Young receives first combat Action Badge for 157 Air Refueling Wing
By 1Lt. Sherri Pierce, 157 ARW
/ Published May 04, 2009
May 2, 2009 -- On May 2, Master Sgt. Nancy Young was awarded the 157th Air Refueling Wing's first Combat Action Medal. The Air Force Combat Action Medal is used "to recognize any military member of the Air Force who actively participated in combat. The principal eligibility criterion is that the individual must have been under direct and hostile fire while operating in unsecured space (outside the defended perimeter), or physically engaging hostile forces with direct and lethal fire."
Young was one of five vehicle operators from the unit's Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) who deployed to Iraq as convoy drivers in 2004. These Airmen performed "in lieu of" missions which are missions where Airmen fill the positions of their Army counterparts.
On April 13, 2004, while escorting the 1052nd Truck Company from Baghdad International Airport to Camp Anaconda, Balad Air Base Iraq, Young's convoy came under attack from hostile enemy fire. Young was the Truck Commander for gun truck two, an unarmored five-ton truck. Recognizing the immediate and imminent grave danger to the convoy, Young repositioned the gun truck to return suppressive fire and monitor the situation for any additional insurgent attacks from the left side of the main supply route. This put herself, her co-driver and gunner in grave danger. Young also engaged the insurgent forces, returning fire with her M-16 while receiving heavy small arms fire, as well as mortar attacks for approximately 35 minutes. These actions helped keep casualties to a minimum and allow the mission to be completed successfully with minor loss of coalition assets.
During the ceremony, Young thanked the other Airmen who were with her on this mission and said, "You all deserve this award and more."
"They did a superb job and they are all outstanding individuals," said Col. Richard Martell, 157 Air Refueling Wing Commander.
The other four Airmen on this mission were Master Sgt. Phil Cote, Tech Sgt. Chris Moisan, Tech Sgt. Mike Steer and Tech Sgt. David Guindon.
"They represent the best qualities of the citizen airman and we in the 157th and the state of New Hampshire are justifiably proud of them," said Lt. Col. Christopher Hurley, Commander of the 157 LRS.