Written By Kimberly Tiscione
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Public Affairs Office
Fort Campbell, KY – A Night Stalker crew member received the Cargo Helicopters Project Management Office 2010 Super Soldier Award.
Staff Sgt. Justin Smith, 2nd Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, received the award during the annual Chinook Users Conference in Huntsville, AL, this October.
Smith was nominated for his performance as a flight engineer instructor and a field first sergeant during combat, training and home station missions, according to his award nomination submitted by his company senior noncommissioned officer, 1st Sgt. Michael Telesco.“I am truly honored. Receiving this honor really gives credit to the instructors and mentors that I have had in the past,” said Smith. “The fact that I can do the mission without fail is a testament to the dedication all the leaders of this organization have invested in me.”
Superior performance as a sergeant over the past year included maintaining all of his aircraft ready for combat missions, flying hundreds of hours in combat missions, maintaining accountability for more than $400 million of equipment in combat zones, demonstrating mature leadership abilities and training junior Soldiers to the Night Stalker standard.
“The deployed field first sergeant is a position very rarely held by sergeants, but Sgt. Smith’s maturity, technical and tactical knowledge were more than enough to supplement his limited experience level,” said Telesco. “His leadership style and experience improves the overall combat effectiveness of the entire company.”
This honor is presented annually by the Cargo Helicopters Project Management Office. Soldiers are nominated by their command for outstanding leadership and maintenance expertise in the Chinook aviation community.
Smith hopes that this recognition will show his fellow Soldiers that hard work and dedication to the mission generates recognition from all aspects of Army aviation, even from the people who build the helicopter.
“Boeing and its product (the MH-47 Chinook helicopter) is a big part of our professional lives in this unit and seeing that they care about us beyond the purchasing of aircraft is rewarding in itself.”