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Robert A. Jackson


Airman's Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 2, 1926 (as amended July 6, 1960), takes pleasure in presenting the Airman's Medal to Master Sergeant Robert A. Jackson, United States Air Force, for heroism involving voluntary risk of life at 506th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq, on 1 August 2003. On that date, Sergeant Jackson was leading a team of eleven munitions specialists who were working with Explosive Ordinance Demolitions technicians in compiling, segregating, and securing captured enemy munitions for future destruction. While supervising his team, Sergeant Jackson noticed smoke coming from a 120 millimeter projectile in a munitions stockpile. Realizing the material was white phosphorus and knowing what would happen if it were to detonate, he quickly decided to render the highly flammable, extremely dangerous weapon inert by submerging it into water. With complete disregard for his personal safety, he ran to the stockpile, removed the projectile, and ran nearly the length of a football field to a fire fighting pool. He immediately submerged the projectile, rendered it inert and rapidly diffused the situation. Without Sergeant Jackson's expeditious actions, the projectile would have burst into flame and detonated, setting off the entire stockpile, including SA-2 surface-to-air missiles, high explosive mortar rounds, and rocket propelled grenades. His superb actions prevented the serious injury, if not loss of life, of all of his team members and fourteen other military personnel in the immediate area and avoided catastrophically impacting the mission of the 506th Air Expeditionary Group. With a conservative estimate of over three million pounds of munitions in the entire munitions storage area, the significance of this selfless act cannot be overstated. The exemplary courage and heroism displayed by Sergeant Jackson reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

Action Date: 1-Aug-03

Service: Air Force

Rank: Master Sergeant

Company: 506th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron

Division: Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq