Battle-tested warriors: Two 22nd STS members earn Bronze Stars for their valor

  • Published
  • By Tyler Hemstreet
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Tech. Sgts. Jared and Brad of the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron were awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor last week for their bravery and heroism while serving in Afghanistan in 2006.

Col. William Sherman, 720th Special Tactics Group deputy commander, presented the medals to the two sergeants as they stood in front of 22nd STS squadron members and family.

Sergeant Jared supported the Australian Special Air Service Regiment during a 31-day patrol. He single-handedly coordinated air and ground forces while under enemy attack for nearly six hours.

Sergeant Jared's Australian counterparts credited him as the primary reason for their team receiving zero casualties, due to his successful control of more than 41,000 pounds of ordnance, effectively neutralizing numerous Taliban and anti-coalition militia.

Sergeant Brad also served on a joint team whose mission was to deploy into combat and hostile environments.

He provided close air support and executed reconnaissance missions that led to the apprehension of 60 anti-coalition militia, nine Taliban commanders and more than 100 Taliban fighters.

"Both combat controllers took the fight to the enemy by integrating air power with ground combat operations, and they did so with the determination of battle-tested warriors," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Staha, 22nd STS commander.

Both Airmen said that it was nice to be recognized but credited their training for helping them perform in combat situations.

"You spend so many years over and over again doing the training, and when it starts to go down you just know what you're supposed to do," Sergeant Brad said.

Throughout his mission, Sergeant Brad said he was always thinking about the safety of those serving next to him.

"You have other people out there relying on you to do your job," he said.

"I think you get more nervous and afraid of failing the guys next to you than you actually do surviving the situation."

Sergeant Jared said he felt the same as Sergeant Brad about his situation.

"I know all my counterparts came back in one piece, and I know that's probably the mission success for me," Sergeant Jared said.

Colonel Sherman praised the entire 22nd STS for the role it played in helping some of its own receive the medals.

"Everyone in the squadron helped contribute to put those guys in a position to do what they do," he said.