BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Jan. 6, 2014) -- Brig. Gen. Donnie Walker Jr., commanding general of 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, or ESC, recognized Air Force Capt. Nick Burke, flight commander with 17th Airlift Squadron based out of Charleston, South Carolina, and his crew during a coin presentation, Sept. 25.

Burke was recognized for his leadership in coordinating the movement of retrograde equipment out of Afghanistan.

The 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command and 1st Theater Sustainment Command is the primary logistical unit within Afghanistan and has been sustaining units throughout Afghanistan, while successfully retrograding equipment; returning assets back into the Army's inventory and saving the taxpayers' money.

With such an important mission, the Army frequently teams up with the Air Force; working hand-in-hand to ensure equipment is retrograded in a timely and efficient manner.

Burke represented this partnership well; working with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Chad Chisholm, mobility technician with the 3rd ESC, and the Air Mobility Division to retrograde equipment as efficiently as possible.

"The partnership between the Army and Air Force has been vital to the success of the largest Expeditionary Mobile Redistribution Property Accountability Team mission in the history of Army retrograde," said Chisholm. "This [success] would not have been possible without aircraft commanders like Capt. Nick Burke and his aircrew."

Burke and his crew were responsible for taking the first load of retrograde equipment out of Herat, Afghanistan, heading for Kuwait. Under his guidance, Burke's plane was filled with retrograde equipment, beyond what was initially coordinated.

Burke also called Shindand Air Base, which is in close proximity to Herat, and asked if he could land there after he left Herat to pick up additional cargo. While he received some initial reservations, Burke insisted they fill his plane to maximum capacity. Through his persistence he saved an entire C-17 mission from having to land in the future, saving time and the taxpayers' money, which resulted in excellent stewardship of precious air capabilities.