By Capt. Corey Robertson, 31st Air Defense ArtilleryJanuary 17, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Jan. 9, Col. Michael Morrissey, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade commander, recognized and awarded 35 Airmen and three civilians from the 97th Air Mobility Wing from Altus Air Force Base.
The recognition was for the logistical mission support provided to Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 2nd ADA who deployed to Turkey.
"We are forever in your debt for your support of this mission and our Soldiers," said Morrisey.
Twenty-one missions were executed out of Altus Air Force Base in response to the deployment to Turkey. More than 250 Soldiers from the 3-2nd Patriot Battalion Headquarters and two Patriot batteries were loaded and flown out to Turkey from Altus Air Force Base.
Tech. Sgt. Michael Skeens, an air transportation craftsman with 97th Air Mobility Wing was among the awardees. He is a 15-year Air Force veteran and has worked multiple joint-missions.
"This is a great opportunity for both Air Force and Army personnel to work together. The joint operation really showed the true professionalism of the United States military," he said. "There was a smooth integration of both services that occurred and that allowed the mission to be executed."
This mission came with an 18-day alert and notice to deploy to Turkey in support of NATO's mission there. Six Patriot batteries will deploy to Turkey in response to their request through NATO.
"Turkey is an important NATO ally, and we welcome the opportunity to support the Turkish government's request in accordance with the NATO standing defense plan," said Navy Vice Adm. Charles Martoglio, U.S. European Command deputy commander.
"We're incredibly proud. Especially of everything you've done in the last three weeks after you received the deployment order," said Morrisey. " It was only 18 days from alert to execution when we started moving equipment and personnel."