Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer receives special operations award for counter-piracy deployment

Coast Guard Headquarters NewsWASHINGTON – A Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer was honored Tuesday for his superior service while deployed in support of overseas combat operations.

Chief Petty Officer Lee Conroy, a maritime enforcement specialist, assigned to Maritime Safety and Security Team San Diego, was presented the 2011 National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Award for his actions in support of the counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden.

This award honors one member from each of the five armed services who has distinguished him or herself while supporting special operations, low-intensity conflicts or irregular warfare.

“I am honored to be recognized alongside our DOD brethren,” said Chief Petty Officer Lee Conroy. “But the true recognition belongs to my shipmates at MSST San Diego. Without their dedication and sacrifice I wouldn’t be receiving this award.”

Chief Conroy was sighted for his leadership, superior judgment and operational knowledge. He successfully led an eight-person advanced interdiction team during a 120-day overseas deployment to Central Command for operations Enduring Freedom and Riptide. As part of the anti-piracy Task Force 151, Chief Conroy instructed training sessions with 80 Navy Vessel Board, Search and Seizure team members in Close Quarters Combat and mission planning in anticipation of joint boardings. Chief Conroy’s professionalism and leadership resulted in the removal of 18 pirates from the Gulf of Aden during four joint Coast Guard and Navy counter-piracy boardings.

“We are extremely proud of Chief Conroy,” said Coast Guard Capt. Jeffrey Novotny, Deputy Commander of the Coast Guard’s Deployable Operations Group. “His accomplishments epitomize the capability and adaptability our deployable specialized forces bring to operational commanders at home and abroad.”

Conroy and his fellow honorees were presented the award Tuesday evening before a crowd of nearly 600 special operations soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and their families. The banquet featured a number of distinguished guests, including Adm. James A. Winnefeld, Jr., USN, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, who delivered the keynote address.

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