Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. - 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Maintenance Company has been named the winner of the Fiscal Year 2022 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence (AAME). The Maintenance Co. Soldiers put countless hours of planning and preparation into becoming the best maintainers in the United States Army. The Department of the Army established the AAME in 1982 to recognize exceptional excellence in Maintenance and to provide added incentive to Major Army Command’s competitive programs.
The competition in each component is divided into three categories; small, medium and large, based on the number of authorized personnel in the unit. The 7th SFG (A) Maintenance Co. went through an internal company inspection, followed by inspections from 1st Special Forces Command (A), USASOC, and finally the Department of the Army. All the inspections were completed throughout FY 2022.
“The AAME can't be won without the entire team working together, so we truly take the win as a team effort,” said Staff Sgt. Kenneth Bates, the Electronic Maintenance Shop NCOIC assigned to Group Support Battalion.
The 7th SFG(A) GSB’s creed is, “Most Special Operations require non-Special Operation Forces assistance,” and that motto applies to each and every mission. Each of the Maintenance Co. members validate and exemplify the Battalion’s systems and processes and enhances the overall readiness of the Group.
“It was a privilege to be able to reach the highest level of competition and a fantastic challenge for us to overcome,” said Capt, Austin Schultz, the former commander of the Maintenance Company. Schultz has since moved on to become the EOD Detachment Commander but was instrumental in motivating his team to winning the award. “To know that we not only reached the DA level but won…it was both beneficial for the company as a whole and a fulfilling experience for all our Soldiers.”
The Maintenance Co. agrees that the accomplishment and recognition of winning the AAME was worth the planning, long hours or preparation and prolonged effort. Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Clemente, the Company 1st Sergeant, said that he and his team are “honored, grateful, and relieved. Putting this much work, man hours and sweat… these Soldiers deserved it.”
7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) plans, prepares for, and when ordered, executes Special Operations in support of Theater Campaign Plans (TCP) and other directed Special Operations. Our Area of Responsibility (AOR) includes the land mass of Latin America south of Mexico; the waters adjacent to Central America and South America; the Caribbean Sea, its 13 island nations, European and U.S. territories; the Gulf of Mexico; and a portion of the Atlantic Ocean. It encompasses 32 countries (19 in Central and South America and 13 in the Caribbean) and covers about 15.6 million square miles. The region represents about one-sixth of the landmass of the world assigned to regional unified commands.