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    366th FW chief of safety wins Bronze Star

    366th FW chief of safety wins Bronze Star

    Photo By Senior Airman Janae Capuno | Airman 1st Class Noah Jackson, 389th Fighter Squadron weapons load crew member,...... read more read more

    MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, ID, UNITED STATES

    11.10.2020

    Courtesy Story

    366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    Lt. Col. Thomas Nelson, 366th Fighter Wing chief of safety, was presented the Bronze Star, Nov. 5, 2020, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, for his actions while deployed to 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.

    Assigned as the 1st Expeditionary Rescue Group deputy commander, Nelson postured nearly 400 personnel for a rapid reposition, which enabled the Combined Force Air Component Commander to efficiently respond to the January 2020 Iranian missile attacks.

    Although he was deployed to Southwest Asia from April to October 2019, Nelson postured the base to be able to relocate in a timely manner before the missiles struck, resulting in zero fatalities.

    “This was one of those deployments, as aircrew, I didn’t expect to take,” Nelson said. “When you deploy, you gotta do the best job that you possibly can - you have to take care of your folks, and try to solve problems for them.”

    Nelson worked with the rescue triad, which is comprised of HH-60 Pave Hawks, HC-130J Combat King IIs and Pararescuemen known as “the guardian angels”.

    “I paid attention to how they planned, executed and debriefed their missions,” Nelson said. “I really wanted to see how they assessed risk, so I could understand their thinking process.”

    Transitioning from flying F-15E Strike Eagles to leading the rescue triad gave Nelson a different perspective on how to lead.

    “I needed to learn from these guys first,” Nelson said. “I wanted to understand ‘What do you need to do to win?’”

    As the representative to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ base master planning team, Nelson developed an infrastructure plan which satisfied both the current and evolving rescue mission requirements.
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    “The big elements were trying to lead the rescue group to improve their mission, morale and welfare, and recognize the threats targeting all of the assets at Al Asad Air Base,” Nelson said. “We came up with force protection measures to deal with those threats and maintain our full operational capability.”

    Nelson also worked with the U.S. Army Base Operating Support-Integrator team, leading the programming and execution of a long-term solution to replace eleven tent structures, which strengthened the base’s readiness.

    “The combat mission capability was maintained, and I’m proud of that,” Nelson said.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.10.2020
    Date Posted: 11.10.2020 16:01
    Story ID: 382776
    Location: MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, ID, US 

    Web Views: 80
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN