LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A South Dakota Army National Guard battalion received an Army Deployment Excellence Award at the Professional Education Center in Little Rock, Nov. 14.
The 153rd Engineer Battalion received the award that recognizes units for outstanding deployment accomplishments and captures innovative deployment initiatives that may improve the Army’s deployment process.
The Huron-based 153rd En. Bn., along with its Parkston-based Forward Support Company, deployed 164 Soldiers to the Middle East from November 2016 to September 2017, where they provided command and control of attached engineer units. Unit members served in multiple locations throughout the region, which included Iraq and Syria, completing more than 54 engineer projects and 1,000 work orders.
“Their attention to detail and work ethic are key factors in their success throughout the year,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Bickett, battalion commander.
The 153rd was responsible for over $105 million in equipment and raised maintenance readiness rates of the theater-provided equipment from 57 percent to 95 percent in the first four months of their deployment.
“The 153rd Engineer Battalion displays true professionalism on a daily basis,” said Bickett. “They are always ready, willing and able to accomplish any assigned mission.”
The 153rd was also submitted for the Meritorious Unit Commendation for performance during their deployment.
“The Soldiers upheld our state’s reputation for excellence and ensured the Army’s high standards for a deployed unit was maintained at all times,” said Maj. Gen. Tim Reisch, South Dakota National Guard’s adjutant general.