News: All-American aviators recognized for excellence in combat, support
Story by Sgt. April de Armas
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Two 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade battalions were recognized for excellence in aviation at the unit level when they received Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Awards at Fort Bragg, N.C., Feb. 14.
U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Commander Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum traveled from Fort Rucker, Ala., to present the annual awards for Best Combat Battalion to 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment and Best Combat Support Battalion to 3-82 General Support Aviation Battalion for their commitment and excellence over the past year.
Commanders Lt. Col. Richard Zampelli, 1-17 ACR, and Lt. Col. William P. Braman, 3-82 GSAB, accepted the awards for their units.
“The Ellis D. Parker Award is not an individual award, it is a team award,” Zampelli said. “It exemplifies the dedicated professionalism of every trooper assigned to the squadron and task force in achieving success.”
The commanders can take heart in that dedication shown by their troopers as the brigade transforms to support the global response force.
“They have set the bar pretty high, and I have no doubt that as new challenges emerge the troopers and officers of this battalion will continue to rise to the occasion and find innovative ways to accomplish the mission,” Braman said.
The Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker Awards were approved by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan on Jan. 29, 1993, to honor the Army’s top aviation battalions with recognition of excellence in four categories: best combat battalion, best combat support battalion, best table of distribution and allowances battalion, and overall winner.
In addition to these unit awards, six individual Pegasus Brigade troopers received awards from the Army Aviation Associate of America Inc. 2012 Functional Awards at Fort Rucker, Ala., in January.
Lt. Col. Mark S. Crago, the brigade, was awarded the Army Aviation Medicine Award.
Dustoff 72, Company C, 3-82 GSAB, was awarded the Army Aviation Air Rescue Award. The crew members were: Pilot in Command Chief Warrant Officer 3 Monica Narhi, Pilot Capt. Jerrell Whaley, flight medic Sgt. 1st Class Deane Bostick, crew chief Staff Sgt. Allen Jesse, and physician’s assistant Capt. Bryan Kozak.
Staff Sgt. James M. Pierce, Company F, 3-82 GSAB received the award for Air Traffic Control Maintenance Technician of the Year.
Staff Sgt. Plemon J. Aker, Company F, 3-82 GSAB was awarded the Air Traffic Controller of the Year.
Chief Warrant Officer 1 Amanda Edwards, Company F, 3-82 GSAB was awarded Air Traffic Control Manager of the Year.
Shank Tower, ran by Company F, 3-82 GSAB was awarded the Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year. Commander Capt. Matthew Williams and 1st Sgt. Dave Meeker received the award for their company.
“Our primary job is to go out into a landing zone and control air traffic in and out of a field and such, but we ended up running the entire airfield at Shank Tower in Regional Command East,” said Capt. Matthew J. Williams, Company F, 3-82 GSAB commander. “They really did a great job and I could not be more proud of them and all their hard work.”