The 2013 Red Book | Jan-Feb Edition

Happy New Year to the greatest Fires Force in the world! For those of you fortunate enough to get a holiday break, welcome back from the much-deserved time away. For those deployed around the world, we empathize with you as you spent the holidays apart from your loved ones. Most of us have been in those boots and know how difficult it is, especially this time of year. We truly appreciate your sacrifices and those of your Families as we offer our prayers for your safe return.

This year, as we assembled your submissions for the 2013 Fires Red Book, it was inspiring to review the many accomplishments throughout the Fires Force. From Korea to Egypt, Afghanistan to Africa, and Hawaii to Fort Drum, N.Y., you have exceeded the Army’s expectations and standards countless times, whether it was training the Afghan National Army on the D30 weapon system or protecting the airspace in the nation’s capital region. To date, thousands of artillery rounds have been fired over the last year in Afghanistan alone, helping to deter or stop those who threaten the security of citizens around the world. While almost all of the units in Afghanistan are performing other missions, the artillery never fails to ‘rain steel’ on the enemy when needed.

2013 was a truly commemorative year for several exceptional units and Soldiers. A Battery, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery (FA), 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., earned the Henry A. Knox Award (FA) for superb mission accomplishment and overall unit excellence during their deployment to Paktika province in Afghanistan. Headquarters and Headquarters Battery (HHB), 4th Battalion, 3rd Air Defense Artillery (ADA), 31st ADA Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla., also earned the Henry A. Knox Award (ADA) for their performance during a year-long deployment supporting Jordan and Afghanistan, and greatly contributing to the success of Exercise Eager Lion. The unit was also recognized by the 32nd Army Air & Missile Defense Command for excellence during air battle management evaluations.

The 2013 Hamilton Award (FA) was awarded to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 121st FA, Wisconsin Army National Guard for their superb mission accomplishment as the first National Guard unit in the nation to assume the mission of firing the M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) in combat. The ADA Hamilton Award went to C Battery, 3rd Battalion, 265th ADA Regiment, Florida Army National Guard for their support during Operation Noble Eagle in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Individual Soldiers also excelled in 2013, and were recognized for their excellence. The ADA’s Shipton Award recipient was SSG Nancy Wingo, C Battery, 4th Battalion, 3rd ADA, 31st ADA Brigade, Fort Sill, Okla. An unusual tie by the judges this year resulted in two recipients of the FA’s Gruber Award: SFC Christopher R. Schuerger, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and 1LT Nathaniel Holcomb, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 41st FA, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. You can read more on these accomplishments in the Red Book.

Congratulations to these outstanding Soldiers and units. They set new standards for the 2014 award nominations and for all who follow them. Their example of dedication and innovative leadership will be key to our success in the future.

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