Kentucky unit receives Meritorious Unit Citation

By 1st Lt. Michael Reinersman, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan presents the Meritorious Unit Commendation to 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade Commander, Col. Michael Stephens and former 1204th Aviation Support Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Tom Roach at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 16, 2016. The MUC has been awarded to the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion for meritorious service in support of military operations from 23 August 2011 to 10 August 2012 during the unit's deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st. Lt. Michael Reinersman)

Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan presents the Meritorious Unit Commendation to 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade Commander, Col. Michael Stephens and former 1204th Aviation Support Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Tom Roach at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, Ky., Dec. 16, 2016. The MUC has been awarded to the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion for meritorious service in support of military operations from 23 August 2011 to 10 August 2012 during the unit’s deployment to the Middle East. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st. Lt. Michael Reinersman)

Frankfort, Ky. — The 1204th Aviation Support Battalion received the Meritorious Unit Commendation from the Department of the Army for the unit’s exceptional meritorious service in Iraq in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

Kentucky, Alabama, Maryland and Florida service members that mobilized with the battalion are eligible to update their records and authorized to permanently wear the commendation ribbon on their Army service uniform.

The 1204TH received the citation for meritorious service in support of military operations from Aug. 24, 2011, to Aug.10, 2012. Its mission was to provide sustainment operations to the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade, Maryland Army National Guard.

Under the leadership of Lt. Col. G. Tom Roach Jr. and Command Sgt. Maj. Tim Walton, the 1204th was the last aviation support battalion to operate in Iraq. The battalion was assigned to clear all equipment, buildings, and personnel while operating the last two refueling points in the country. After the withdrawal of all combat forces in Iraq, including Kentucky’s 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 1204th moved to Kuwait and continued to support the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade.

“This award was earned by the critical work done by operations, mess section, medical, transportation, water purification, fuel distribution, signal support, supply management, ground and aircraft maintenance personnel,” said Roach, “At every step in the operation, the Soldiers did a phenomenal job and they should never underestimate the importance or quality of their service.”

During their 10 months in theater, Soldiers performed hundreds of missions in Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Soldiers of the 1204th recovered $1.8 million dollars of lost or abandoned equipment in Iraq, provided level-three medical care to nearly 11,000 personnel in Kuwait, received and inventoried more than 300 shipping containers of miscellaneous aviation equipment, completed 496 aviation work orders in Afghanistan, transported more than 2,500 Soldiers to R&R and maintained 440 pieces of ground equipment.

It was the determination and due diligence of Tom Beyard, Senior Enlisted Advisor in the Maryland National Guard to ensure the unit award was processed and published by U.S. Army Human Resources Command, said Roach. Beyard served as the 29th Combat Aviation Brigade Command Sgt. Major during the deployment.

The Meritorious Unit Commendation is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in performance of outstanding services for at least six continuous months during a period of military operations against an armed enemy.

The Iraq mobilization was the only overseas mission for the 1204th Aviation Support Battalion, which was inactivated during a ceremony Jan. 10, 2016 due to an Army unit realignment.