• Members of the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and guests applaud as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates congratulates U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM commander, after attaching the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the TRANSCOM guidon on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Members of the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and guests applaud as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates congratulates U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM commander, after attaching the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the TRANSCOM...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, walks with Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, left, and Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), center, prior to awarding TRANSCOM with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, walks with Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, left, and Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), center, prior to awarding TRANSCOM with the...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, walks with Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, left, and Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), center, prior to awarding TRANSCOM with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, right, walks with Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, left, and Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), center, prior to awarding TRANSCOM with the...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, accompanied by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander U.S. Central Command, presented the U.S. Transportation Command the Joint Meritorious Award during a ceremony on Scott AFB, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, accompanied by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander U.S. Central Command, presented the U.S. Transportation Command the Joint Meritorious Award during a ceremony on Scott AFB, Ill., April 1, 2010.

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, stands with U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), and U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, prior to presenting TRANSCOM with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, stands with U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), and U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, prior to presenting TRANSCOM with the...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates gives his remarks while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, look on during an awards ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates gives his remarks while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, and U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, look on during an awards ceremony on Scott...

  • U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, gives his remarks while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates looks on before honoring the U.S. Transportation Command with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    U.S Army Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander, U.S. Central Command, gives his remarks while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates looks on before honoring the U.S. Transportation Command with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award during a ceremony on Scott Air...

  • U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), stand at attention during a ceremony to present TRANSCOM the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander of U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), stand at attention during a ceremony to present TRANSCOM the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Scott Air Force Base, Ill...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates prepares to attach the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the U.S. Transportation Command guidon while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM's commander, stands at attention during a presentation ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010. TRANSCOM received the award for its outstanding ability to deploy combat troops and supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan while simultaneously providing relief effort in Haiti.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates prepares to attach the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the U.S. Transportation Command guidon while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM's commander, stands at attention during a presentation ceremony on...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates attaches the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the U.S. Transportation Command guidon while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM's commander, watches during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates attaches the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the U.S. Transportation Command guidon while U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, TRANSCOM's commander, watches during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1...

  • Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates congratulates U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command, after attaching the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the TRANSCOM guidon during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates congratulates U.S. Air Force General Duncan McNabb, commander U.S. Transportation Command, after attaching the Joint Meritorious Unit Award on the TRANSCOM guidon during a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill., April...

  • Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, answers questions from members of the press after a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill, during which Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates presented the U.S. Transportation Command with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, April 1, 2010.

    U.S. Transportation Command receives major award

    Gen. David H. Patraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, answers questions from members of the press after a ceremony on Scott Air Force Base, Ill, during which Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates presented the U.S. Transportation Command with the...

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., April 2, 2010 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates traveled here yesterday to personally present U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) with the Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

The award is granted to joint activities for meritorious achievement or service, superior to that which is normally expected, for actions in the following situations; combat with an armed enemy of the United States, a declared national emergency or under extraordinary circumstances that involve national interests.

"I am glad to get the chance to be here today to have the opportunity to present the Joint Meritorious Unit Award to the men and women of the United States Transportation Command," Gates said. "You should know that this award is the first and only award that I have personally issued in my eight-plus years as Secretary of Defense."

Gates was joined by Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, who oversees operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Air Force Gen. Duncan J. McNabb, commander of U.S. TRANSCOM, and other senior civilian and military officials.

"Mr. Secretary, I want to thank you for personally flying out to Scott Air Force Base today" to present the award to TRANSCOM, Petraeus said. "Nobody deserves this honor more."

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told Pentagon reporters March 30, "Secretary Gates believes the members of TRANSCOM are among the unsung heroes of our military efforts around the world, and this award allows him to personally thank this dedicated and unheralded team of professionals."

TRANSCOM also played an instrumental role in U.S. relief efforts in Haiti following the devastating earthquake, Morrell said.

"In responding to the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, TRANSCOM has provided over 2 million meals, more than 5 million liters of water to the island, in ongoing humanitarian and disaster-relief operations," Morrell said.

The citation accompanying the award reads: "Headquarters, United States Transportation Command distinguished itself by exceptionally meritorious achievement from 1 March 2007 to 28 February 2010. During this period, the Command consistently displayed exceptional collaborative leadership and execution of wartime missions for United States forces engaged in Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM.

"The Command's three components--Air Mobility Command, Military Sealift Command, and Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command--carried over 5 million passengers, 25 thousand patients, and 7.5 million short tons in support of United States Central Command's two main operations," the citation continued. "U.S. TRANSCOM expedited the delivery of thousands of sets of individual body armor, armored vehicles, and supplemental armor kits, in addition to supporting troop surges in both Iraq and Afghanistan."

McNabb thanked Gates and Petraeus and lauded the efforts of those under his command.

"You have honored us today by your presence and your words," McNabb said. "And we are humbled by the trust you have in us. We will strive to always, always be worthy of that trust."

Page last updated Fri April 2nd, 2010 at 17:39