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Press Release A090413x-01
April 13, 2009

CAMP BUCCA, Iraq—Sailors from Navy Provisional Detainee Battalion – Five (NPDB-5) received awards April 6 for the successful accomplishment of their mission at Camp Bucca, Iraq.

During their nine-month deployment here, Sailors performed challenging and sometimes difficult duties as guard force members in support of Joint Task Force 134 Detainee Operations.  Since their arrival in August 2008, NPDB-5 Sailors have played an integral part in the care and custody of nearly 18,000 detainees held in the Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facility.  Currently, less than 9,000 detainees remain in Camp Bucca.

The Sailors are individual augmentees who either volunteered or were selected by their commands to form the battalion to support the Camp Bucca mission, and received training in detention operations at Fort Dix, N.J.

“As you prepare to depart, you can rest in the comfort of knowing you did something that wasn’t merely good, but great.  In this, the largest Navy command in Iraq, you spent more time before our adversary than any other role in this area of operations, and you have done so with honor, courage, and commitment,” said Cmdr. Charles W. Malone, commanding officer, NPDB-5.

Upon departure from Camp Bucca, NPDB-5 Sailors will return to their parent commands.

“In the last nine-months, you have built a cohesive team to do what no other country could have done.  Under the watchful eyes of the media, international overseers, and the highest ranks of the Navy and Army, you have proven the greatness of America,” said Malone. 

While serving at Camp Bucca, NPDB-5 Sailors were under the command and control of the 306th Military Police Battalion, from Uniondale, N.Y.  Command Sergeant Major Andrew J. Lombardo, 306th MP Bn. awarded the Sailors the Army unit shoulder-sleeve insignia for former wartime service for their support in the mission at Camp Bucca.  The shoulder-sleeve insignia or combat patch is awarded to units serving in a combat zone for 30 consecutive days.  Although the Navy does not allow the wear of a combat patch on their uniforms, the Sailors were honored to receive the patch.

“You are outstanding Sailors, each and every one, and I am proud just to know you.  It has been my pleasure to serve as your commanding officer over the last year, and I must say I am humbled to stand before you.  On behalf of the Navy, I want to give my thanks for a job incredibly well done,” Malone concluded.

Camp Bucca is a forward operating base along the Kuwaiti border near the port city of Umm Qasr, Iraq’s southernmost city.

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