Saturday, September 24, 2016

Airman Receiving Silver Star for Bravery in Afghanistan

Airman to receive Silver Star for watery heroism, battlefield bravery in Afghanistan
Air Force Times
By: Stephen Losey
September 23, 2016

"By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Airman Hutchins has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force," the citation said.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- A tactical air control party airman will be honored with the Silver Star for a dangerous and watery rescue of his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, and charging a Taliban position in a subsequent battle two days later.

Then-Airman 1st Class Benjamin Hutchins, a tactical air control party airman, was deployed to Afghanistan in November 2009, serving alongside soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team, said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, in a speech Tuesday at the Air Force Association's Air Space Cyber conference. Hutchins and the soldiers were on the west bank of the Murghab River one cold morning, watching a resupply airdrop of cargo containers when one fell off-target and splashed down in the river, Carlisle said.

Two soldiers jumped in to recover it, Carlisle said, but misjudged how fast the river was flowing and were quickly pulled downriver. Hutchins sprang into action, Carlisle said. He stripped off his armor, helmet and other gear that would weigh him down, and dove in after them.
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