277th Aviation Support Battalion racks up three Army-level awards
February 18, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, recently earned three awards for the quality of its work in support of Operation Iraq Freedom from 2008 to 2009.
Near the end of 2009, the unit submitted information for the Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Award, the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, and the Army Aviation Association of America's Logistics Support Unit of the Year in their respective categories.
For each award, the nominated unit's performance over the last year is reviewed by looking through the logs, reports and submitted information. Before the unit can even be considered for an award, it must be recommended throughout the chain of command. For 277th ASB, that meant getting the 10th CAB's and the 10th Mountain Division's support.
Since each of the three awards examines 277th ASB's past year, it takes an entire year of doing the right things to qualify.
"Our Soldiers are doing great things for the battalion every single day; why not try to have them recognized'" said Capt. Crispin Burke, battalion operations officer.
Each award focuses on different categories, with the Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Award examining the unit overall.
"The Lt. Gen. Ellis Parker Award looks at everything: leadership, training, maintenance, safety and even morale activities," Burke said. "The 277th acquired an ice cream truck while we were deployed; I imagine that gave the judges a chuckle."
"We are very honored and fortunate to be selected as the recipient of the Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Award for Combat Service Support," said Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick McGuire, senior-enlisted adviser for the battalion. "There were many deserving and qualified units."
The 277th won the Combat Service Support category; the unit is still waiting for the final ruling on the overall winner across the different categories.
Created in honor of Lt. Gen. Ellis Parker, the award recognizes his service to aviation and contributions to the branch. The award is open to all Army aviation units - active, National Guard and Reserve.
The AAME, which is concerned with all things maintenance, is open to nearly all units with maintenance capabilities. This creates much more competition for 277th ASB, but the unit pulled through to win the medium unit category at the U.S. Army Forces Command level.
The AAAA Logistics Support Unit of the Year is similar to the AAME, but it is specifically tailored for aviation units. After the winners of the three categories of the AAAA are announced, the AAAA selects one unit for best overall. The best overall unit has yet to be announced.
Because each award is concerned with a unit as a whole, every Soldier has the right to be proud.
"It's a team effort," said Lt. Col. Albert Still, battalion commander. "It's not one commander or one Soldier; it's about everybody working together and putting effort into their work."
"It validates the hard work of not only the 277th ASB, but the hard work of all our Soldiers and the sacrifices of our Families within Task Force Falcon," McGuire added.
The unit received news of the victory around the holidays, with most Soldiers finding out after their return from vacation.
Maj. Nathan Goubeaux, 277th ASB executive officer, summed up the morale of the battalion.
"There's a general sense of pride that permeates the unit, which exudes right from the top," he said.