Coast Guard officer receives special operations award for counter-piracy deployment

WASHINGTON - Lt. Aaron Renschler receives the National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict Achievement Medal, Feb. 8, 2010. Renschler was recognized for his leadership while serving in support of Combined Taskforce 151â??s anti-piracy mission, including thwarting five separate pirate attacks and the at-sea apprehension of 50 Somali pirates. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael AndersonWASHINGTON – A Coast Guard Officer was honored Tuesday for his superior service while deployed in support of overseas combat operations.

Lt. Aaron Renschler, 26, of Mt. Vernon, Ind., assigned to Tactical Law Enforcement Team South in Miami, was presented the 2010 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 officer and enlisted member from each of the five armed services who has distinguished him or herself while supporting special operations, low-intensity conflicts or irregular warfare.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized and to represent the Coast Guard amongst such elite warriors,” said Renschler. “I was fortunate to be put in a position to make a difference in the Gulf of Aden, and I’m proud of what my team was able to accomplish.”

Over a five-month deployment as officer-in-charge of a law enforcement detachment aboard USS San Jacinto and USS Farragut, Renschler played a central role in the detention of 50 suspected pirates, the seizure of a large weapons and explosives cache, and the liberation five Yemeni hostages.

Additionally, he was cited for his leadership while heading a task force assigned to identify, track, and board the most advanced narco-terrorist means of transport in the history of the war on drugs – the self-propelled fully submersible drug sub.

“We are extremely proud of Lt. Renschler,” said Coast Guard Capt. Mark Hemann, 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.”

Renschler 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. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who delivered the keynote address.

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