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Navy Tech Awarded Silver Star For Actions In 10-hour Fight Against ISIS
A Navy explosive ordnance disposal technician received the Silver Star this week for his actions during a deadly 10-hour firefight with Islamic State militants that helped his fellow sailors navigate a minefield, the Navy announced Friday.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Thomas exited his vehicle in the midst of the fight on Oct. 20, 2016 as bullets, rockets and mortar rounds targeted his unit. Thomas swept the area for explosives just after a roadside bomb struck another vehicle, mortally wounding a sailor, according to the Navy. His actions allowed medics to get through the minefield and reach injured sailors to provide critical care.
“No one who was present on the 20th of October knew better than Jeff the dangers he was facing,” said Navy Cmdr. Geoff Townsend, the commander of Thomas’ unit, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3. “After the EOD supervisor, a friend and mentor, was mortally wounded, Jeff knowingly exposed himself to hazards in order to protect the lives of his teammates and brothers in arms, and secure a [medical evacuation] for his wounded teammate. His actions that day saved the lives of his teammates and exceeded all measures of selflessness and devotion to his country.”
Navy Adm. Bill Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, awarded Thomas the nation’s third highest honor for valor on Wednesday during a ceremony at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in California.
The Navy’s statement did not include details about the location of the firefight or identify the sailor who died as a result of the wounds that he received from the roadside bomb attack. However, the Pentagon previously announced Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason Finan, 34, was killed in action in an improvised bomb attack on his vehicle on Oct. 20 just north of Mosul, Iraq.
Finan was an EOD technician assigned to the same unit as Thomas. The sailors were attached to a SEAL team charged with advising and assisting Iraqi security forces fighting ISIS on the march toward eventually liberating Mosul.
Two other sailors with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 also were honored during the Wednesday ceremony.
Navy Lt. Morgan Dahl received the Bronze Star with “V” device for valor for safely guiding a tactical advance of a convoy through a firefight. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jon Hamm was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat “C” device for clearing a route through ISIS territory under fire that helped his teammates suppress the threat, the Navy said.
©2017 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Confessions Of An Apache Pilot: What It's Like To Fly The Military's Most Heavily Armed Attack Helicopter
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.
In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."
The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Coast Guard Commandant Blasts Government Shutdown That's Forced Service Members 'To Rely On Food Pantries And Donations'
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."
The battlefield of the future could feature robot medics delivering life-saving care to casualties in the line of fire. At least, that's what the Army is aiming for — and it's willing to pay millions for help doing it.