Bronze Star

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. David Speicher
  • 175th Wing
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."