Bookmark and Share

Scott M. Burns


AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Air Medal

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Air Medal to Technical Sergeant Scott M. Burns, United States Air Force, for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight as MH-53M Aerial Gunner, Joint Special Operations Air Detachment-South, Combined Joint Special Operations Air Component, Special Operations Command Central at a classified location on 19 March 2003. On this date, his helicopter was chalk five in the first flight of aircraft flown into Iraq supporting Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His brownout infiltration of teams and vehicles was vital to the successful initiation of coalition combat efforts. Sergeant Burns performed his duties of tail gunner in an exemplary manner. He accomplished two extremely difficult vehicle loads in record time and without incident. This task was made even more difficult due to both vehicles being grossly overloaded to the point of not fitting on the aircraft. This created confusion among the ground forces, and thus he had to reassess load plans on the ramp for both missions. In each instance, Sergeant Burns quickly assessed the situation and determined the best course of action for the team and aircrew. Due to marginal weather en route and complete dust out conditions in the landing zones, Sergeant Burns' timely and precise hazard calls were extremely critical to maintaining his crew's situational awareness and enabling mission success. Sergeant Burns conducted two sorties into Iraq on the same night under great stress and fatigue, monumental tasks after witnessing an aircraft mishap in the first objective area. The professional skill and airmanship displayed by Sergeant Burns reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: March 19, 2003

Service: Air Force

Rank: Technical Sergeant

Air Medal

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Air Medal to Master Sergeant Scott M. Burns, United States Air Force, for meritorious achievement while participating in sustained aerial flight as MH-53M Aerial Gunner, 21st Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron, 16th Expeditionary Special Operations Wing, from 28 March 2003 to 17 November 2004. During this period, Sergeant Burns flew 16 combat sorties totaling 71 combat hours to infiltrate, exfiltrate, and re-supply special operations ground forces throughout Iraq. He often flew well within the engagement zone of enemy surface-to-air missiles, rocket propelled grenades, and small arms fire to provide direct assault and casualty evacuation platforms for ground actions targeting anti-coalition and foreign fighter elements. Sergeant Burns played a pivotal role in the loading and transportation of 109 Special Forces team members as well as 53,000 pounds of equipment, providing personnel and supplies necessary to maintain ground superiority. Sergeant Burns provided exceptional aircraft protection as lead gunner in a myriad of challenging flight environments such as high and low level, low illumination flights over featureless desert terrain in marginal visibility. The professional ability and outstanding aerial accomplishments of Sergeant Burns reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: March 28, 2003 - November 17, 2004

Service: Air Force

Rank: Master Sergeant

Air Medal

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Air Medal with Combat "V" to Master Sergeant Scott M. Burns, United States Air Force, for heroism while participating in aerial flight as MH-53M Aerial Gunner, near Fallujah, Iraq, on 13 November 2004. Sergeant Burns was the tail gunner of the second aircraft during a two-ship, night mission flying Special Forces men and equipment from Baghdad to Fallujah in support of ongoing combat operations in the insurgent stronghold. En route to a landing zone on the outskirts of the embattled city, his formation came under fire from insurgent positions. As the lead aircraft was engaged, Sergeant Burns swung his weapon around and decisively engaged the enemy position to suppress the fire directed at lead. Second later, a second enemy position opened fire from the opposite side of the formation. He quickly re-positioned the tail gun to provide suppressive fire against the second enemy position. While enemy tracers impacted the lead helicopter and flew between both aircraft in the formation, Sergeant Burns continued to return accurate suppressive fire while simultaneously making scanner calls clearing the formation for obstacles and hazards during the ensuing evasive maneuvers. Once clear of the threat, he immediately conducted a battle damage assessment of the aft cabin and ensured the safety of the passengers. The exemplary performance under fire demonstrated by Sergeant Burns directly resulted in the destruction of two enemy positions and the preservation of both MH-53M helicopters and the lives of fourteen crewmembers. The professional skill and airmanship displayed by Sergeant Burns reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: November 13, 2004

Service: Air Force

Rank: Master Sergeant