Tuesday June 22, 2010
What is it?
The Combined Logistics Excellence Awards, or "CLEA," unite the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, the Deployment Excellence Awards, and the Supply Excellence Awards, all of which recognize the best logistics programs in the Army. Judges from the U.S. Army Transportation, Quartermaster, and Ordnance Centers travel around the world to conduct on-site evaluations of units nominated by their commands.
What has the Army done?
Winners are selected based on outstanding qualities recognized by judges on their visits. One winner was the 72nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion, which deployed in 2009 from Mannheim, Germany to Iraq. The Battalion deployed 345 pieces of equipment and 420 Soldiers to 34 sites across Iraq. Deployment preparation included a stringent pre-inspection of deploying equipment that resulted in zero deficiencies in equipment standards and documentation. Judges selected the battalion because of its exceptional performance during such a complex deployment.
This year CLEA was much more competitive. There were 82 winners selected from 316 total entries, compared to last year's 95 winners from 294 entries.
Why is it important to the Army?
Army logistics is no small task; units around the world are working tirelessly to meet the Army's needs as more troops deploy to Afghanistan, and troops and equipment pull out of Iraq. Lt. Gen. Mitchell H. Stevenson, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for Logistics, is grateful for the opportunity to recognize Soldiers. "At the Pentagon, we can make policies and plans, but none of it can be achieved without the Soldiers in the field. CLEA provides an opportunity to recognize outstanding units and their diligent efforts to sustain the force."
What can this year's winners expect at the event?
Chief of Staff of the Army General George W. Casey Jr. and Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joseph Westphal will be on hand to recognize 82 outstanding Active duty, Reserve, and National Guard units being awarded for logistics excellence on June 24, 2010.
The Awards ceremony will be held in Richmond, Virginia and cap a week of logistics related events including the Sustainment Commander's Conference and the Association of the United States Army Sustainment Symposium.
The day following the award ceremony and banquet, the winners and their families are treated to a day at Busch Gardens or a tour of the capital city of Richmond, Va.
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"It's more than just the cloth and material that gives this flag its special meaning. It represents the cause for which Soldiers have given their lives. It represents the Soldiers who serve their country, putting themselves into harm's way, preserving the freedoms we enjoy today."
- Col. Chuck E. A. Sexton, the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Commander, 3rd Infantry Division, for whom the U.S. flag provides a far more personal representation. He has carried the U.S. flag with him for the past 24 years to six different military deployments and has flown it in five different countries.
"There really are eight winners. They're exhausted and nobody quit."
-Sgt. 1st Class Racheen Douglas, complimenting the Army's top drill sergeants who are competing in a mentally as well as physically tough competition
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