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Top army transportation units receive recognition.

A Reserve transportation company mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom is one of two Army units to be recognized for excellence.

The National Defense Transportation Association named the 257th Transportation Co., Las Vegas, one of the Army's two top transportation units.

In the active duty category, the winner was the 508th Transportation Co., of Fort Eustis, Va.

Recognition of the units' work in 2003 was made Sept. 14 at the associations' annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wis. The association promotes military transportation issues.

"It's outstanding," said Capt. Michelle Ross, 257th commander. "This is motivating for the troops and this shows that all the training we do pays off."

Reservists with the company were mobilized Feb. 10, 2003, for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit was assigned the task of assisting the arrival and movement of 4th Infantry Division equipment from the port of Ash Shuaiba, Kuwait, the key transportation hub for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.

"My Soldiers are really proud to gain this recognition," said Ross. "We are seamless to our active duty counterparts.

"We have proven that training is serious business in the Reserves and that there is only one set of regulations: Army Regulations. This is just another example of how Army Reservists view their roles as Citizen Soldiers."

In the month of April, unit members traveled more than 110,000 miles moving 4th Infantry Division and Marine Corps equipment to deployed forces in the field.

A month later the figure was 310,000 miles. In June, the Soldiers drove 215,000 miles.

During their time in Iraq, unit members were recognized with one Purple Heart, three Bronze Stars, 130 Army Commendation Medals, 140 Drivers Badges, and 50 Mechanic Badges.

Among active-duty transportation units, recognition went to the 508th Transportation Co., which is charged with providing direct logistical support to the U.S. Transportation Center at Fort Eustis.

"I think this is wonderful and a great honor for this company," said Capt. Christina Helferich, 508th commander. "Anytime the school needs a vehicle and driver, we are who they come too.

"We have more than 100 vehicles of 25 different nomenclatures for supporting just about any type of mission our customers may have."

The largest mission of the company's 118 military and civilian members is supporting the Manassas Run field class for the Transportation Officer Basic Course held in Va. These weeklong field exercises provide basic transportation and convey live-fire training to second lieutenants bound for field assignments.

In 2003, the 508th supported seven Manassas Run events. More than 370 students drove more than 728,000 accident tree miles on 245 pieces of equipment.

"This year, we'll have the opportunity to support nine Manassas Runs," said Helferich. "This will also allow our seasoned Soldiers to provide our own internal training for our newer members while at the same time supporting the basic officer course students-it is opportunity training at its finest."

Mitch Chandran, Public Affairs Specialist SDDC Headquarters
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Author:Chandran, Mitch
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2004
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