CONTIGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - The Texas Army National Guard 3rd Battalion, 133rd Field Artillery Regiment from El Paso, Texas received the Operation Iraq Freedom campaign streamer during a ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Adder on Jan. 17.

The Iraq campaign streamer was added to the eight campaign streamers and three unit award streamers already attached to the battalion colors. The current campaign streamers on the battalion colors include Meuse-Argonne from World War I and Southern France and Central Europe from World War II.

The decorations on the battalion colors are the French Croix de Guerre (war cross) and the Presidential Unit Citation from WWII. This citation is granted to units who have performed an extremely meritorious or heroic act against armed enemy.

"The ceremony was a great milestone for the battalion," said Lt. Col. Richard A. Blair, the battalion commander for the 3rd Bn., 133rd FA Regt. and native of El Paso, Texas.

The battalion flag are traditionally used to identify and foster esprit de corps. The campaign streamers tell of a unit's participation in an operation or contingency.

"This ceremony represents our dedication to the Global War on Terrorism," said Capt. Mark A. Gunn, Battery B commander and native of El Paso, Texas.

The 950 Soldiers who make up the battalion provide security for approximately 85 convoys a month.

"Our mission here is to make sure Soldiers all over theater get the fuel they need to operate," said 1st Sgt. Ruben F. Rodriquez, from Battery B, and native of El Paso, Texas. "It feels good to support other Soldiers, not just ourselves."

Blair presented the new battalion coin during the ceremony. The battalion colors are the same colors on our battalion coin with the inscription, 'While we breathe, we defend,' said Blair.

"It's been more than a month since our transfer of authority, we've driven thousands of miles and delivered millions of gallons of fuel, all in support of the war on terrorism," Blair said in his speech to the troops. "Operations in Iraq would not be possible without the hard work you are doing."

Blair thanked the Soldiers for their hard work and dedication.

"I know you're out there making tough decisions and you're away from your Families," Blair said to his troops, "but it is something that has to be done and you're doing a great job.

Story by Sgt. Crystal Reidy

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16