A civilian historian at Shaw Air Force Base has won a major award for his work while deployed in Iraq last year with the combat units of the 20th Fighter Wing.
As a historian, Art Sevigny said it's a challenge to get beyond recording the urgent events of a combat unit at war. Not only does he have to record what happened, but also analyze what it may mean to help the military down the road. "It's not just the gee-whiz history. It's to write something that is useable for commanders in the future," Sevigny said in a telephone interview from his post at the air base outside Columbia.
Sevigny, 53, earned the Air Combat Command's Excellence in History Programs award. After he retired from the Air Force, he returned as a civilian and has been the 20th Fighter Wing's full-time historian since 2008.
Sevigny said he is barred from relating exactly what operations he wrote about last year because of their top-secret designations. But he documented the fighter wing's participation in some of the key operations in which the unit's F-16 fighter jets were flown while in Iraq.
Elements of the fighter squadron were at Joint Base Balad during mid-2010, and some units participated in guarding the withdrawal of 100,000 American forces from Iraq that year.