Sword of Freedom

U.S. Army Europe and Installation Management Command-Europe honored units and organizations throughout USAREUR for their excellence in the areas of maintenance, deployment and supply excellence at the Patrick Henry Village here, March 8.

The CLEA ceremony awards the year’s best logistics Soldiers in multiple categories of three awards programs: the Army Supply Excellence Award, the Army Deployment Excellence Award and the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence. This year more than 50 logistics organizations from across the European theater earned awards.

USAREUR commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling hosted the event and was its quest speaker. The general opened the ceremony by reading a quote from a letter by British Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley written during the Napoleonic Wars.

“I can fight the war or I can keep accurate accountability of my equipment, but I can’t do both,” Wellesley wrote.

Hertling said that point of view continues to create issues for commanders and logisticians today.

He pointed to the successes of USAREUR logistics efforts such as Task Force Harvest and the Unit Maintained Equipment pilot program – efforts he said allowed USAREUR to return $74 million dollars to the Army last year alone -- as examples of progress in the field. But he also challenged logisticians to do more and to find better and cheaper processes, improve efficiency, share good ideas and help to change the Army culture to help eliminate “wants” and focus on “needs.”

“This is a team sport,” Hertling told the assembled award winners and guests. “Each of you is the most valuable players on this team.”

Organizations earn the awards based on an entry packet containing the unit’s profile and descriptions of its achievements during the previous 12 months, followed by rigorous on-site evaluations by subject-matter experts.

Following competition at the Europe level, some awardees will go on to compete for Department of the Army-level awards.