By Maj. Gabriel J. Zinni, 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public AffairsMay 4, 2010
Brig. Gen. Ross E. Ridge, commandant of U.S. Army Field Artillery, presented awards to selected members of 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, during a ceremony at D-Quad, April 22.
Ridge addressed the Soldiers of 2-11 FA after the awards were presented and thanked them for their dedicated service to the Army and to the field artillery.
"We continue to be strong while we expand our skill sets," said Ridge.
Ridge, a former member of 2-11 FA, was assigned as the 2nd Bde. fire support officer from 1993-1995 and deployed with the 'On Time Battalion' and 2nd Bde. to Haiti in support of Operation Uphold Democracy in 1994.
A total of five Army Commendation Medals and 45 Army Achievement Medals were awarded to officers, noncommissioned officers and Soldiers of the battalion for their achievements while training at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. The battalion trained as an Advise and Assist Battalion (AAB) during NTC rotation 10-05, according to Lt. Col. Andrew D. Preston, commander, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt.
"We conducted AAB missions but also maintained a hot artillery platoon which provided fire support to units of the brigade combat team," said Preston.
After the awards ceremony, Ridge attended a working lunch at a dining facility with Brig. Gen. James Nixon, deputy commanding general (operations), 25th Infantry Division, Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd Bde. Combat Team, and the field grade artillery officers of the 25th Inf. Div. Later that afternoon, Ridge met privately with Maj. Gen. Bernard Champoux, commanding general, 25th Inf. Div., at the division headquarters.
Ridge attended 2-11 FA's St. Barbara's Day Ball, as the guest of honor at the Hyatt Hotel in Waikiki, April 23. The ball is a tradition where individuals who have made great contributions to the field artillery are honored by being inducted into the Order of Saint Barbara.
It is typically held in December to coincide with the feast of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of field artillerymen, but due to 2nd Bde's upcoming July deployment to Iraq, the event was conducted early.