Ozark unit receives commendation for service during Iraq deployment

Charlie Battery, 2nd Battalion, 142nd Fires Brigade received the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal in a ceremony for distinguished service during a 2007 Iraq deployment on Sunday, Jan. 5.

The Meritorious Unit Commendation (MUC) Medal is awarded to units for exceptionally meritorious service in the performance of outstanding service, heroic deeds, or valorous actions for at least six continuous months during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.

Charlie Battery mobilized in November 2006 for pre-deployment training at Camp Shelby, Miss. In February 2007, the unit arrived in Tallil, Iraq where they performed a convoy security mission. The unit completed over 350 convoy escort missions, safely moving over 20,000 truckloads of supplies, food and fuel. During these missions the unit had 144 engagements with enemy forces, the most of any element in their taskforce. These attacks include forty six Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonations, forty eight IED discoveries, twenty nine small-arms fire attacks, seven complex attacks and eight rocket propelled grenade or indirect fire attacks.

The unit logged over 792,000 miles on their convoy protection vehicles, and close to four million miles on the supply trucks they escorted. Known by their call-sign "Cold Steel", Charlie Battery performed one of the most dangerous missions in theater. By the end of their deployment in February 2008, thirty Soldiers earned the Bronze Star Medal, three with valor. Six Soldiers received the Purple Heart, and 152 Soldiers earned combat action badges.