Bronze Star awarded to soldier who dumped mortars on ISIS fighters in Nangarhar - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان

Bronze Star awarded to soldier who dumped mortars on ISIS fighters in Nangarhar

Bronze Star awarded to soldier who dumped mortars on ISIS fighters in Nangarhar

The Bronze Star with valor was awarded Thursday to a Fort Bliss soldier who lobbed mortars from exposed ground onto an ISIS fighting position attempting to target wounded friendlies during a fight in eastern Afghanistan two years ago.

On Aug. 16, 2017, Spc. Collin Jackson was serving as an uplift soldier for an Army Special Forces team operating alongside Afghan commandos from the 8th Special Operations Kandak. The troops were working in the Mohmand Valley of southern Nangarhar province, a rugged mountain region near Pakistan.

That area has long been a hotbed of ISIS activity. The militant group managed to carve out and hold a sliver of territory there for years, withstanding much of the U.S. pressure to uproot it.

At the time, Jackson’s unit was conducting a clearance operation when they came under heavy machine gun fire from ISIS fighters.

“After taking fierce enemy contact from a machine gun, and indirect fire for over eight hours, the combined U.S. and Afghan element consolidated at an isolated compound on the valley floor in order to secure a defensible, remain-over-night position,” Army Lt. Col. Jon Fausnaugh, Jackson’s regiment commander, said during the ceremony.

“As the dismounted element finished clearing the compound, an explosive weapon of unknown origin suddenly detonated, wounding 30 personnel and ultimately killing four,” Fausnaugh said, reading from Jackson’s citation.

An Army Green Beret, Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler, was killed during the battle. A statement from the Pentagon said that Butler died from an IED.

Initial reports indicated that the building may have been wired with explosives, and the soldiers were struck upon entry. Butler was the only American listed as killed in action during the incident.

Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon

Subscribe

Enter a valid email address (please select a country) United States United Kingdom Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, The Democratic Republic of The Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote D’ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guinea Guinea-bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territory, Occupied Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan, Province of China Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

Thanks for signing up!

×

By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Army Times Daily News Roundup.

Afghan commandos provide mounted security during a clearing operation in Shnah Kanda village, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 11, 2017. (Staff Sgt. Matthew Klene/ Army)

Jackson immediately responded to a radio call for help. He dismounted from his armored vehicle and ran towards the mass casualty event.

He began to help collect the wounded, moving them to a casualty collection point when ISIS fighters emerged to exploit the chaos and confusion. The militants opened fire from positions to the west, south and north of the friendlies.

Jackson continued moving the wounded through the onslaught of gunfire, at one point stopping to perform CPR on “a critical American casualty,” Fausnaugh said.

After the wounded were staged for helicopter evacuation in an open wheat field, Jackson went back to his vehicle, which was still under heavy fire from small arms and RPGs.

He retrieved a 60mm mortar from the truck and began engaging an enemy position firing at his comrades.

“Jackson had no choice but to fight from an exposed position in front of his vehicle,” Fausnaugh said. “He was vulnerable, but had good field to fire and courageously held his ground.”

Jackson destroyed the ISIS position after sighting in and lobbing six mortar rounds on top of it. He remained in that exposed position for more than an hour.

Coalition airstrikes pound ISIS-K fighting positions in Pekha Valley, Achin district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 17, 2018. (Spc. Jacob Krone/Army)

The Army credited Jackson with defending the medical evacuation of 13 critically wounded friendly troops and helping to end a complex assault by ISIS fighters on his element.

“I just want to thank Bravo Battery. That’s who I was with at the time,” Jackson said after receiving the award Thursday. “I want to thank Capt. [name withheld]. He gave me a lot of mentorship right before deployment. That meant a lot to me.”

The ceremony was held in front of M109A7 Paladin howitzers and attended by troops from Jackson’s unit — 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

Jackson’s current brigade commander, Col. Michael J. Trotter, told the assembled troops that their mechanized, up-armored vehicles are nothing without the work done by individual soldiers like Jackson.

“We can talk about the most modern pieces of equipment in the world — tank, Paladin, M88 — all important tools, but none more important than you, represented right here,” Trotter said, pointing to Jackson.

leave a reply

*

code

error: Content is protected !!