WIESBADEN, Germany -- The 509th Signal Battalion in Vicenza, Italy, was recently recognized as one of the Army's best in logistics, being named a winner in the Chief of Staff of the Army's Combined Logistics Excellence Awards.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno presented the unit with a Supply Excellence Award at a ceremony June 10 at the Pentagon, recognizing it for extraordinary supply and support operations, property accountability and resource management.

"Winning the award for us is a validation of our current logistical processes, the technical expertise of our team, and our clear understanding of where we have to excel," said Taleh Aliyev, the 509th Signal Battalion S4.

Aliyev said the unit could not have won the award without the hard work, technical expertise and advice from both subordinate company S4s and from the 2nd Signal Brigade S4, and 5th Signal Command and U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command G4 teams.

The CLEA program's objectives, according to the Army Quartermaster website, are to enhance logistical readiness of all Army units, enforce the Command Supply Discipline Program (CSDP), encourage the use of available resources, and provide a structure for recognition of group and individual initiatives.

The primary criteria for evaluation are demonstrated success in supervisory and managerial responsibilities IAW Army standard supply policy and procedures, the Command Supply Discipline Program (CSDP), and the Army management philosophy. Evaluation guidelines and scoring criteria within each level are administered based on AR 710-2 Appendix B. Units must attain a total composite score of 90% or better to meet the CSDP and SEA standards to be eligible and compete for winner, runner-up, or honorable mention.

Lt. Col. Schawn Branch, commander of the 509th Signal Battalion, said, "It is truly an honor for the unit to be selected for this award at the CSA level, however, I'm not overly surprised as this selection is indicative of the talented group of professionals that are in the 509th."

The 509th Signal Battalion S4 team consists of three Department of the Army civilians, one noncommissioned officer, and one host nation employee.

"Our S4 team provides logistical support to battalion and other external elements located in 7 countries and 12 different sites throughout Italy, the Balkans, the African continent, and the Mediterranean," Aliyev said.

He said the battalion used "less paper" and "virtual office" initiatives to digitize workflow and reduce or replace many paper and printing requirements. Going paperless allowed the battalion's supply office to conserve paper and reduce their inventory of printers, and allowed for greater visibility and better accountability of supplies and equipment across the battalion and up the chain of command as well.

"This award is recognition of the efforts each company commander and member of 509th Signal Battalion has put toward CSDP," Aliyev said. "It is an achievement to be remembered and proud of for years to come."

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5th Signal Command's mission is to build, operate and defend network capabilities to enable mission command and create tactical, operational, and strategic flexibility for Army, Joint and Multinational forces in the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility.