HomeNewsArticle Display

62 AMXS Airman earns Bronze Star Medal

Senior Master Sgt. Travis J. Calmez stands in front of a MD-530 helicopter on Forward Operating Base Oqab, Kabul, Afghanistan May 10, 2018.

Senior Master Sgt. Travis J. Calmez stands in front of a MD-530 helicopter on Forward Operating Base Oqab, Kabul, Afghanistan May 10, 2018. This was the type of helicopter that Calmez helped load onto C-130 Hercules aircraft while in hostile territory with zero casualties. (Courtesy photo)


Senior Master Sgt. Travis J. Calmez, 62nd Airlift Maintenance Squadron (62 AMXS) superintendent, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, was presented a Bronze Star Medal, October 12 which he earned for his actions while deployed to Forward Operating Base Oqab, Kabul, Afghanistan. 

The award was presented by Lt. Col. Jacob P. Sullivan, 62 AMXS commander, at his commander’s call in recognition of Calmez’ distinguished accomplishments and meritorious achievement. While deployed Calmez was the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing (438 AEW) maintenance and logistics superintendent, and fixed wing branch, train, advise and assist command-air (TAAC-Air) chief, in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel from June 20, 2017 to June 1, 2018.

 “I’m proud of it,” said Calmez, “It is by far the pinnacle of my career.”

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

 “His conduct, his willingness to serve, and his actions are certainly well-deserving of such a high honor and what a big deal this decoration is,” said Sullivan.

As part of the TAAC-Air, Calmez helped Afghan partners develop a professional, capable, and sustainable Air Force while working with coalition partners from the United States, Greece, Czech Republic, Turkey and Denmark.

He was the only enlisted member advising the Afghan Air Force (AAF) on fixed wing, helicopter fleet, and phase maintenance for the airlift fleet of Afghanistan. 

“Advisement at this level went from AAF maintenance and logistics, to the Kabul commander, through their ministry of defense to essentially the presidential staff of Afghanistan,” said Calmez.

Among several issues identified and fixed by Calmez, he advised Afghan leadership on approving efficiency of flying hour programs, re-aligning Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft flight hours and Mi-17 helicopter commitment rates with phase maintenance, and distributing low- and high-hour aircraft between air bases, thereby generating an additional 900 C-208 flight hours and 1,000 Mi-17 blade hours.

Under his mentorship, a team disassembled battle-damaged MD-530 helicopters and loaded them onto C-130 Hercules aircraft while in hostile territory with zero casualties, recovering two aircraft with no coalition support for the first time.

While exposed to significant danger from rocket attacks, insider threats, and direct engagements, Calmez conducted 118 outside-the-wire train, advise and assist missions with Afghan Air Force headquarters maintenance leadership on 120 aircraft worth over $1 billion across Afghanistan.

Calmez identified inadequate maintenance inspections in the Shindand Air Wing’s C-208 fleet. He established a baseline maintenance plan and moved aircraft to specific locations within Afghanistan for contractor logistic support, restoring the $14 million fleet, and recertifying nine AAF maintainers on annual inspections.

Calmez said he would not have done as well without the experience he gained from his two prior year-long deployments.

“Airmen rise to the challenges, and that’s what he did,” said Sullivan before presenting the award. “I firmly believe that his conduct reflects what’s best in all of us that wear the uniform and serve our country.”

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.