Sgt. Savannah Roy

3rd CAB

Photos by Sgt. Savannah Roy
Col. Eric Vanek, commander of the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, awards the Armed Forces Service Medal to Sgt. Alexander Curry, an unmanned systems aircraft operator assigned to Echo Company, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd CAB, 3rd ID, Oct. 1 on Hunter Army Airfield.

Marne Air Soldiers earn 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 the 3rd CAB, presented the Soldiers with the Armed Forces Service Medal for their outstanding actions while deployed to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in support of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection security efforts, June-Sept.

“It doesn’t matter where you are executing your mission, it’s about the professionalism that we carry forward,” Vanek said. “I was absolutely impressed by this team’s dedication to accomplishing the mission, and their dedication to get after it every single day.”

The company was tasked with the mission to conduct 24-hour reconnaissance along 340 miles of the Southwest border. To accomplish this, the company performed daily logistics, maintenance, and administrative support tasks required to conduct flight operations. Throughout the summer, the Soldiers of Echo Company flew six nights a week identifying potential threats and communicating with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to further investigate.

“The experience of deploying to Arizona and contributing to a real-world mission set was an invaluable experience to the Soldiers,” said Maj. Ross Skilling, the commander of Echo Company, 3rd Avn. Regt., 3rd CAB. “This mission was a close replica of what our Soldiers would experience on an operational deployment elsewhere in the world, preparing us for any future mission that comes 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 company’s operations, maintenance, logistics and leadership was challenged in ways that cannot be replicated at home station,” Skilling said. “Leaders, maintainers, and operators alike had to manage relationships with our enabling partners and develop creative solutions to problems they faced.”

Overall, the Soldiers of Echo Company, 3rd Avn. Regt. flew 874 hours and detected 904 non-U.S. citizens, which led to 449 apprehensions.

“I am extremely proud of the company for not only how well they accomplished the mission, but for their conduct,” Skilling said. “The manner in which the Soldiers assumed ownership of the operation from the planning phase all the way to re-deployment was with the utmost professionalism.”