Col. Joseph N. Gaines, left, holds his framed meritorious honor certificate alongside U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Martha L. Campbell and Lt. Col. Christopher Mills at a ceremony in Majuro June 12.

U.S. ARMY KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Marshall Islands - The commander of the U.S. Army Kwajalein Atoll/Reagan Test Site and his director of host nation activities were recognized with awards during a June 12 ceremony at Majuro hosted by the Republic of the Marshall Islands U.S. ambassador.

Colonel Joseph N. Gaines, commander of USAKA/RTS and Lt. Col. Christopher D. Mills, director of host nation activities, were visiting Majuro, the Republic of Marshall Islands capital, to brief the RMI president and his cabinet on recent U.S./RMI partnership efforts.

While on their visit, Ambassador Martha L. Campbell surprised the two Soldiers with a Meritorious Honor award for Gaines and the Foreign Affairs for Public Service award to Mills. This was Gaines and Mills last visit to Majuro before they both leave USAKA/RTS.

"We are honored to be recognized by Ambassador Campbell for our work here in the Republic of the Marshall Islands," said Gaines. "It's been a thrill to serve as a member of her country team during the last two years and I am proud of all we have accomplished together. Ambassador Campbell and the embassy staff are like family to us at USAKA/RTS and we will miss them very much," he said.

During the meeting with RMI government officials, President Christopher Loeak praised Mills and Gaines for their efforts to keep the RMI government informed of changes at the U.S. Army installation and thanked them for their service.

Mills is a career foreign area officer who has served at USAKA for the last three and a half years. He is being reassigned to the 162nd Infantry Brigade at Fort Polk, La. Gaines is scheduled to retire from the Army at a ceremony on Kwajalein scheduled for June 27.

Page last updated Wed June 20th, 2012 at 18:00