Air Commando Awarded Bronze Star with Valor

TSgt. Ronnie Brickey, an explosive ordnance disposal technician assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., last week received a Bronze Star with Valor Medal for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2011. It was Brickey’s fifth Bronze Star, placing him in a select group of airmen who have received so many of the medals, according to Hurlburt’s March 23 release. Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, AFSOC commander, presented Brickey with the medal during a March 22 ceremony. “Ronnie, your unmatched skills, courage, and selflessness epitomize what being a warrior is all about,” said Fiel. Brickey’s unit came under direct fire as he was eliminating several improvised explosive devices during a mission on June 1, 2011. Throughout the 40-minute firefight, he protected his comrades from an IED’s accidental detonation, while exposing himself to direct fire. Because of his actions, his comrades were able to maneuver on the enemy. “Knowing that a life is saved every time I remove an IED from the battlefield is one of the greatest feelings in the world,” said Brickey, who is now the noncommissioned officer in charge of the Air Force Special Operations School’s force protection branch. (Hurlburt report by SrA. Melanie Holochwost)