Airman receives Bronze Star

HOHENFELS, Germany — Air Force Senior Airman Brad Salazar, 8th Air Support Operations Squadron radio operator, maintainer and driver, was honorably awarded the prestigious Bronze Star medal during a ceremony Aug. 8.

The airman was presented the award by Air Force Col. Thomas Gould, 435th Air Ground Operations Wing commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

"I was excited and didn't think I was going to get it until someone said 'We have your Bronze Star'," Salazar said. "I thought that it was going to be downgraded, so I was happy when I got the news."

His actions that earned him the medal were from his deployment to the Zabul province in Afghanistan last year, where he successfully completed multiple extract of friendly personnel and close air support missions.

"His performance was remarkable," Gould said at the presentation ceremony. "It's rare and he is certainly worthy of the honor."

It was a first for both the presenter and award winner. What made the event even more special was that it had taken place at exercsie Allied Strike 10 where his tactical air control party peers from around the world where able to attend.

"I definitely think this was a great place to receive the award," Salazar said "The TACP community is a tight-knit group. I felt the love after the presentation. I thought that it was especially good for the younger A1Cs to see this and influence them so they know it's possible. If my fiancé was here to see, that would have been the icing on the cake."

Gould also noted this was a perfect venue to highlight such an accomplishment for the young Airman.

"Salazar is like a quiet storm," said Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Chapital, 8th ASOS commander. "He is meticulous and a hard worker in everything he does. I am truly honored to work with him and be in the same squadron as him."

Salazar is a Seboyeta, N.M, native and has been in the Air Force since May 2007. Before entering the Air Force he had done construction but always heard his aunts and uncles talking about his grandfather being in the Air Force.

"When I decided I didn't want to do construction for the rest of my life that's when I went to the recruiter," Airman Salazar said. "He started giving me construction jobs, and I told him I want to do something a little over the top, a little more extreme. Now I am here waiting to take my (Joint Terminal Air Controller) evaluation next month."

Being a TACP member after completing a deployment was an eye-opening and career-broadening experience.

"The deployment had a good affect and opened up my eyes to things I haven't experienced," he said. "Up until that point everything was theoretical. Being deployed, you actually see the pieces come together, and was great for my career."

Find more articles tagged with:

Comments: 0

Your comment:

Related Topics

Flag of Germany

Germany

A US Airman waits to offload the final pallets from the cargo aircraft which arrived in Russia from Sigonella delivering firefighting equipment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Keith Houin provided in real time via smartphone/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Forces in Europe

Related Articles

  • SOCEUR delivers tactical intel course to European SOF partners

    Students from 10 European nations participated in the seventh iteration of the SOCEUR tactical intelligence course held at the Slovenian Ministry of Defense Training Facility. The STIC is designed to increase the intelligence, or intel, capabilities at the Special Operations Task Unit level for commissioned and non-commissioned officers.
  • SOCEUR kicks off expanded training with Baltics, regional partners

    U.S. Special Operations forces, in support of Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), participated in an opening ceremony for Exercise Spring Storm Monday. This opening ceremony kicked of the special operations portion of the Estonian Defense Forces’ annual exercise.
  • Heavy Airlift Wing supports expanded land force training activities in the Baltic region

    The Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing has been executing several airlift missions with its Boeing C-17 Globemaster III long range cargo jets to support the expanded land force training activities of the SAC nations’ armed forces in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
  • Forward…Ready…Now: USAF builds partnership with Polish Armed Forces

    More than 100 Airmen and three C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, deployed to enhance bilateral defense ties with Polish armed forces members during a scheduled aircraft rotation to the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland.
  • Hagel, Dempsey Outline U.S., Partner Approach to Ukraine

    In advance of their budget testimony this morning before a Senate panel, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey outlined Defense Department activities pertaining to the crisis in Ukraine.
  • Official Provides Details on U.S. Augmentation in Baltics

    Following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement today during Senate testimony that the United States is augmenting its participation in NATO's air policing mission in the Baltics and will increase joint training through its aviation detachment in Poland, a defense official provided additional information.
  • Hagel ends Poland trip with U.S., Polish Airmen

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spent the last afternoon of his first official visit to Poland by stopping at an air base where U.S. and Polish Airmen work side by side, and later at a historic church where his great grandparents were married in 1882.
  • Hagel Praises Estonia's Commitment in Afghanistan

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised Estonia's commitment in Afghanistan in a Pentagon meeting today with Estonian Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu.
  • LOGEX workshop enhances logistics interoperability

    LOGEX was held at the Finnish Defence Forces International Center in Tuusula, Finland, Dec. 2 - 13, 2013, with the aim to enhance interoperability among participants in the planning and execution of forming, deploying, sustaining and redeploying units.
  • General Gorenc praises Slovenia's role in international efforts

    Slovenian-born General Frank Gorenc, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa, visited Slovenia Nov. 8 and 9, 2013, to meet Defence Minister Roman Jakič, Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier Dobran Božič, and President Borut Pahor. The general also visited the barracks and airbase in Cerklje ob Krki and be presented the capabilities of the Slovenian air force, according to the Defence Ministry.
U