New York State Troopers Vasquez and Herrera received bronze medals and certificates for the Commander's Award for Public Service signed by Brig. Gen. Kent D. Savre, Commanding General and Division Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division.

Col. Donald E. Degidio, Jr., Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, presented the awards to the troopers in a ceremony at Fort Hamilton on Nov. 5, 2013.

Troopers Vasquez and Herrera were recognized for the superlative support they directly provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division during Super Storm (Hurricane) Sandy recovery and response operations. A third award was also provided for NY State Police Captain Jamie Kaminski, who has transferred out of the NYC area to upstate NY. His award was forwarded to his new command.

The troopers also received baseball bats as a token of how they were a big "hit" with those they supported. The bats, donated by Dinger Bat Company, were laser-engraved with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers logo, the New York State Police emblem, the recipient's name and "Hurricane Sandy Recovery/Response Operations, October - November 2012."

And why were they such a hit? The award citation mentions several aspects of their service, noting that the troopers were detailed to support the NAD recovery/response operations for November 2012, at the request of the NAD Security and Law Enforcement Office.

The citation leads with the summary of the troopers' impact: "As a direct result of their professionalism and dedication to duty, the organization's Mission Assurance (safety of USACE personnel and deployed assets) was successfully achieved."

The troopers' actions included: conducting site surveys where assets were to be deployed; providing criminal intelligence for threat and vulnerability assessments; aiding in development of physical security plans; and were liaisons with Federal, State and local law enforcement to obtain daily criminal intelligence/threat data on impacted areas where assets were deployed.

Furthermore, Vasquez and Herrera coordinated law enforcement escorts for multiple refueling missions of USACE assets by fuel tankers in the deployed area; provided direct support to the numerous personal security missions for the Commander, NAD and various dignitaries (Chief of Engineers, Deputy Commander for Civil Works, Army Chief of Staff, Commander, NY National Guard, etc.) visiting NAD and the impacted areas, by coordinating the visits with local law enforcement agencies in advance; aiding in the development of event timelines, providing estimated travel times and motorcade routes of travel, as well as being the lead vehicle of motorcade operations and providing on-site security.

"They hit a home run with the support they provided us," said Gary L. Kehoe, chief of security and law enforcement for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division. "They were a real hit."