JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. , –
Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment, 128th Aviation Brigade, received the Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker award March 26, 2021, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
The battalion was recognized as Aviation Battalion of the Year in the Table of Distribution and Allowances category.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. David J. Francis, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence commanding general, presented the award to the battalion in a brief ceremony, saying they rose above other battalions in the 128th brigade—and across the entire Army.
Francis praised the 128th, stating their mission to train future helicopter mechanics has continuously excelled, despite challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On a good day this is a tough mission, but this organization and everyone else in the 128th had to lead through a very tough time in our country,” said Francis. “We had to figure out quickly how to train to the same standards in a COVID environment, and that simply doesn’t happen on its own. That is sheer leadership. At the end of the day … we provide capability to our operational force, and nobody does it better than here in the 128th.”
Named after Lt. Gen. Ellis D. Parker, a pioneer of Army aviation, the award encourages innovative use of existing management tools and resources. According to the Army’s website, Parker provided the vision, masterful leadership, and commitment necessary to consolidate and modernize Army Aviation during its formative years.
Presented at the battalion level, the award is designed to provide a positive incentive for extraordinary excellence in the areas of leadership, training, maintenance, and safety.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Boyce R. Buckner, 1st Battalion, 210th Aviation Regiment commander, thanked the Soldiers, civilians, and family members of the battalion as well as supporting units and agencies for pressing forward with the mission despite last year’s unprecedented challenges.
“This is their award,” Buckner exclaimed. “The incredible Soldiers, civilians and families of Team Highlander rallied around each other, stayed encouraged, hopeful and inspired; turning extreme adversity into opportunity!”
Francis reminded everyone of the crucial role they play in the Army’s mission, adding that it is not easy taking Soldiers from basic training and turning them into professional mechanics—having a direct hand on the success of the aviation mission.
“The commanders, first sergeants and non-commissioned officers that train our Soldiers truly do a magnificent job every single day,” said Francis. “What’s done here in the 128th matters…nowhere else in the world does anyone conduct maintenance to the scale and quality of the 128th, and this battalion has risen above and beyond all the other very competitive battalions out there to receive this distinction.”