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SMC member nominated for 2006 African American History month award

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- 1st Lt. Cherie Hampton distinguished herself by exceptionally meritorious service while assigned as the J-4 Vehicle Distribution Officer deployed with the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. She was deployed to Iraq from Feb. 23, 2006, to Aug. 19, 2006. 

In winning the African American History Month Recognition Award for the Space and Missile Systems Center and for the Air Force Space Command, Lieutenant Hampton said, "I am honored to receive the African American History Month Recognition Award for SMC and AFSPC. The award represents the hard work and dedication of many men and women, past and presently serving." 

Lieutenant Hampton led the distribution, tracking and delivery of more than 6,000 Iraqi Security Force vehicles throughout Iraq. Within the first two months of her deployment, she issued more than 1,000 vehicles to the Iraqi Army. She quickly devised a plan to expedite delivery of 300 vehicles and equipment from the port of Um Qsar, Iraq to regional support and engineering units. 

Her resourcefulness and keen insight saved more than $550K in port storage fees. Lieutenant Hampton also created the Iraqi Army Mobility Status Report to track the readiness of more than 4,200 armored vehicles thru 2007. Her careful analysis and tracking of vehicle distribution actions allowed her to present critical informative briefs to the Material Management Chief and the J-4 Deputy Chief of Staff on a daily basis. 

Lauded by the commanding 3-star General Officer, Lieutenant Hampton's briefing was also used to update battlefield commanders and the U.S. Secretary of Defense as well as the Iraqi Minister of Defense and Joint Headquarters senior officers. 

Lieutenant Hampton demonstrated dedication and commitment throughout her tour by executing flawless distributions and ensuring the Iraqi Military and Police Forces received the necessary equipment to become fully capable to assume control of their battlespace. Her strong leadership qualities and excellent planning skills allowed her to show excellent diplomacy when working with Iraqi Ministry of Defense officials and coalition forces. 

A trusted ambassador and liaison to the Iraqis, Lieutenant Hampton was one of few coalition members welcomed by Iraqi leadership and the Ordnance Commander to inventory vehicles purchased by the Iraqi Security Forces. She repeatedly entered hostile territory with Army Stryker brigades to direct and field troop vehicles in northern Iraq and reduce warehouse inventories. 

Lieutenant Hampton further trained with the Iraqi 5th Brigade, 6th Division. Her efforts uniquely enabled her to verify unit vehicle strength and devise a plan with Coalition and Iraqi leadership to expedite distribution of in-country vehicles to surrounding troops. In support of OPERATION TOGETHER FORWARD (July 2006), Lieutenant Hampton's skills were put to the test as the Multinational Force Commanding Generals reprioritized Iraqi Divisions. 

Within hours, she had revised the distribution plan and redirected critical armored vehicles to newly established high priority units actively engaged in combat. Lieutenant Hampton was a tremendous boost to the morale of the Material Management Center. She never ceased in building esprit de corps and assisted her coworkers with daunting tasks without fail throughout her tour. Her strong leadership and absolute commitment were crucial to preparing the Iraqi police forces to defeat the insurgency while supporting the ultimate goal of a stable and autonomous nation. 

Praised for her stellar performance and leadership in executing the Global War on Terrorism, Lieutenant Hampton was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for her tour of duty, an award typically reserved for field grade officers. Her expertise as a vehicle distribution officer also resulted in the award of a secondary duty title as Logistics Readiness officer.