News: 87th MDG airman earns Combat Action Medal
Story by Airman Sean Crowe
JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Staff Sgt. Tyler Baker, 87th Medical Group education and training technician, received the Air Force Combat Action Medal from Col. John Wood, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst commander, Dec. 20, 2012, at the McGuire Ambulatory Healthcare Center.
The Flint, Mich., native earned the AFCAM through his actions as a combat medic in connection with Operation Enduring Freedom while in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, Feb. 19, 2011.
Baker’s unit, Provincial Reconstruction Team Nangarhar, Task Force Bastogne, Combined Joint Task Force 101, conducted a Key Leader Engagement with the Nangarhar governer.
The mission commander requested permission for Baker’s unit to assist forces with defending the seizure of a nearby bank.
The unit took defensive fighting positions and cordoned off the bank after arrival. A vehicle-born improvised explosive device detonated 25 meters in front of trucks 3 and 4 while the unit received small arms fire from the third floor of the bank.
Baker and the truck commander dismounted and maneuvered through the smoke from the VBIED to truck 4 to provide medical attention to the gunner and driver. He checked their vitals for signs of possible concussion and shock. Baker and the truck commander then continued to assist local forces until they handed off the battle to the Maverick Element.
His actions led to the award’s presentation at JB MDL a year and a half later.
The audience stood at attention to listen to the orders preceding the presentation. Baker then permitted Wood to speak on his behalf in recognition of the award.
“Baker is a product of our base,” said Wood. “He went out there and performed his duties as he was trained to right here on JB MDL. Every one of us here played a part in preparing Baker and ensuring his safe return home. I asked him what he did out there and what happened, and he replied simply, ‘I did what I was trained to do.’ Baker is a combat veteran and I would like to applaud him for his service to this base and this country.”
The crowd let out another long, roaring round of applause before Wood and Baker departed the building.