Story by Staff Sgt. Chantell Black
377th Theater Sustainment Command
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The National World War II Museum served as the backdrop for the 377th Theater Sustainment Command as it received the Superior Unit Award at a ceremony April 13 for its actions during Operation Unified Response. At the museum, 377th TSC’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. Peter S. Lennon, felt its location was the ideal setting as its unit’s history traces back to the last world war.
“The 377 was key during World War II in getting soldiers and material into Europe, then later, on the tail end of the war, to the Pacific.” said Lennon.
Years later, the command answered the call of duty once again in January 2010 when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean island nation of Haiti. Three million residents were affected and over 100,000 lives were lost. Led by Maj. Gen. Luis R. Visot, the 377th deployed nearly 200 soldiers from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Louisiana in support of the Department of Defense effort to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Now the deputy commanding general of operations for the U.S. Army Reserve Command, Visot returned to New Orleans for the ceremony to place the streamer on the unit colors of his former command expressing pride in a force that made a difference in the lives of so many people in need.
“As an operational reserve, the U.S. Army Reserve is a life saving and life sustaining force for the nation. So we not only celebrate what it means to serve, but we also celebrate our ability to be relevant, ready and responsive when the nation asks us,” said Visot.
The 377th TSC soldiers arrived in late February 2010 and remained until Early May of that same year. The unit assumed command of the Joint Logistics Command-Haiti (JLC-H) based in the Caribbean nation’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, about 16 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter. The unit managed the acquisition, transportation and distribution of supplies and commodities, completed repairs to the airport and seaport, and relocated or improved the standard of living at camps for dislocated Haitians. The JLC-H was also responsible for moving units in and out of the country, conducting mortuary affairs operations for U.S. citizens killed in the earthquake and sustaining military assets and personnel while in Haiti.
“If it had anything to do with sustainment and logistics, the 377th had a hand in it, ” said Lennon.
The Superior Unit Award is displayed on the 377th TSC’s guidon by a red and green streamer with “2010” embroidered in gold to represent the year the unit performed the mission. According to Army regulation, the award is earned by any unit displaying meritorious performance of a difficult mission under extraordinary circumstances.
Visot smiled proudly as the flag was raised and admired the new addition hanging amongst other streamers earned over the course of the command’s history.
“I'm humbled that I had the opportunity to serve as your commanding general," said Visot.