News: Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez presents awards to Task Force Corsair Paratroopers at Kandahar Airfield
Story by Capt. Vanessa Bowman
By Army Capt. Vanessa R. Bowman
22nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Maj. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander, Combined Joint Task Force-82 and the 82nd Airborne Division, and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Capel, command sergeant major, CJTF-82 and the 82nd Abn. Div., awarded paratroopers from the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (Task Force Corsair,) 82nd Airborne Division, Combat Action Badges and 82nd Abn. Div. coins in a surprise visit to Kandahar Airfield July 27.
Rodriguez took the opportunity during his trip to Kandahar to award 11 CABs and 14 coins. The coins were awarded to Soldiers who were identified by their chain of command as having performed beyond the call of duty during operations in NATO International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command-South.
Nine of the CABs presented were received by Soldiers serving on a water re-supply mission in support of Operation Diablo Dragnet, which was conducted in Zabul province by the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Abn. Div. The other two CABs were earned by the Soldiers during Operation Achilles which took place in Helmand province and also involved 1-508th PIR.
The Soldiers who received the awards appreciated the time Rodriguez and Capel took to recognize their efforts.
"While standing at attention in front of Maj. Gen. Rodriguez I had to tilt my head back in order to actually look him in the eye and answer his questions about where I was from, but his friendly demeanor put me and the other Soldiers at ease," said 1st Lt. Erin Leach, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot from Olyphant, Pa. "I'm grateful he took the time to spend with us."
TF Corsair Soldiers have been conducting aviation operations in RC-South since February in support of the ISAF mission to promote freedom, democracy and stability for the Afghan people.
After Rodriguez and Capel finished presenting awards and coins, they both took time out to address the Soldiers. They both highlighted the important roll that TF Corsair has in RC-South. They also stressed that each Soldier should continue to hone their battle skills and be vigilant against complacency because the enemy and the threat are as real and dangerous now as ever.
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