Members of the Detachment 4, Operational Support Airlift Command, who recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan for the D.C.N.G., three linguists who deployed to Iraq and a Purple Heart Medal recipient were lauded for their service Saturday during a ceremony at Davison Army Airfield.
Six of the eight members of the detachment, the military interpreters and several of their family attended the event, all receiving praise for being an integral part of a successful mission. Others from the detachment have volunteered to remain in Afghanistan to assist the replacement unit for a month.
“This is a wonderful day that I can say thank you for coming home safely and for the wonderful job that you’ve done,” said Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, Commanding General of the D.C. Guard.
The detachment, which arrived at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on Aug. 27, 2011, provided aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for ground troops supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Each crew member logged between 500 and 800 combat flight hours.
Schwartz told the crew members that the D.C.N.G. “will stand behind you to make sure you are fully integrated into the communities, into your full-time jobs, your families – whatever you do. That is a commitment from us. It is a commitment from the United States.”
Chief Warrant Officer 5 David W. Rosser, the detachment commander, told Schwartz: “It was the tremendous support that we received from you and the members of the D.C. National Guard that enabled us to perform at the level that we performed.”
Schwartz twice asked all in attendance to stand and applaud the family members for their patience and support while their loved ones were serving their country and the D.C.N.G. in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Detachment members recognized were: Rosser; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Timothy K. Bagot, instructor flight examiner; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Kevin C. Leopard, operations officer; Chief Warrant Officer 4 Steven W. Shockney, army safety aviation; Chief Warrant Officer 3 Nathaniel D. Marshall, instructor pilot; Chief Warrant Officer 3 William R. Sutherland, aviation life support equipment officer; Master Sgt. Lomack Gray Jr., detachment sergeant; and Sgt. Jesse P. Searls, flight operations specialist.
The linguists who deployed across Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn recognized were Spc. Yasir Jasim, Spc. Khalid Yefloussen and Spc. El Mahdi Zahidi.
Included in the ceremony was a Purple Heart presentation to Spc. Jaime Henriguez, who was wounded on Dec. 2, 2007, while serving with the Virginia National Guard’s Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th infantry.