Two Fort Bragg airmen will receive Silver Stars for their valor in a 48-hour battle in Afghanistan last year.
Sgt. Matthew J. Greiner and Senior Airman Goodie Goodman will be
honored with the nation's third-highest award for valor during a
ceremony on Fort Bragg's Pope Field in early May, according to the 24th
Special Operations Wing.
airmen are Combat Controllers with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron,
an elite Air Force special operations unit based at Pope Field.
are credited with helping to save the lives of 38 troops, including 14
U.S. special operators and 24 Afghan commandos, during a September
to officials, Greiner and Goodman were part of a three-man Combat
Controller team, working alongside a Special Forces detachment and
troops assaulted a hostile bazaar by helicopter, seeking to disrupt
insurgent operations, when they came under attack by more than 100
the two-day battle, Greiner and Goodman are credited with exposing
themselves to enemy fire to better call in precision air strikes and
coordinate the resupply of much-needed ammunition. Greiner controlled
70 air assets during the firefight.
The valor awards will be the latest for the 21st Special Tactics Squadron and Greiner.
The squadron is the most decorated unit of its size in the Air Force since Vietnam, officials said.
Greiner will be receiving the Silver Star shortly after being awarded
the Bronze Star medal with valor and before being honored as the Air
Force's national Non Commissioned Officer Association Vanguard Award
honors are both related to Greiner's actions during a battle on Sept.
21, 2014, seven days before the 48-hour battle alongside Goodman and
their Special Forces team, which in turn came five days after Greiner's
release from a Kandahar hospital.
that earlier battle, Greiner (pictured left) performed his duties as a
Combat Controller "despite grievous injuries to his head and body,
life-saving close air support and (medical evacuations) for his special
operations team while injured," according to the 24th Special
The battle, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, came during a joint clearing operation in a known insurgent safe haven.
his team was ambushed, Greiner and his interpreter were severely
injured by a 40-mm grenade. A Special Forces medic moved Greiner to
safety and began treating his wounds, even as Greiner continued to call
in emergency close air support, holding his radio and a shrapnel
peppered map in one hand and an anesthetic lollipop in the other,
officials said. He controlled multiple aircraft for 38 minutes, turning
back the ambush while protecting his team.
a release, the commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing, Col.
Matthew Davidson, said Greiner is "a superb example of the incredible
competence and character within the special tactics community.
actions in the face of danger showcase how special tactics airmen are
trained and ready to bring air power to bear, any time and any place,"
Davidson said. "This award is a testament to who he is as an
individual, and brings credit to all Air Force airmen."
July, Greiner will be honored alongside service members from the other
four branches during a banquet held by the Non Commissioned Officer
the second year in a row that an airman from the 21st Special Tactics
Squadron will receive the honor, which recognizes enlisted members from
each military service who performed a heroic act, on or off duty.