WIESBADEN, Germany (November 14, 2012) -- 5th Signal Command units were selected as the best in maintenance by winning Network Enterprise Command's Army Award for Maintenance and Excellence for fiscal year 2012.

5th Signal Command's 72nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion won the Modified Table of Organization & Equipment (MTOE) large category, 39th Signal Battalion won the Table of Distribution and Allowances (TDA) medium category, and 6981st Civilian Support Group won the "all others" category.

Each 5th Signal Command unit had to meet and exceed stringent standards to win in their perspective categories.

"The requirements for the AAME competition include the development of a maintenance program book for submission into the competition and on-site inspections performed by higher headquarters to validate the battalion's maintenance program and processes described in the documentation submitted for the award," said Lt. Col. Joyce M. LuGrain, 39th Signal Battalion commander.

"AAME covers all areas of maintenance to include motor pool operations, logistics, operations, training, safety, and even warehouse maintenance," said Mr. Gerd Drechsler, commander, 6981st CSG.

"We also established and improved our documentation to reflect those changes in our daily work routines," he said.

"It's essential to adopt processes and routines which are already out there and to make them your own. Listening to inspectors and evaluators is very important because they see different units and organizations which have great programs in place," said Drechsler.

Winning at the NETCOM level requires a lot of hard work, and every unit that won attributed their success to everyone on the team.

"To win the competition, leaders at all levels had to ensure that regular maintenance programs were in place throughout the battalion and that leaders were checking on the maintenance that was being performed and performed to standard," LuGrain said.

"For the competition, the battalion staff and company command teams had to ensure they began planning for their submission to the competition with enough time to allow all sections to provide input on their sections' maintenance programs, and also allow the development of an outstanding final product to enter into the competition," said LuGrain.

Winning the AAME is a great way for units to show how good they are at maintenance when compared to other units throughout NETCOM.

"We felt really good and excited to win NETCOM's AAME," said Maj. Tilisha Lockley, executive officer, 72nd ESB. "It was a lot of work, but it gave 72nd the opportunity to be front and center," she said.

5th Signal Command will now compete in the fiscal year 2012 Department of the Army, Chief of Staff, Army Award for Maintenance Excellence.