566th IS Airmen Earn Bronze Star Medals
By Senior Master Sgt. Ed Pineda , 566th Intelligence Squadron
/ Published September 23, 2009
- BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Colonel John Bansemer, 70th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Wing Commander presented Bronze Star Medals to three 566th Intelligence Squadron Airmen during an award ceremony August 26 at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
"Before September 11 the number of Bronze Star Medals I saw presented was zero. So being here today to recognize three Airmen who were in the fight outside the wire, faced danger, and accomplished a significant mission is my honor," Colonel Bansemer said. "Well done!"
Tech. Sgt. David Romanowsky distinguished himself by exemplary meritorious service while engaged in ground combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2006 to January 2007. As the Weapons Intelligence Team 2 senior intelligence analyst, Sergeant Romanowsky was exposed to extreme danger from rocket propelled grenades, small arms fire, mortars and improvised explosive devices.
According to his citation, Sergeant Romanowsky's unselfish dedication to duty, sound judgment and courage successfully contributed to Task Force Troy Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Mission and safe passage of coalition forces.
"I'm proud to serve and happy to do my part. I can honestly say that was the best job I've ever had; I'd do it again," Sergeant Romanowsky said of this deployment.
Master Sgt. Matthew Strube also earned the Bronze Star Medal for his service during a deployment November 2008 to May 2009 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the senior ranking member of Weapons Intelligence Team Six Combined Joint Task Force Troy, Sergeant Strube completed more than 250 weapons intelligence missions and collected more than 1,000 pieces of evidence. His hard work resulted in more than 300 latent fingerprints of value and led to the capture of three high-valued individuals.
Sergeant Strube said, "That was, by far, the greatest job I have ever had. If given the opportunity, I'd volunteer again."
Master Sgt. Joseph Houlihan earned his Bronze Star Medal for his service during a one year deployment that lasted from December 2007 to December 2008. He worked as the Multi-National Forces-West and Multi-National Division-Baghdad Weapons Intelligence Detachments, Combined Joint Task Force Troy, superintendent. Sergeant Houlihan led 40 joint service personnel on eight teams and provided hands-on oversight for more than 2,500 combat missions which were staged from 16 forward operating bases.
His citation stated that his outstanding dedication to duty during combat operations in Iraq contributed to the overwhelming success of the Multi-National Corps- Iraq Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Mission.
"I've been in for over 20 years and this was the most rewarding assignment I've had in my career," said Sergeant Houlihan. "At the end of each day, we knew we had saved countless American lives because of the huge impact of our mission to conduct counter-improvised explosive device operations.
He said that from the start of his deployment to the end of it, he and his team members were the crime scene investigators on the battlefield. They performed forensics and identified the insurgents. Then after putting in a target package, they were even able to capture the enemy.
"The sense of accomplishment was amazing," lauded Sergeant Houlihan. "It's not often, as intelligence Airmen, that we get to go outside the wire as battlefield Airmen. In this assignment, we did."
"The impressive accomplishments of each of these Airmen are a perfect example of how expansive the role of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance has become in prosecuting the Global War on Terrorism. Whether it's on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, at worldwide collection sites or supporting Air Force and joint units around the globe our ISR professionals are working around the clock to protect our nation," said Lt. Col. David Scanlon, 566th Intelligence Squadron commander.