News: Trenton Guard unit receives permanent military distinction
Story by Jennifer Archdekin
NEOSHO, Mo. – The Missouri Army National Guard 548th Transportation Company out of Trenton closed the final chapter of their recent deployment to Afghanistan. On April 6, nearly one year from returning home, the unit was awarded their first Meritorious Unit Citation for distinguishing itself while conducting tactical convoy operations.
These Road Warriors were presented their very first streamer to be displayed on the unit guidon for their outstanding professional skill, selfless service and unparalleled esprit de corps in executing numerous varied missions under extremely dangerous conditions.
“Not all units qualify for this award,” said Capt. Doug Adams, company commander while deployed. “It takes hard work and commitment to the mission to earn this award. Our unit did an outstanding job during our deployment. It was a collective body of work. We met every challenge laid before us, from the mundane to the extremely difficult, keeping a positive attitude the whole time.”
The unit was stationed at Shindand Air Base in the austere region of western Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. They conducted over 300 convoy missions transporting more than 20 million pounds of equipment to six forward operating bases and three village stability operations.
They logged more than 450,000 miles through some of the harshest terrain in Afghanistan. The teams delivered critical supplies to hard-to-reach locations traveling across the desert for up to 18 hours a day.
During the mission, unit members were awarded seven Bronze Star Medals, 40 Combat Action Badges, three Purple Hearts, 50 impact Army Achievement Medals, as well as 160 other End of Tour awards.
Col. William Ward, commander of the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade in Kansas City, said not only is this award personally significant to the men and women who served in Afghanistan, but it is now part of the unit’s history.
“It is significant in the fact that it is a permanent award that is now part of the lineage and honors of the 548th and will be officially recorded in the United States Army Center of Military History,” said Ward. “All soldiers that were on the deployment with the unit during the award period may wear the award on their Army service uniform permanently, regardless of unit assignment.”
Ward added the guidon streamer will be a constant reminder to others that the 548th is a great unit that served with honor and distinction, and is a symbol to the soldiers serving to always strive to be the best.
“The 548th’s receipt of this award continues a tradition of excellence exhibited by all of Missouri’s deploying units,” said Ward. “It takes every soldier doing their job in a superior and meritorious fashion for a unit to come together as a team worthy of this honor. These soldiers can take pride in the fact that they were part of that team.”
The 548th Transportation Company is headquartered in Trenton and at the time of the deployment had a detachment located in Centertown.
The unit was mobilized March 7, 2011, and reported to Camp Clark for training. Upon completion, they were ordered into active service April 9, 2011, moving on to conduct mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas. They departed Fort Bliss May 19, 2011, for Afghanistan. The Road Warriors were welcomed home to Missouri on April 14, 2012.