The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Senior Airman Adam C. Krueger, United States Air Force, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States on 25 May 2010. On that date, Airman Krueger bravely risked his life with complete disregard for personal safety while conducting combat operations with a United States Army Special Forces Team in Afghanistan. As the team patrolled by foot through the village of Mullah Wazir, an entrenched enemy lay waiting a mere ten meters away to deliver a coordinated lethal ambush on his team. Pinned down, Airman Krueger immediately took decisive action and called in an F-15 strafing run on the enemy within meters of his position. Using the cover fire, his team fought their way through a steady stream of small arms and PKM fire to a compound to establish a strongpoint. As the team reconsolidated, Airman Krueger coordinated a second attack with a Hellfire missile, impacting danger close, allowing a separate pinned down friendly element the opportunity to seek cover. However, as the team moved across open terrain enemy rounds hit two Soldiers. Recognizing the dire situation, Airman Krueger simultaneously exposed himself to enemy fire and coordinated another air attack while other members of the team moved the wounded to cover. As the medical evacuation helicopter approached, Airman Krueger exposed himself to mark the landing zone and de-conflict airstrikes providing cover fire, enabling the life saving patient evacuation. During the twelve hour firefight, Airman Krueger annihilated the enemy through judicious employment of deadly airpower, directing nine danger-close air strikes with multiple five hundred and two thousand pound bombs, gun runs, rockets and missiles. His audacity and tactical prowess were essential in the defeat of the enemy and the survival of his team and other friendly forces that day. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Krueger has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

AF's most combat-decorated unit since Vietnam War honors latest heroes

The 22nd Combat Control Special Tactics Squardron
by Capt. Belena S. Marquez
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs

1/26/2013 - JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. -- The most combat-decorated Air Force unit since the end of the Vietnam War named more heroes Jan. 23-24 during medal presentation ceremonies at Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

The 24th Special Operations Wing gained one Silver Star, six Bronze Star medals with Valor, and seven Bronze Star medals when Airmen from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron were recognized with the nation's third and fourth highest combat decorations.

"Like many, the Airmen's willingness to serve at the tip of the spear, directly going into harm's way to attack the enemy time after time, represents the best of America," said Col. Robert Armfield, commander of the 24th SOW. "We are proud to see their sacrifice recognized. It gives us a chance to pause for just a moment to thank these special operators and, more importantly, to recognize their families, who bear the burden of this relentless mission."

During the ceremony, Staff Sgt. Adam Krueger was awarded the Silver Star, the third highest combat military decoration in the United States, for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States while engaged in military operations.

While on a foot patrol, his team was ambushed by an entrenched enemy less than 10 meters from the friendly position. The Army Special Forces team was immediately pinned down and then Senior Airman Krueger directed an F-15 strafing run within meters of his position to allow the friendly patrol to fight their way into a compound and establish a strong point.

"He took care of us on that day," said one of Krueger's Special Forces teammates, who attended the ceremony.

Pictured; Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, Air Force Special Operations Command commander, pins the Silver Star Medal onto Staff Sgt. Adam Krueger, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron Combat Controller, Jan. 24, 2013, at a ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Krueger was awarded the medal for displaying gallantry in action against an armed enemy of the United States, risking his life in order to direct life-saving air support, as well as exposing himself in order to direct a medical evacuation helicopter to the scene, during a 12-hour firefight in Afghanistan in 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Sean Tobin)
During the subsequent 12-hour firefight, two Soldiers were hit with enemy rounds. Kruger exposed himself to enemy fire in order to direct another air attack to allow the wounded members to be moved to safety. He then exposed himself again to mark the landing zone for the medical evacuation helicopter, enabling the life-saving patient evacuation. Additionally, Airman Krueger directed nine danger-close airstrikes.

Krueger's receipt of the medal marks the 32nd Silver Star earned by Air Force Special Operations Command Special Tactics Airmen since 9/11.

"It takes an uncommon bravery to put oneself in direct danger," said Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander. "If I were to ask any one of these men what they think about these decorations, I'm sure that they would all humbly respond that they were just doing their job."

Fiel told the audience what doing their job and more means for a deployed Combat Controller as he described actions that resulted in the sixth Silver Star awarded to the 22nd STS.

"Repeatedly exposing oneself to enemy fire after being pinned down by a coordinated, lethal ambush, coordinating for nine danger-close air strikes which allowed your teammates to seek cover and recover wounded personnel, and providing suppressive fire while simultaneously marking a landing zone to enable a life-saving patient evacuation, without regard to one's own safety, as Staff Sgt. Adam Krueger did, is more than just doing your job," he said.
Fiel also recognized the courageous actions of the Bronze Star and Bronze Star with Valor recipients.

The Bronze Star is the fourth highest combat honor in the United States and is awarded for acts of bravery and meritorious service against an armed enemy of the United States. When the Bronze Star is awarded for heroism, it is annotated by a bronze "V" device, which designates valor.

Many of the honorees were awarded their third or fourth Bronze Star. As a result, they received oak leaf clusters, which are worn on the medal or ribbon to indicate subsequent awards.

According to the medal citations, the recipients contributed to coordinated air attacks, ground combat support, casualty medical evacuation capabilities, and lives saved, all while engaged in combat operations.

