Airman Receives Bronze Star with Valor

TSgt. Benjamin Hannigan, a combat controller with the 321st Special Tactics Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, Britain, has received a Bronze Star with Valor medal for his actions in Afghanistan. He played a key role in fending off Afghan insurgents during a day-long battle with ISAF infantrymen. During the firefight, Hannigan’s team helped block 10 insurgents who were moving into an attack position. The insurgents then retreated to a school house, making it impossible for close air support platforms to drop munitions due to concerns over potential civilian casualties. So Hannigan called in a “show-of-force” to scare them off. It worked. The insurgents changed locations. Hannigan was then instrumental in getting bombs dropped on them by working closely with the CAS pilots so that they know precisely where friendly forces and the enemy were. His actions led to eight enemy killed. (Mildenhall report by TSgt. Marelise Wood)