USAF OSI Agents Receive Special Honor for Quick Action in Deadly Afghanistan Attack

by Oriana Pawlyk, Air Force Times, March 8, 2016

Lt Col Michael Mentavios, EDet 2405/CC recognizes SSgt Martinez as an honorary AFOSI Special Agent at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan (Photo: AFOSI)

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations will honor three surviving airmen who sprung into action following a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan in December.

Master Sgt Aaron Frederick and Staff Sgt Bradley Mock, both with the 824th Base Defense Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, and Staff Sgt Flavio Martinez, 105th Security Forces Squadron, Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, have been made honorary AFOSI special agents, the agency announced Friday.

"Following the Dec. 21 attack, the immediate actions of three defenders were nothing short of heroic," OSI posted on its Facebook page. "In a time of chaos, uncertainty, and terror, they immediately ensured the safety of other teammates, cared for the wounded and protected the dignity of our fallen."

Six airmen were killed when a suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden motorcycle into a joint patrol with Afghan security forces outside of Bargram Air Field. The fallen airmen were directly responsible for the safety of the other forces on the ground, which included five fellow security forces airmen, five OSI agents and two linguists.

Last month, two of the six airmen killed were honored posthumously with Bronze Stars with Valor. The Air National Guard awarded Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa and Tech Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, both with the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart ANGB "for saving the lives of other airmen at the cost of their own."

The three OSI agents will receive an official badge and credentials in a formal presentation from Brig. Gen. Keith Givens, commander of AFOSI, and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher J. VanBurger, 15th Air Force Office of Special Investigations Command Chief, in the near future, the agency said.

bonacasa_lemmTwo Defenders Names To Be Added To The NLEO Memorial

A nomination package was submitted by the office of the Director of Security Forces, USAF to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Board recommending the addition of two Air Force Defenders to the memorial. At the 13 May 2016 candlelight vigil Security Forces Defenders TSgt Joseph Lemm’s and SSgt Louis Bonacasa’s names will be read aloud with the names of other Law Enforcement officers who lost their lives during 2015. This ceremony will take place in Judiciary Square during Police Week in Washington, DC.

 nleom"Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." President George H.W. Bush 


gaylor1CMSAF Gaylor & AFSFA Visits SSgt Nelson

CMSAF #5 and AFSFA member Bob Gaylor visited SSgt Nelson, his wife TSgt (sel) Anna Nelson (both Defenders) and his mom Jeannie on 6 February. His dad Chris told us Bryan plans to be a Chief someday so what better visit could an aspiring NCO have than a CMSAF who was a Defender? Chief Gaylor presented Bryan one of his autographed CMSAF sweatshirts and spent some time visiting. If you have never heard how Chief Gaylor became a cop you'all have to ask ... it is a super story. His mom passed along her gratitude to AFSFA, "... your support means the world to us."  





SSgt Nelson Becomes An Honorary OSI Agent

On 5 January 2016 BGen Keith M. Givens presented OSI credentials to Security Forces SSgt Bryan A. Nelson at the San Antonio Military Medical Center. SSgt  Nelson is the only active duty Defender to ever receive this distinction.





AFSFA Visits Bagram Wounded Defender 

AFSFA had a great visit with SSgt Bryan Nelson and his family on New Years Eve. SSgt Nelson, a member of the 820th Security Forces Group, Moody AFB, GA, was transported to the San Antonio Area Medical Center (SAAMC) burn unit due to burns and injuries suffered during the recent motorcycle bomb attack at Bagram Air Base this last December which killed 4 AFOSI agents and 2 Security Forces Defenders. He received burns to his lower body, back and some to his face with a broken leg and ankle. He is doing very well for his condition. His wife, TSgt (sel) Anastasia Nelson, also a Defender, was at the hospital with his father during the visit. His mother and grandmother arrived as SSgt Nelson’s wife and sister departed. Bryan was born and raised in San Antonio and both he and his wife had upcoming assignments to the Lackland AFB, TX for 2016. The AF is working to accelerate their moves now that they are already in the San Antonio area.

All were very appreciative of the concern and support offered by AFSFA and our Proud Warrior Program. In addition to the $500 Proud Warrior Program grant Lee Chambers of the Eagle Chapter reached out to other chapters including the Oklahoma Heartland and Magwood Chapters to increase the support. Their combined donations produced an additional $300 grant.

AFSFA also provided copies of the last 6 magazines, travel mugs, AFSFA and Fallen Defender coins and an AFSFA tote and get well cards.

AFSFA will continue to provide updates on SSgt Nelson’s recovery.


12 for 12
By Master Sgt. Joshua Strang, Air Forces Central Command Public Affairs / Published December 14, 2015

Members participate in the Fallen Defenders Ruck to Remember on Dec. 12, 2015, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The 12-kilometer ruck march honors security forces defenders who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Joshua Strang)

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar (AFNS) --  On the 12th day of the 12th month, service members here took action to ensure 12 security forces defenders were honored with a 12-kilometer ruck march.

The Fallen Defenders Ruck to Remember honors security forces members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although the event remembers all of the defenders killed in action, this year’s event focused specifically on two members.

“We are highlighting the sacrifices made by our latest defenders that we have lost,” said Master Sgt. Austin Schneider, the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron training superintendent. “Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain and Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz lost their lives on October 2nd this year at Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan.”

Sartain and Ruiz were killed when the C-130J Super Hercules they were flying on crashed during takeoff. Both Airmen were deployed from the 66th Security Force Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

The event generated $2,800 and all proceeds will go to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors through the Combined Federal Campaign.

TAPS is a nonprofit organization that offers compassionate care to all those grieving the death of a loved one serving in the armed forces.

Although the event raised money, it was all about remembrance, said Chief Master Sgt. Tamala Hartz, the Air Forces Central Command security forces manager.

“Today’s event is really about remembering those defenders who gave all in Afghanistan and Iraq,” Hartz said. “Any time there is a loss in the defender family it is our responsibility to remember those who can’t go home.” 



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