PARKSTON, S.D. (KELO-AM) – Parkston’s Forward Support Company, 153rd Engineer Battalion, is competing for the 2013-2014 Army Award for Maintenance Excellence and underwent an inspection this month to validate the unit as having one of the best maintenance programs in the National Guard.
Two inspectors from National Guard Bureau completed an on-site evaluation, April 3, of the South Dakota Army National Guard unit’s maintenance program; the results of which will be assessed against a dozen other National Guard units from across the nation to receive the award.
The Army Award for Maintenance Excellence, or AAME, was established in 1982 by the Department of the Army to annually recognize units for demonstrated excellence in the areas of maintenance operations. The primary objectives of the award program are to assess the maintenance component of unit readiness, improve efficiency, recognize outstanding unit maintenance accomplishments and improve field maintenance readiness.
The FSC qualified as a semifinalist for the national award by being selected as the NGB Region VI runner-up during the first stage of the competition.
During the first stage, the unit prepared documentation that summarized the maintenance activities of the unit and highlighted all of its accomplishments and praiseworthy activities over the last fiscal year. The documentation was then submitted as a nomination packet to Headquarters, Department of the Army, which then selects units for an onsite evaluation.
During the second stage, an onsite evaluation is completed. The NGB evaluation team conducted an in- depth inspection of all maintenance-related activities conducted by the unit. Some of the areas covered during this month’s inspection included dispatching procedures, vehicle and equipment services, weapons maintenance, hazardous-materials handling and motor pool operations.
“We were truly impressed with the level of knowledge all the way down to the lower levels within the unit,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Goddard, NGB evaluation team member.
The onsite inspection is the final stage of the inspection process, which accounts for 70 percent of their final score. Results of the 2013-2014 AAME competition will be released in May.
“The unit personnel did such an outstanding job that the NGB evaluators presented three coins of excellence,” said State Command Sgt. Maj. Susan Shoe, SDARNG senior logistics NCO. “Staff Sgt. Kenneth Maas received a coin in recognition of his outstanding supply procedures and knowledge, and 1st Sgt. John Dornbusch received two coins on behalf of the unit in recognition of their level of competence and performance in the maintenance and sustainment fields.”
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