Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has announced that the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Ga., is the 2003 winner of the Phoenix Trophy. The Phoenix Trophy is symbolic of the “best” of the Department of Defense field-level maintenance units.
The award was made Wednesday night, Oct. 29, during an awards banquet held in conjunction with the 2003 DoD Maintenance Symposium and Exhibition in King of Prussia, Pa. Diane K. Morales, deputy under secretary of defense for logistics and materiel readiness, and Navy Vice Adm. Gordon Holder, director for logistics, joint staff, presented the award on behalf of Rumsfeld.
The 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), nicknamed the "Cottonbalers," was extremely busy during fiscal 2002, completing several demanding exercises and a "real world" deployment for Kosovo Force Operation (KFOR). Deployed as a mechanized infantry battalion supporting the NATO KFOR for six months, this unit performed superbly. It deployed with 54 pieces of assigned equipment and drew 512 pieces of rolling stock in Kosovo as part of the mission support requirement. Operating under extremely difficult circumstances, this unit’s dedicated efforts resulted in an exceptionally high readiness rate of 97 percent for the fiscal year.
Five other units also received secretary of defense awards in recognition of outstanding achievements in military equipment and weapon system maintenance. In the small category, Strike Fighter Squadron Eight One, Naval Air Station, Oceana, Va., and the 74th Fighter Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, N.C., were winners. In the medium category, Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity, Mayport Naval Station, Mayport, Fla., and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan, took home awards. The large category winner was Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C.