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Airman awarded Bronze Star for work in Kabul
Lt. Gen. Rusty Findley, Air Mobility Command vice commander, presents a Bronze Star medal to Tech. Sgt. Heather Henry, NCO in charge of AMC’s Commander’s Action Group, on Nov. 16, 2010, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Sergeant Henry earned the award for her actions on a recent six-month deployment to Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Valencia)
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AMC NCO awarded Bronze Star for work in Kabul

Posted 11/24/2010   Updated 11/24/2010 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Andrew Davis
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

11/24/2010 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Tech. Sgt. Heather Henry, NCOIC Air Mobility Command Commander's Action Group, was awarded the Bronze Star medal during a ceremony at Scott Air Force Base Nov. 16.
Sergeant Henry was presented the award by Lt. Gen. Rusty Findley, AMC vice commander. Her actions that earned her the medal were from her recent six month deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan.

"I worked in Kabul at International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in the Combined Joint Psychological Operations Task Force, or CJPOTF, as a staff assistant," said Sergeant Henry. "CJPOTF's mission is to directly communicate to the local population via organic mass media -- meaning TV, radio, and newspapers. We wanted to positively influence the 25 million Afghans to support their new government and not the terrorist insurgency."

Tasked in a cyberspace support career field, she went above and beyond to further add to the mission.

"I'm in the 3D career field, so the original job description involved doing the standard knowledge operator and information manager tasks," said Sergeant Henry. "However, I found that really wasn't enough work for me to fill anywhere close to a whole day, so I began forming relationships with the rest of the CJPOTF staff and discovered many additional ways I could contribute to our mission.

"In fact, by the time my tour was over, I had found myself on more than 54 outside the wire missions serving as a truck commander, photographer, filming assistant and even a site surveyor for future TV spots," she added.

Because of changes in her tempo band last January, Sergeant Henry only had seven days notice to prepare for her deployment, not really knowing what to expect, she adapted and overcame.

"To be brutally honest, I never really expected as an administration troop to be outside the wire numerous times in Afghanistan," she said. "Although we can be dealt a challenging hand sometimes, I firmly believe in 'blooming' wherever the Air Force puts me. A great attitude and hard work will almost always bring about good things."
Networking and building relationships with others was one of the highlights of her deployment experience.

"The CJPOTF staff consisted of almost 100 people, and I was the only U.S. Air Force person on the staff for around two months," said the sergeant. "As a NATO organization, we had numerous other NATO countries represented; I worked and built relationships with the Germans, Belgium, Romanians, Polish and French partners. I feel learning about their backgrounds, cultures, and ways of thinking was one of the greatest parts of my deployed experience.

"It's all about relationships ... building strong relationships with the joint/coalition partners, within our military chains, and most importantly, with the Afghan people themselves is what I think will help us accomplish our mission better than anything else," added Sergeant Henry.

The bronze star is a decoration authorized by Executive Order No. 9419 on Feb. 4, 1944, and is awarded to a person in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States, shall have distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

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