Doug Neville with family, along with Lt. Gen Eric Fiel. Doug received another Bronze Star w/Valor.

"Though each of these men are being recognized for their courage, these decorations were earned in years [of preparation]--through long physical, mental and technical training pipelines. Across experiences from previous deployments and through the lessons passed on by the men who bore the standard before them," Fiel said.

In order to earn the right to wear the scarlet beret, the mark of Combat Controllers, candidates must complete 35 weeks of initial training. Additional training for the career field includes pipeline courses which result in mastery of parachuting skills, combat diving, survival techniques, special tactics skills and qualifications in air traffic control.

Lt. Col. Thad Allen, 22 STS commander, who has known the Silver Star recipient since 2008, said Krueger, like many other Combat Controllers across AFSOC, trained for years honing his skills to deal with the complexities of combat.

"Often, it's Senior Airmen, like Adam, making life or death decisions under fire, with potential strategic impact. That in and of itself is impressive," he said.
During the ceremony speech, Fiel also addressed the family members in attendance.

"Between a demanding pace of today's global special operations and your community's commitment to quiet professionalism we do not come together often enough to recognize the tremendous dedication of our special tactics," Fiel said. "But it is truly a pleasure for me to reflect on their accomplishments, particularly in the presence of family members and of course, the squadron teammates."

He also emphasized the significance of family support to the AFSOC mission and offered them a special message.

SSgt. Jeremiah Roberts with family and Lt. Gen. Fiel after the Bronze Star w/valor.

"I thank you personally for everything you do, every day for the nation," Fiel said. "It does not go unnoticed. Our military families make extraordinary, unique sacrifices to support our mission and we sincerely appreciate your contributions to our nation's security."
Before the group heard the citations, Fiel prepared to award the medals to the 13 recipients with one final statement.

"The stories...are inspiring and call each of us to rededicate ourselves, preparing for our own moment of opportunity, when a critical mission and the lives of our teammates will demand that we realize our full potential."

                The honorees were: Silver Star and Bronze Star: Staff Sgt. Adam Krueger, see video below.

Bronze Star with Valor


Master Sgt. Douglas Neville
Tech. Sgt. Michael Orlando
Staff Sgt. Joshua Busch
Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Roberts
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Salazar
Staff Sgt. Michael Wilhelm

Bronze Star Recipients

Captain Joshua Barlow
Tech. Sgt. Michael A. Kurta
Tech. Sgt. Matthew McKenna
SA Benjamin De Boer
SA Christopher Kagan
SA John Moyle
Pictured above in video; Linda Crate with Lt. Gen. Fiel, Stephanie and Lt. Col. Thaddeus Allen (commander of the 22nd) at Awards ceremony.

Special thanks to Linda Crate.

(Editor's note: Airmen at the 125th Special Tactics Squadron received two Bronze Stars with Valor, four Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart during a ceremony at Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., Jan. 23.)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon Air National Guard personnel will be awarded Bronze Star medals and the Purple Heart medal during a ceremony scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Portland Air National Guard Base.
Members of the Oregon Air National Guard's 125th Special Tactics Squadron salute the honor guard during the posting of colors at a ceremony held at the Portland Air National Guard Base, Portland, Ore., Jan. 23. The ceremony was to honor the group with five Bronze Star Medals and one Purple Heart medal. The Airmen earned the medals during recent deployments to the Middle East. From left to right are;U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, flew in from his headquarters at Hulburt Field, Fla., for the ceremony. (Oregon Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs/Released)

Oregon Airmen to receive Bronze Stars, Purple Heart during ceremony at Portland Air Guard Base - 01/22/13

The commander of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, will award six Bronze Stars and one Purple Heart to Airmen of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron (STS) at the ceremony.

The address of the Portland Air National Guard Base is 6801 NE Cornfoot Road, Portland, Ore. The ceremony is scheduled to be held in the Rosenbaum Hangar, Bldg. 375.

Presiding over the ceremony will be Brig. Gen. Steven D. Gregg, commander of the Oregon Air National Guard.

The Airmen being honored conducted duties in Afghanistan as Combat Controllers in support of U.S. Central Command's Village Stability Operations since May 2011. The Airmen worked alongside Navy SEALS, U.S. Army Special Forces and Marine Special Operations Team with "unmatched success and uncommon valor on the battlefield" over the past 18 months, Gregg said.

"Their actions on the battlefield have increased regional security, saved countless lives, and provided opportunity for village, district, and provincial growth of the Afghanistan government," Gregg said.

According to the citations, the Oregon Citizen-Airmen are being recognized for their exemplary leadership, personal endeavor and devotion to duty during their deployment. All of them directly engaged the enemy during six months of intense fighting, calling in close-air support strikes killing or capturing hundreds of enemy fighters.

The 125th STS is responsible for training, equipping, and employing combat control (CCT), Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT), and support personnel to successfully execute special tactics operations domestically and worldwide in support of both state and federal missions.

Since establishment of the unit on May 27, 2005, the 125th STS has deployed forces in support of numerous combat operations during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn in Iraq.

The unit has also responded to numerous domestic response operations to include: Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ike, and severe flooding in Vernonia, Ore. Currently, the unit is undergoing its first mobilization in which operators are filling a critical need as Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) in Village Security Operations in the remote areas of Afghanistan.