Special Tactics Officer Receives Bronze Star with Valor

Air Force Special Operations Command boss Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presented the Bronze Star with Valor to Maj. Damon Friedman, an AFSOC special tactics officer, on Nov. 13 during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Fiel recognized the airman for his gallant actions during an April 2010 mission in Afghanistan. Friedman, then a captain with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, was the lead joint terminal attack controller for a mission in Korengal Valley, a complex terrain in northeast Afghanistan, nicknamed “Valley of Death,” according to AFSOC officials. He was tasked with clearing the area of enemy forces. “When we came in, there were about 100 enemy forces in the area,” Friedman said, recalling the 2010 event. “I was up for three days without a second of sleep conducting close air support with numerous aircraft overhead.” Friedman coordinated and deconflicted more than 200 attack aircraft for a total of seven days while frequently under hostile fire, states the Nov. 14 release. “No friendly forces were killed and Friedman was credited with 40 enemies killed and wounded,” states the release. (AFSOC report by SSgt. Erica Horner)