DOD honors Army Civilians for eliminating Syrian chemical weapons

The DOD recognized 45 U.S. Army Civilians for their efforts to destroy Syria's declared chemical weapons stockpile at an awards ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

The DOD recognized 45 U.S. Army Civilians for their efforts to destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile at an awards ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland Oct. 8, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Conrad Johnson)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. (Oct. 9, 2014) — Department of Defense officials honored 45 Army Civilians in a ceremony Oct. 8 who voluntarily deployed to the Mediterranean Sea to destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.

U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center mission commander Tim Blades got up from his seat and walked across the stage without looking at the handful of DOD stakeholders sitting to his left. He didn’t look out to the nearly 500 friends, families and colleagues sitting offstage to his right either. When he reached the podium, he looked only at the 45 honorees sitting in the front rows.

“I think I’d rather be out at sea,” he said with a laugh. It wasn’t like Blades to feel comfortable in the spotlight. Instead, he directed the attention to the crew of which he said he was simply a part.

Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Alan Estevez, presented 12 Meritorious Civilian Service Awards and 33 Superior Civilian Service Awards to members of the multi-agency team that completed the historic mission.

“Today’s ceremony is an example of how science and technology, combined with a world-class workforce and the great teamwork of all you players out there, can deliver unique capabilities to our nation,” said Maj. Gen. John F. Wharton, commanding general of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. “To me, it’s another great example of rapid acquisition process to meet the operational needs of our nation.”

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