Army Civilians Receive Recognition for Deployments

by Carlotta Maneice, AMRDEC Public Affairs

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (March 9, 2016) -- Twenty-two employees from the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center were presented the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism March 8.

The GWOT medal recognizes contributions and accomplishments of the civilian Department of Defense workforce in direct support of the armed forces whose members are engaged in operations to combat terrorism.

"This was a very special day for AMRDEC; a time when we can recognize engineers who were our 'boots on the ground' interfacing directly with Warfighters in support of GWOT," said James Lackey, AMRDEC director. "These guys helped maintain direct readiness of Army aviation assets. They did this by evaluating and executing airworthiness assessments for non-standard repairs and minor deviations and waivers."

Lt. Col. John Schmitt, AMRDEC military deputy director, was particularly honored to attend the ceremony to see AMRDEC civilians recognized for their achievement.

"In 2005-2006, I was the maintenance company commander in Tikrit, Iraq, for a UH-60 battalion that flew 22,000 hours that year. I cannot stress the importance of having engineering expertise in the fight with us," Schmitt said. "They moved heaven and Earth to get us in the air and back into the fight. It is a distinct honor to serve alongside them once again."

DOD civilians who served in theater locations for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days in support of military operations and qualified individuals can receive this medal only once.

AMRDEC employees have deployed 71 times to Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan for tours up to 120 days since 2001. Most deploy in logistical, aviation maintenance, human resource, quality assurance and property management positions to support the 401st Theater Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Group. There have been more than 2,300 requests for engineering assistance.

"In a nutshell, AMRDEC made it happen in theater," Lackey said. "They ensured battle damaged assets were still safe to operate for our Soldiers and thus GWOT mission execution could proceed uninterrupted."

AMRDEC honorees included:

• Robert Hunter Blackwell, Redstone Arsenal, Mechanical Engineer, AMRDEC Weapons Development and Integration Directorate.
• Eddie Brandon, Redstone Arsenal, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Noel Castillo, Corpus Christi, Texas, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• William Diffey, Redstone Arsenal, Electronics Engineer, AMRDEC Center Support Directorate.
• Derek Dinh, Corpus Christi, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• David Huebner, Redstone Arsenal, Mechanical Engineer, AMRDEC Weapons Development and Integration Directorate.
• Charles Johnson, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• James Kidd, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• Brett Lassus, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• Gary Mayers, Redstone Arsenal, Logistics Management Specialist, AMCOM, Supply Chain Management Directorate.
• William Mccandless, Redstone Arsenal, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Marcus Mckee, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• David Merta, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Gerald Noll, Corpus Christi, Lead Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Justin Olander, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• Robert Peter, Corpus Christi, Lead Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• G. Brian Rich, Redstone Arsenal, Supervisory Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Chuck Tran, Corpus Christi, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• Michael Vourcos, Corpus Christi, Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.
• James Ward, Redstone Arsenal, Quality Assurance Specialist Intern, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• James Wester, Redstone Arsenal, General Engineer, AMRDEC Engineering Directorate.
• Kristopher Williams, Fort Campbell, Ky., Aerospace Engineer, AMRDEC Aviation Engineering Directorate.

Civilians who are interested in deploying can apply through http://cpol.army.mil/library/mobil/

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The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to empower the Army and joint warfighter with technology and engineering solutions that ensure decisive capabilities for unified land operations. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

 

Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.