By Bryan GatchellNovember 9, 2009
Nov. 6, 2009 FORT POLK, La. -- The 4th Brigade Support Troop Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, received the Meritorious Unit Commendation from Lt. Col. Blace Albert, the commander of the 4th BSTB, and Sgt. Maj. Dale Van Ormer, command sergeant major for the special troops battalion, on Oct. 29, less than five years since the unit's activation in 2005.
"This is a very prestigious award that cannot be presented to a more deserving unit," said Albert.
With the emergence of brigade combat teams in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Army quickly determined that headquarter command control was needed to support the mission. The 4th BSTB was thus created to support the 4th Brigade Combat Team in its mission in Iraq.
"When the Army created the brigade support troops battalions, they didn't anticipate the variety and amount of missions that would be placed on the shoulders of these phenomenal Soldiers," said Albert. "They did not just provide mobility intelligence and communications to the brigade, but the battalion had 36 enduring missions tests."
Among these were the defense of Forward Operating Base Loyalty, inspecting Iraqi security force checkpoints, fire response on the FOB, detention operations, route clearance, toxic industrial chemical response, support of the brigade's counter improvised explosive device work group, comprehensive human intelligence and operation, maintenance and defense of one of the largest communications networks in Iraq.
"There are two reasons for describing all of these accomplishments," said Albert. "The first - success is measured by improved security in Baghdad, by Iraqi citizens believing in a brighter future and by the protection of freedoms only a democratic society could provide. The second reason I spend so much time describing the accomplishments of this brigade battalion is because it is our history. This battalion was activated less than five years ago, but in this short time it has made a history of which every Soldier in this unit can be proud."
As part of this history, Albert acknowledged the passing of Sgt. Timothy Smith, who died April 7, 2008 during a route-clearing mission when an improvised explosion device detonated near the vehicle he operated, and Sgt. Joseph Richard, who died April 14, 2008 from wounds received during another IED explosion.
"We're also extremely proud of the Soldiers you see before you and the others currently serving in the battalion," said Albert. "There is absolutely no doubt that they are ready to write the next chapter in the 4th BSTB's history as they continue to serve in the greatest Army in the history of the world."