transportation, law enforcement, search and rescue, homeland security and disaster assessment services to the citizens of Maryland and its neighbors 24-hours-a-day.