Valor awards received

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2009/April/090417-02.html

FORT CARSON, Colo. (USASOC News Service, April 17, 2009) – Special Forces and support Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), received their combat deployment awards from Operation Iraqi Freedom VI and V during a ceremony at Manhart Field, April 15.

device for their conspicuous gallantry in action while decisively engaged with the enemy during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Two Soldiers also received the Purple Heart for wounds received while engaged in combat. The battalion also received the Valorous Unit Award for their rotation during OIF V.

“The warriors today are truly deserving of recognition for their aberration,” said Col. Darsie D. Rogers, Jr., 10th SFG (A) commander. “These Soldiers responded to a vicious counter-insurgency over the past few years… We took the fight to the enemy.”

Capt. Sean C. McCaffery, Master Sgt. Shawn S. Dishman and Staff Sgt. Brent C. Bulbuk received the BSM with V device, while Sgt. 1st Class Erich M. Martin, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Jackson, Sgt. 1st Class Jonas O. Polson, Staff Sgt. Derek M. Viera, Staff Sgt. Tyler G. Delorme and Staff Sgt. Lucas D. Burrier received the ARCOM with V device from an operation July 19, 2008. During this fight, the Operational Detachment Alpha was engaged by a large Jaysh Al Mahdi Group element barricaded inside a three-story house in Baghdad, Iraq.

When the assault force attempted to breach into the targeted house, the enemy engaged from all three floors of the building with a heavy barrage of small-arms fire and grenades from a distance of less than 10 feet, pinning the assault force down in the courtyard in front of the house, wounding an Iraqi Constable and two ODA members.

After engaging and reengaging the enemy throughout the night, the ground commander decided to break contact and in order to employ close air support. Their courage and quick decisions under intense enemy fire prevented the assault force from being overwhelmed, enabled the evacuation of three wounded Soldiers, and led to a total of 20 enemy combatants killed in action that ensured the overwhelming success of the operation.

First Sgt. Rover A. Flournoy and Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Prairie received the ARCOM with V device by leading a combat logistical re-supply mission in Baghdad, May 25, 2008. With the convoy traveling west on Route Madrid between Diwaniyah and Najaf, a well-hidden explosively formed projectile hit the lead vehicle.

Flournoy and Prairie immediately dismounted their vehicles and began clearing down to the burning vehicle. Flames were engulfing the vehicle at a rapid rate and two Soldiers were seen lying in the ditch yelling for help.

As the intense heat from the vehicle was causing ammunition to detonate, Flournoy and Prairie pulled the two Soldiers to a secure location and began to apply first aid. Their valorous actions and expert medical attention saved the lives of both Soldiers.

Staff Sgt. Tim Haren received the BSM with V device from an operation in Halaweya, Iraq, August 15, 2007. During a combat patrol, Haren’s combined ODA and Iraqi Police conducted a hasty cordon and search of the village to look for signs of insurgent activity.

As the IP dismounted from their vehicles, they began to receive effective small-arms fire from the main buildings in the village and suffered two casualties. As the ODA attempted to rally the IP, two ODA members were severely wounded by heavy enemy fire as well.

Haren, with total disregard for his life and personal safety, quickly moved vehicle directly into the enemy line of fire, dismounted, maneuvered to his fallen comrades and began to triage the injured ODA members. Due to the expert immediate medical care Haren provided under direct, effective enemy small-arms fire, two U.S. Special Operations Soldiers and two Iraqi Policemen survived the engagement. In addition, the ODA killed four insurgents, including an al-Qaeda in Iraq Emir and detained 16 others.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael F. Downey, Sgt. 1st Class Nathaniel J. Baker, and Sgt. 1st Class Robert G. Smith received the BSM with V device from an operation in Mir Qasim, Iraq, April 2, 2007. During this time, their ODA, Tal Afar Special Weapons and Tactics and Multi-National Force attachments were executing a precision raid on a terrorists’ stronghold in a village known to be a staging area for insurgents.

As the leader of the assault, Downey cleared three buildings, and directed a platoon of Iraqi police to clear the target building. The assault lost momentum and stalled; Downey recognized the threat to the mission and troops and charged to the front of the formation.

Immediately, the assault came under fire from within the village. While directing the assault, he selflessly exposed himself to effective small-arms fire and was grievously wounded. Inspired by his courage and sacrifice under fire, the Tal Afar SWAT rallied and continued the mission.

Leading another assault force, Smith exposed himself to enemy fire to ensure the safety of two wounded teammates and continued the fight to secure the target area. While still under fire, Smith reorganized the assault and led two other ODA members to clear the primary target building.

While on the objective, Baker was leading an assault on a fourth target building with a platoon of Tal Afar SWAT when they were overwhelmed by effective small-arms fire.

Realizing the criticality of the moment, Baker selflessly exposed himself to enemy fire while throwing a grenade to help gain the advantage for his assault force. It was at this moment Baker had been wounded but refused medical assistance and continued to direct the assault.

The raid lead to the defeat of the insurgents, the capture of three high value individuals, five enemies killed in action and the detention of 19 additional al-Qaeda fighters.

Sgt. 1st Class Edward O’Neill and Staff Sgt. Edward Chinn received the Purple Heart for wounds received while engaged in combat in Najaf, Iraq, May 25, 2008.

“To the Soldiers of 3rd battalion, I know what you’ve done, because I have seen it,” Rogers said. “It’s my honor as your commander to lead you, and to stand in the company of true heroes. Thank you for your service.”

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Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) receive their valor awards for conspicuous gallantry in action while decisively engaged with the enemy during Operation Iraqi Freedom, at Manhart Field, April 15. (Photo by SSG Michael R. Noggle)

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Lt. Col. Patrick Roberson, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian D. Edwards, 3rd Bn., 10th SFG (A) command sergeant major, attached the Valor Unit Award received for OIF V to the battalion colors, at Manhart Field, April 15. (Photo by SSG Michael R. Noggle)

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Lt. Col. Patrick Roberson, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian D. Edwards, 3rd Bn., 10th SFG (A) command sergeant major, attached the Valor Unit Award received for OIF V to the battalion colors, at Manhart Field, April 15. (Photo by SSG Michael R. Noggle)
 
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