Col. Joseph Scherrer, commander of the 689th Combat Communications Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., last week awarded MSgt. Gene Jameson the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device for his heroic actions that saved an estimated 50 lives during a fire in August 2011 while deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. “It’s a huge honor, but I did what anyone would have done,” said Jameson, a wing member, after receiving the medal on Aug. 23, reported The Warner Robins Patriot. Flames were threatening some 90 buildings on base after an insurgent rocket attack, according to the newspaper’s narrative. As Jameson was directing heavy equipment to build a firebreak to limit damage, he and a colleague noticed two crates of munitions in the line of the surging flames. The 18-year airman and his colleague sprang to action, dragging the 250-pound crates down a narrow path between two burning buildings, while firefighters doused the two men with water, until the munitions reached a safe location and were no longer in danger of detonating.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.