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Bronze Star

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the Bronze Star Medal.  Smith was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the Bronze Star Medal. Smith was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. John Duly, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the certificate for the Bronze Star Medal.  Duly was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan.  (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. John Duly, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the certificate for the Bronze Star Medal. Duly was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the certificate for the Bronze Star Medal.  Smith was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

Captain Matthew Tower, commander 175th Security Forces Squadron, presents Master Sgt. Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, with the certificate for the Bronze Star Medal. Smith was presented the award on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base for his duty in Bagram, Afghanistan. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Marino (left), vice commander of the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, addresses (L-R) Capt. Matthew Tower, commander of the 175th Security Forces Squadron, and Master Sgts.  John Duly and Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, after they received awards for their service while deployed.  They received their awards on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base.  (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

U.S. Air Force Col. Daniel Marino (left), vice commander of the 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, addresses (L-R) Capt. Matthew Tower, commander of the 175th Security Forces Squadron, and Master Sgts. John Duly and Olen D. Smith III, 175th Security Forces Squadron, after they received awards for their service while deployed. They received their awards on August 12, 2012 at Warfield Air National Guard Base. (National Guard photo by TSgt. Chris Schepers)

BALTIMORE -- Two 175th Security Forces Airmen were awarded the Bronze Star Medal on August 12th at Warfield Air National Guard Base for meritorious achievement while assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Tactical Security Element at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Master Sgts. John Duly and Olen D. Smith III led a 15 man tactical security element that provided security wherever the OSI detachment needed to go.

"We provided them security when they went out to do their counter-intelligence collection and when they detained or captured high value targets," said Duly.

Taking care of the OSI's security allowed them to focus on their objective, they would plan the mission by reviewing satellite images and plan their routes based on the threats in the area.

A mission on October 25, 2011 stood out from the others. "We started out on a routine operation for us. During our mission an Army platoon we previously worked with came under attack. As we were watching them come back to the patrol base, they came under a second attack, at which point we came to support them," said Smith.

They were about three kilometers away. "Once we got up to them and during the next 48 hours we did everything we trained to do. (We) provided security and over watch, responded to a vehicle rollover, initiated and received direct fire, coordinated with helicopter and fixed wing assets and responded to a vehicle hit by an IED," said Smith.

"We are getting recognized for our leadership. One or two people get this award but it's a team award," said Duly. "We are proud of the whole team. It is a reflection of a great group of guys."

Smith added, "It is a reflection of the individuals on the team. I told the guys, I hope you realize how profound this mission was and the impact it had."