3d ACR Win's Secretary of Defense Phoenix Award
November 5, 2009
FORT HOOD, Texas -- 1 st Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment took home the Phoenix Trophy at the 2009 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Awards Banquet Oct. 28, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Annually the Secretary of Defense recognizes excellence in maintenance by awarding the prestigious Phoenix and Robert T. Mason Awards. Six field level military maintenance organizations are chosen from active and reserve activities that perform unit, or field, level maintenance. One unit is singled out as the "best of the best" and is presented with the Phoenix Award at the annual Maintenance symposium and banquet.
Tiger Squadron was chosen as one of two large category winners from a competitive worldwide group of Department of Defense (DOD) field level maintenance organizations. The squadron was the lone Army unit among two Air Force, two Navy and one Marine Corps unit also in contention for the coveted award. The six finalists were selected by a team of senior maintenance leaders from across the military services and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).
"This is the best recognition you could give to your Soldiers. There was a lot of work getting where we're at, especially maintaining the programs that we had throughout the deployment, but it was all because of the NCO and the Soldiers we had out on the floor every day." said, Chief Warrant Officer Freddie Jackson, 1 st Squadron, 3d ACR maintenance technician.
The four day symposium featured Military, DOD and industry leaders from around the world. Gen. Ann Dunwoody, U.S. Army Materiel Command's Commanding General, one of many key note speakers, said she was truly proud of the 3d ACR's 2009 win. She also said it's a competitive and tough award to win and as busy as we are it's easy to find reasons not to compete. The fact that 3d ACR competed while deployed shows the pride they take in what they do.
During her key note speech earlier in the day she addressed the logistical challenges DOD will face as we drawdown in Iraq. "We're in the mist of executing one of the most complex logistical movements of troops and materiel in our history." she said, "It will involve what I call PhD logistics".
"We have a strategy, we have a plan and together we'll get it done. It's no harder than herding cats". She then played a video clip from a television commercial with cowboys attempting to herd cats as the audience laughed. "A responsible drawdown and reset, coupled with the buildup in Afghanistan , are testing us like never before, she said.
"The (military) community will have to cross talk like never before, cross talk within services, between services and with our partners in industry, because the cost of not doing so may put us at risk, she continued."
According to the symposium brochure the Phoenix Award is named after a mythical bird that is consumed in flames and then rises from its own ashes. Since maintenance organizations have the ability to bestow new sustained life to older, malfunctioning, or damaged equipment and weapons systems, it is only fitting to name an award for superior maintenance after the phoenix.
The Symposium's exhibition hall is the highlight of the event with over 160 booths and military displays. Exhibitors included leading technology and maintenance providers from both the government and commercial sectors.
This year marks the Army's sixth win of the Phoenix Trophy of the 25 year old award. The 3d ACR brought the Trophy back to the great place where it will be displayed in the Regimental headquarters for one year.