Combat controller awarded three medals for heroism

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Aaron Cram
  • 353rd Special Operations Group
A combat controller assigned to the 320th Special Tactics Squadron was presented three medals he earned while supporting operations in Afghanistan during a ceremony here April 16.

Staff Sgt. Jeremy King, who was a senior airman during the deployment, was presented with the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Air Force Combat Action medals by Col. Robert Toth, the 353rd Special Operations Group commander.

"Sergeant King's actions truly exemplify the courage and commitment of the Air Commandos," Colonel Toth said. "I'm deeply honored to bestow these medals to a true hero."

During his deployment, Sergeant King enabled 65 successful combat missions, including nine direct-action missions and two major operations into known enemy safe havens resulting in the capture of two high-valued targets and the destruction of a weapons cache. He also controlled air support for 30 missions including five firefights involving coalition soldiers directing four 500 pound bombs and six rockets. He even directed artillery strikes against enemy fighters attacking his forward operating base.
On numerous occasions, he engaged the enemy directly with his assault rifle while directing air support. During one mission, Sergeant King exposed himself to enemy fire to gain a better vantage point to control aircraft.

"I am proud, but not surprised of Sergeant King's actions during his most recent deployment," said Maj. Jason Self, the 320th STS commander. "His accomplishments downrange exemplify the technical skill, courage and fortitude that all of Special Tactics represents. Every day I am reminded that we have brave operators performing missions on the ground, seeking out the enemy, and putting themselves in harm's way to protect our nation and that of our allies. It is my absolute privilege to have the opportunity to lead these airmen."

He was also awarded the Purple Heart for being injured when an improvised explosive device destroyed the vehicle he was in. The blast ejected him more than 40 feet in the air and 100 feet away from the vehicle. He landed on his head and was knocked unconscious. He was treated at the scene and didn't regain full consciousness until he was treated at the medical center at Bagram Air Base.