In March, the 1136th Transportation Company of the Maine Army National Guard returned to the U.S. after a year long mission to provide security in Kabul, Afghanistan. The unit provided force protection for two of the most strategically important headquarters in Afghanistan. During the deployment, the 1136th screened more than 40,000 local vehicles and service trucks for explosives, weapons, drugs, and other contraband. The troops also delivered more than a million gallons of fuel to camps throughout the city, provided security escorts for VIPs and contractors, and conducted hundreds of convoy missions, among other hazardous duties.
Throughout the year, Cianbro team members provided CARE packages to the unit, offering everything from toothbrushes and toothpaste, to canned oysters and Vienna sausages, to a football and books on CD, to Cianbro gloves and T-shirts, and dozens of other items. The effort was spearheaded by Cianbro TMs at Ricker's Wharf in Portland, Maine, and backed up by the Northern New England Regional office and the Equipment Group in Pittsfield, Maine, as well as team members at several jobsites.
On April 15th, the National Guard invited Cianbro to an awards ceremony held at the University of Maine in appreciation of the efforts by team members to make the deployment easier for the troops. Those soldiers included SSG Dan Thibeault, who is a Cianbro Safety Specialist. Cianbro Vice President Tom Stone accepted a commemorative plaque from the National Guard on behalf of the company. "We received thanks," said Tom, "but this wasn't about Cianbro. It was about the troops doing their duty. Our soldiers knew they were on the minds of folks back home, and they appreciated it."
Along with 173 members of the 1136th, the dignitaries in attendance at the awards ceremony included U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and Maine Governor Paul LePage.
"The ceremony was appropriately respectful," said Tom. "It was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of the military mission. While Cianbro played a role that might seem relatively minor to us, it was huge to the folks in the war zone. So anything we can do to support the mission in the future would be appreciated more than we can understand. It was a proud moment for me and my wife, Liz, to represent the company at the event."