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Timothy Hernandez


Air Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Air Medal with Combat "V" to First Lieutenant Timothy Hernandez, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious achievement and valor displayed on 6 April 2008. First Lieutenant Hernandez displayed outstanding leadership and gunnery skills while serving as co-pilot and gunner during combat operations in support of Coalition Forces under attack near the village of Kendall, Afghanistan. Despite heavy enemy fire, First Lieutenant Hernandez continued to engage and destroy enemy positions enabling Coalition Forces to break contact. His heroic actions saved the lives of over 60 soldiers and bring great credit upon him, Task OUT FRONT, Task Force DESTINY, Combined Joint Task Force 101, and the United States Army. NARRATIVE TO ACCOMPANY AWARD: On 6 April 2008, First Lieutenant Timothy R. Hernandez, acting as a Co-Pilot-Gunner (CPG) of an AH64D Apache Longbow, responded as part of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to support coalition forces under attack in Operation Commando Wrath. For over two hours, First Lieutenant Hernandez engaged and destroyed enemy forces, despite receiving continuous small arms and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) fire, as a heavily outnumbered coalition force on objective Patriot attempted to break contact and egress. His actions helped saved the lives of over 60 coalition personnel and destroyed an enemy stronghold in the Langham province. Taking off at approximately 0430z, First Lieutenant Hernandez (GUNBOW 73), escorted two MEDEVAC aircraft from Bagram Air Field to FOB Pathfinder on a routine mission. Upon completion of the escort mission, First Lieutenant Hernandez and his sister ship (GUNBOW 76) notified that there were Coalition forces in heavy contact vicinity Kendall village. Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Hernandez and his team quickly refueled and flew directly to the objective area. En route, First Lieutenant Hernandez received a brief from the Air-Mission-Commander and began preparing for the upcoming engagement. After conducting a Battle-Hand-Over (BHO) with two Apache Longbows (HEDGEROW 54 and HEDGEROW 52) currently on station, First Lieutenant Hernandez began immediately engaging targets with 30-mm.. After his sister ship destroyed a building with a hellfire missile, First Lieutenant Hernandez identified another enemy stronghold on the eastern portion of the objective area and requested clearance of fires from JAGUAR 07, the JTAC on the objective. Upon receiving clearance of fires, First Lieutenant Hernandez directed his back-seater onto the target and destroyed the building with a precision strike. The fire on the objective was intense, wounding over a dozen coalition Soldiers and damaging an Apache from the team that First Lieutenant Hernandez relieved. Despite direct fire from fixed and rotor wing attack aircraft, the enemy showed no signs of attempting to break contact and instead stood steadfast in and around the village. Continuing to engage targets, First Lieutenant Hernandez coordinated with JAGUAR 07, fix wing aircraft, and his sister ship to fix and destroy enemy strongholds responsible for denying coalition forces freedom of maneuver. While over the objective, First Lieutenant Hernandez and his crew placed multiple 2.75 rockets on targets which allowed coalition forces to safely maneuver to the extraction point. Remaining on station for almost two more hours, First Lieutenant Hernandez and his team expended almost all their ordinance, leaving barely enough to protect themselves if engaged on his way back to the FARP in FOB Kalagush, a twenty minute flight away. After rearming and refueling, First Lieutenant Hernandez escorted a flight of three CH47s to the begin extraction of forces on the objective. While en route to the extraction point, JAGUAR 07, numerous time, reported that the HLZ was “hot.” Without hesitation, First Lieutenant Hernandez continued to the objective area providing area security in support of the CH47s enabling the helicopters to safely exfil all coalition forces from the objective area without taking any additional casualties.

Action Date: April 6, 2008

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant