Sgt. Savannah Roy
The air soldiers of the Marne gain armed forces Service medal
Marne Air Soldiers assigned to Echo Company, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, received the Armed Forces Service Medal Oct. 1 on Hunter Army Airfield.
Col. Eric Vanek, commander of 3rd CAB, presented Soldiers with the Armed Forces Service Medal for outstanding actions while deployed to Fort Huachuca, Ariz., In support of customs security efforts and the United States border protection, June through September.
“It doesn’t matter where you carry out your assignment, it’s about the professionalism that we put into it,” said Vanek. “I was absolutely impressed with the dedication of this team to accomplishing the mission and their dedication to accomplishing it every day. “
The company was tasked with carrying out a 24-hour reconnaissance along 340 miles of the southwest border. To do this, the company performed the daily logistical, maintenance and administrative support tasks necessary for the conduct of flight operations. Throughout the summer, soldiers from Echo Company flew six nights a week to identify potential threats and contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to further investigate.
“The experience of deploying to Arizona and contributing to a real world mission has been an invaluable experience for the soldiers,” said Major Ross Skilling, commander of Echo Company, 3rd Avn. Regt., 3rd CAB. “This mission was a faithful replica of what our soldiers would experience during an operational deployment elsewhere in the world, preparing us for any future mission that came our way.”
The company had to think through real-life challenges to mobilize soldiers and equipment, facing a new mission with new challenges every day.
“All aspects of the operations, maintenance, logistics and leadership of the company have been challenged in ways that cannot be replicated at the home station,” said Skilling. “Executives, maintainers and operators had to manage relationships with our partners and develop creative solutions to the problems they faced. “
Overall, the soldiers of Echo Company, 3rd Avn. Reg. flew 874 hours and detected 904 non-U.S. citizens, leading to 449 arrests.
“I am extremely proud of the company not only for the way it accomplished the mission, but for its leadership,” said Skilling. “The manner in which the soldiers assumed responsibility for the operation from the planning phase until the redeployment was with the utmost professionalism.”