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HQDA recognizes Army South for best protection program

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Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, Army South commanding general, presents Col. James Peterson, director of the Army South Operational Protection Directorate, with the 2011 Best Army Protection Program Award at Blesse Auditorium here Feb. 14. Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, Army South commanding general, presents Col. James Peterson, director of the Army South Operational Protection Directorate, with the 2011 Best Army Protection Program Award at Blesse Auditorium here Feb. 14.

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – In January 2012 U.S. Army South was awarded U.S. Army’s best protection program of any command and the best antiterrorism (AT) program runner-up for a major subordinate command following a 2011 assessment by the Department of the Army’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Transformation, the Provost Marshal General’s Office and the DA Protection Directorates.

Army South received the recognition because in four specific areas the command was singled out as an Army best practice. 

Two of the areas include personnel recovery (PR) in Army South’s G-3 directorate (operations) and the country study team program in the G-2 directorate (intelligence).  Army South’s AT program received the other two best practice recognitions for being thoroughly integrated with mission planning and operations and for developing two checklists that exceeded the standard in form and function during pre-deployment assessments. 

The Louisiana Army National Guard also received the 2011 Army best antiterrorism program runner-up award in the category of deployed unit for its support to Army South and U.S. Southern Command during the New Horizons exercise Task Force Bon Voizen in Haiti.

Task Force Bon Voizen was a Louisiana National Guard-led and Army South-sponsored operation that provided humanitarian relief to Haiti, as part of SOUTHCOM’s New Horizons exercise in 2011. Task Force Bon Voizen -- translated “good neighbor” -- provided medical, dental and veterinary care to more than 32,000 people and 2,100 animals. In addition to and during the two months of providing medical, dental and veterinary care, the Louisiana National Guard built a three-room school, two medical clinics and restroom facilities in Haiti.

Army South commanding general, Maj. Gen. Simeon G. Trombitas, nominated the Louisiana Army National Guard for the prestigious recognition because the guard’s AT plans not only exceeded established standards, but because they were so effectively embedded with  the command’s AT program while deployed to Haiti.

According to Trombitas, who officially recognized the staff directorates and honorees at a command town hall meeting here on Feb. 14, the Louisiana Army National Guard's antiterrorism program exceeded DoD and DA standards and the Guard units were instrumental in the successful execution of Task Force Bon Voizen.  

Trombitas further stated that he was very proud of the hard work of the Louisiana Army National Guard and Army South personnel for achieving high standards of excellence and for receiving DA recognition for Army South's protection, AT and personnel recovery programs.

The DA Protection Program, which falls under the headquarters Army Protection Directorate (G-34) and with assistance from the DA staff, assesses each Army command, Army service component command and direct reporting units every three years in the areas of AT, intelligence, physical security, law enforcement, military working dogs, high-risk personnel, information operations, information assurance, computer network defense, continuity of operations, emergency management, force health protection, critical infrastructure risk management and fire and emergency services.

According to a letter sent to Trombitas from Lt. Gen. John F. Campbell, Army deputy chief of staff for plans, operations and transformation (G-3/5/7), in January 2012, Army South ranked highest of the six commands assessed in 2011.

“You clearly set a high standard of excellence through your program’s outstanding performance,” wrote Campbell in the letter.

In a separate letter sent to Trombitas in January 2012, Maj. Gen. David E. Quantock, the Army’s Provost Marshal General, wrote he was “honored to recognize” Army South’s “distinct dedication in establishing an excellent Antiterrorism Protection Program for Fiscal Year 2011.”

Col. James A. Peterson, Army South’s deputy chief of staff for the operational protection directorate, which oversees the AT and Army protection programs, thanked his staff, the command and DA for the recognition.

“Maintaining the highest antiterrorism and force protection measures is critical to the command and the staff, so that each of us is able to synchronize unity of effort and effectively complete our mission,” said Peterson.  “These awards and recognition demonstrate the dedication of all of our personnel and I congratulate every member of our team.”