Story by: LTC Paul Fanning - TF Phoenix Public Affairs Dated: Sat, Sep 20, 2008
CAMP PHOENIX, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (20 September 2008) -- Twenty-five more New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to a Security Force company of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix received awards during a ceremonies at Camp Phoenix in Kabul on Saturday 20 September. The awards have been presented as the soldiers prepare to leave having completed their tour of duty.
First Lieutenant Christopher Culpepper from Salisbury, NY and Specialist Steven Bogardus from Heuvelton, NY were awarded Bronze Star Medals for their service in training and improving Afghan National Security Forces.
Sergeants Lloyd Barregar from Rome, Elias Kougemitros from Cortlandt Manor, Travis Smithers from Watertown and Steven Campbell from Waterford, NY all received Meritorious Service Medals for exceptional service. Six Army Commendation Medals and 13 Army Achievement Medals were also awarded.
Nearly 230 infantry Soldiers from New York’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team were mobilized last September ahead of the main deployment of NY’s 27th for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. An enlarged “SECFOR” team was built around Company A, 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry from Geneseo, NY with additional platoons coming from NY’s Hudson Valley, Capital District and Adirondack North Country.
CJTF-Phoenix is part of Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan with the mission to mentor and train the Afghan National Army and Police, and provide assistance to the Government of Afghanistan and its people. The task force is comprised of nearly 9,500 service men and women from all U.S. branches, coalition partners and civilian professionals distributed at almost 260 Forward Operating Bases and Combat Outposts throughout Afghanistan. Nearly 1700 members of New York’s 27th IBCT were mobilized for the mission. They came from communities across New York.