On May 21, 2021, Mr. Hector Zarzuela, a recent Amentum Manager, was inducted in the Order of the Heli, the highest honor for personnel assigned to the 1st Helicopter Squadron (Heli). A plaque with his picture and list of contributions to the Squadron’s success is displayed on the Helicopter Operations Facility’s Order of the Heli Wall.
“Hector was a superb manager and a joy to work with,” said Craig O’Neal, Senior Program Director, Amentum’s Aviation Business Unit. “He is only the second maintenance person to receive this extremely high honor. Shelton Lacy, Helicopter Maintenance Site Manager, was the first maintenance recipient. Hector is well deserving of this induction and is taking his place amongst contemporaries of the highest caliber.”
The Order of the Heli ceremony, pre-COVID-19, is normally an event like a military dining out. Past and current members of the squadron assemble to honor the inductees.
Zarzuela worked for Amentum under its legacy company DynCorp International (DI) from 1998 through 2020. He worked the first two years at the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River NAS, and then returned to the Heli at JB Andrews in 2001 to manage the unit’s transition from military to contract maintenance, where he served as the Director of Maintenance until his retirement in February of 2020.
Prior to working for DI, Mr. Zarzuela retired as a USAF Master Sergeant and was assigned to the Heli in 1983 as a crew chief, later serving as night shift supervisor until 1988 when he was assigned to the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA) in the Republic of Panama and at Homestead AFB in Florida. In 1992, he returned to the Heli where he served as the night shift supervisor, Chief of Quality Improvement and Branch Supervisor, from which he retired in 1998 and joined DI.
The induction ceremony was broadcast by the base public affairs office on the Joint Base Andrews Facebook page, and can be viewed at here.