Five senior leaders of the Delaware National Guard’s 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade received Bronze Star Medals August 10 for their service in support of combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, Commander of First Corps, presided at the ceremony at al-Faw Palace.



    Five senior leaders of the Delaware National Guard’s 261st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade received Bronze Star Medals August 10 for their service in support of combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, Commander of First Corps, presided at the ceremony at al-Faw Palace.
    Honored during the ceremony were: Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Scott E. Chambers of Townsend, the former attorney for the Town of Clayton; Deputy Brigade Commander, Col. Dave Passwaters III of Milford; Brigade Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Marty Devine of Wilmington; Brigade Operations Officer, Lt. Col. Frank Santore of Milford; and Brigade Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Catalon of Smyrna.
    “I saw a tremendous amount of pride and dedication to the mission—and that’s a reflection on the unit leadership,” Jacoby said. “Whether it was Baghdad Signal University, or switching from tactical to commercial, or standing up communications for a new Division headquarters in a new strategically important location, this Brigade has led the way.”
    Chambers was quick to pass along credit to his troops.
    “It was an incredible honor for us to have the awards presented to us by the Corps Commander at al-Faw Palace,” he said. “We have a lot of additional awards that will be presented at a later date to other members of the Task Force. It was really the hard work of all the members of the Task Force that made the mission successful.”
    The 261st Signal Brigade, a Delaware Army National Guard unit based in Smyrna, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in October 2008 as the headquarters element of Task Force Diamond, and is the first Reserve Component unit of its kind to perform its mission in the Iraqi Theater of Operations.
    Task Force Diamond is responsible for maintaining all tactical communications assets for the Iraqi Theater of Operation and has troops and equipment in over 50 locations throughout the Theater. The Task Force consists of the 261st, the 146th Expeditionary Signal Battalion of the Florida Army National Guardm and the 51st Expeditionary Signal Battalion from Fort Lewis, Washington. All three units expect to return home this fall.
     See letter from Iraq by Brig. Gen. Scott Chambers in this week's Sun-Times newspaper, at convenience stores, restaurants, grocery stores, and drugstores now.