“Doing What Needs to be Done”

Lt. Gen. John Bradley, head of Air Force Reserve Command, has awarded MSgt. Bob Jackson, a munitions maintainer with the 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo., the Airman’s Medal for his quick actions to defuse a white phosphorous mortar round while deployed to Kirkuk AB, Iraq, in 2003. A Nov. 16 AFRC news release quotes Jackson as saying: “I didn’t have time to think. It’s just action and reaction; that’s the only way you can survive out there.” Tasked to help dispose of more than 300,000 pounds of munitions stockpiled by the Iraqi army, Jackson spotted a smoking projectile in the stockpile, recognized the imminent danger, grabbed it, ran, and tossed it into a slough of water to snuff it out. Jackson said, “I was just doing what needed to be done.”