By 1st Lt. Verniccia FordOctober 27, 2018
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- To celebrate mass accomplishments and dedication to the mission, Soldiers, D.A civilians, and contractors attended an end of tour award ceremony to bid farewell to members of the 20th detachment who are scheduled to redeploy and reunite with their families.
"The award ceremony was important to highlight the service, sacrifice, support, and numerous accomplishments of the 20th detachment Soldiers," said Lt. Col. John Lopes, the 401st Army Field Support Battalion Afghanistan Battalion Commander "The Soldiers worked through several overlapping high visibility operations that generated combat power and readiness throughout the Combined Joint Operation Area-Afghanistan and increased the tactical reach of maneuver commanders in the Battle Space. I couldn't think of a more deserving group."
The Battalion's organizational day had several festivities planned for its Soldiers, DA Civilians, and contractors. As the award ceremony concluded, attendees eagerly departed the hangar to head outside.
Sergeant Major Ayers was the driving force for coordinating the organizational day. "We wanted to send off the outgoing team with recognition for their hard work and dedication to the mission. Our team has worked through so many complexities in Afghanistan. This is our way of saying thank you for all their outstanding contributions."
Soldiers and Civilians fully submerged themselves in absolute deployment bliss by consuming freshly prepared barbeque, listening to their favorite tunes, and conversing with the battalion staff elements.
Attendees competed in numerous esprit de corps events including: Sporting events, water balloon games, dodge ball, and corn hole competitions, while others enjoyed movies and desserts in the common area.
"This organizational day was a great way to revitalize and rejuvenate myself, especially in Afghanistan where we work 12-15 hours a day," said Spc. Avick Rana, an ammunition technician, and actions clerk for the battalion. "Everyone got to loosen up and relax, I enjoyed the food and the time I got to bond with my teammates who are very much like my family."
The event was scheduled to break the mental numbness that can sneak up on people in a deployed environment. Organizational days increase resiliency and camaraderie amongst those serving in a deployed combat environment.
The success of the organizational day could be measured by the number of smiles and stories shared between attendees. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged in efforts to say final goodbyes to the departing 20th Detachment members.
As the sun began to fade behind the mountains, the event was concluded with words of affirmation and gratification expressed by Lopes.
"Team, it has been the absolute honor and privilege of my life to serve with each and every one of you. Leave today knowing that you accomplished your mission to the highest possible standard that our nation demands and our people deserve. Today your deployment is behind you! Rejoice and I wish you and your families the best of luck when you return home."