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USARAF ceremony honors Task Force Odyssey Guard participants

April 5, 2012

By Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

VICENZA, Italy (April 3, 2012) -- U.S. Army Africa Commander Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg recognized 127 Soldiers and civilians for their participation in Joint Task Force-Odyssey Guard (JTF-OG) during a ceremony at Caserme Ederle, Italy, April 3.

JTF-OG directed U.S. military missions in Libya following the fall of the Moammar Gadhafi regime. The task force was comprised of all four branches of the U.S. military with the Department of State as the designated lead agency responsible for U.S./Libya relations in the post-conflict environment.

USARAF established JTF-OG at its Command Contingency Post (CCP) in Longare, Italy in October, 2011. The task force conducted 24-hour operations through Jan. 7.

In his awards ceremony remarks, Hogg said it's worth taking a break to say 'thank you' for a job well done.

"This was one of the first opportunities to fully test the capabilities of this new command in running a joint task force headquarters, and they did a fantastic job," Hogg said. "Because of that, we are the 'go-to' folks for AFRICOM when things start spinning out of control in Africa."

Sgt. Maj. Aaron Miller, said the success of JTF-OG was a result of hard work and trust between task force members and the organizations they worked with. Miller was the CCP senior enlisted member for the task force.

"The JTF's ability to accomplish its missions was based on mutual trust, confidence and communication and between its members and the outside agencies that were involved," Miller said.

"These relationships work best when established at the earliest opportunity, ideally during the initial stand-up and augmentation. This along with a positive command climate ensured positive synergy within JTF operations," Miller added.

Miller said everyone performed remarkably well, and our Joint Operations Center (JOC) shined brightest by pulling together as a team.

"The JOC's biggest challenge was there were no Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or Techniques, Tactics and Procedures baseline from previous JTF missions to use as a guide since this was the first for our command," Miller said. "The JOC developed everything from battle drills to SOPs while the operation was underway, all while maintaining 24-hour operations -- simply phenomenal."

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