Airman's actions in Afghanistan earns Bronze Star

  • Published
  • By Airman Mikayla A. Heineck
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Master Sgt. Kevin R. Peterson, 62nd Airlift Wing command post superintendent, was presented a Bronze Star Medal Sep. 21, which he earned for his actions and leadership while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

During a 62nd Airlift Wing Staff Agencies commander’s call at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Maj. Steven P. Jordan, 62nd Comptroller Squadron commander, Presented the Bronze Star in recognition of Peterson’s distinguished accomplishments and meritorious achievement while deployed as superintendent of the 451st Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron (EOSS). While deployed Peterson supported Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Operation Resolute Support (RS) from Oct. 6, 2017 to April 6, 2018.

During this deployment Peterson and his team directly contributed to RS, a NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions.

The Bronze Star Medal exemplifies Peterson’s hard work as an Airman and leader. It is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the military of the United States after Dec. 6, 1941, distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement or service.

 “Serving as an operations support squadron superintendent in a deployed environment is no easy task, and Master Sgt. Peterson’s leadership was key to his team’s numerous successes across a diverse mission set,” Jordan said.

Among several accomplishments achieved under his leadership, Peterson authored southern Afghanistan’s only theater ballistic missile tracking system strategy which restored a one year operational gap securing the safety of $8 billion dollars of assets including 147 aircraft and 8,700 coalition personnel.

 “I’m honored that my leadership recognized the team’s hard work and what the 451st Expeditionary Operation Support Squadron accomplished while deployed,” said Peterson.

As part of the 451st Air Expeditionary Group, the 451st EOSS helped provide a persistent and powerful airpower presence in the Afghanistan area of operations. The group’s Airmen provide close air support, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, command and control, personnel recovery and airborne datalink capabilities whenever and wherever needed and operates the A-10C Thunderbolt II, the HH-60G Pavehawk, the E­11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, and the MQ­9 Reaper at Kandahar airfield.

Peterson enabled the execution of the Secretary of Defense’s order to deliver 800 military personnel, 12 A-10 Thunderbolt II and three HH-60 Pavehawk aircrafts two months early.

His strategic vision proved invaluable as he led a high-profile command and control revitalization, and development of a 44 workstation emergency management center enabling critical real time data to support Kandahar’s airpower projections. Furthermore, his leadership was demonstrated as he controlled the movement of 31,000 combat sorties and 23 urgent aeromedical evacuation missions providing lifesaving care for 34 American coalition members.

He devised Kandahar’s merger of six critical command and control nodes in less than four days reducing notification time by 84 percent in addition to leading a $250 thousand camera installation that enabled 100 percent high definition surveillance of the airfield.

“We have high expectations for our senior non-commissioned officers, and Master Sgt. Peterson crushed every one of them while he represented Team McChord in Kandahar,” said Jordan. “The Bronze Star Award for Master Sgt. Peterson is well deserved and we are proud to have him as a leader in our wing staff agencies.”

While deployed and personally exposed to significant risk of hostile action while involved in multiple indirect fire attacks, Peterson served with distinction as the senior enlisted leader for 91 Airmen, consisting of six different Air Force specialty codes, and contractors in the successful performance of command and control, air traffic control, airfield management, and weather operations for the second busiest airfield in Afghanistan.

 “Most of all,” said Peterson. “I am proud that every member of our unit can be confident of a job well done.”