Pundit Review - Someone You Should Know - Captain Barry F. Crawford Jr
Sun, 22 Apr 2012|
On 4 May 2010 while attached to Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha and their Afghan partner force, Captain Crawford conducted a helicopter assault into [REDACTED]. Upon landing, Captain Crawford received reports that multiple groups of armed enemy were maneuvering into prepared fighting positions in the high ground around the village. As the assault force initiated clearance operations, they began to receive a high volume of accurate machine gun and sniper fire from an enemy force well over 100 fighters. As the assault force was attacked, Captain Crawford took decisive action to save the lives of three wounded Afghan soldiers and evacuate two Afghan soldiers killed in action. Recognizing that the wounded Afghan soldiers would die without evacuation to definitive care, Captain Crawford took decisive action and ran out into the open in an effort to guide the helicopter to the landing zone.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
And welcome back under review radio Kevin oil with you Bruce McClain on the line. Bruce is a veteran of Vietnam -- between uses -- the united states army. He blogs of black five done that a military affairs in the -- military blogger and replaced learn about the men and women in uniform that's with a segment called someone you should know was started. In a Bruce's hit Telus and other story that will really put the hair on the back in -- -- straight up Bruce we gonna tell us about this week. Well I'm gonna tell you -- which we haven't covered many air force guys and them and they've been an airport kind it will make it here on the back and expand. You know air force combat controllers are a special -- Mostly because they don't spend their time in the year but instead spend their time on the ground. Forces in combat directing it in our air assets. To take -- you know it's a very high skilled job it is also obviously there's things. Tonight I wanna tell you about a warrior named captain theory F Crawford here. Crawford was -- -- controller assigned to a special forces team meaning he too was trained in special operations. As I mentioned before you may find yourself attached to a special forces team. But you're going to have to earn their respect and prove your confidence before they're gonna except you. Seeing it now this. Special forces team submitted. Captain Crawford through the air force cross. After a fourteen hour battle again you're pretty much says it all about except. Special forces teams don't submit someone for the country second highest award for valor unless there -- -- -- the -- Battle took place on May fourth when he -- Goal was to clear the Afghan village of indoor -- and profit. -- operation was part of a bigger -- the year area that had not seen coalition forces. For -- you know for a long time. Hand dorsett to them now and Crawford said it was at its widest only about 250 yards wide. But then just. Very steep mountain to climb up on you to sign the bill. Crawford was the air combat controller for thirteen United States special forces soldiers. And a copy of Afghan commandos. The soldiers were inserted before gone. At daybreak came under fire from the surrounding mountains. Crawford talked about the many natural and manmade caves on the mountainside. The enemy was looking down on the soldiers and it was well. I want to listen carefully what Crawford did remember. His job is to control friendly air assets and direct them on to various targets. But as with most of our heroes who -- this type of award. -- so much more. On landing Camp -- received reports that multiple groups of armed enemy were maneuvering and prepared fighting positions in the high ground around the -- And as the assault force initiated clearance operations. They'd -- game. Began to receive a high volume accurate machine guns sniper fire from enemy force of well over -- hundred fighters. As he has as the assault force was attacked. Crawford took decisive action to save the lives three wounded Afghan soldiers. And evacuate two of those soldiers two soldiers Afghan soldiers killed in action. The visibility was very bad and it was difficult for the pilots who were trying to execute your graduation. To locate the the landings. Recognizing that the wounded Afghan soldiers. Would die with that evacuation to the -- here Kevin Crawford took decisive action and ran out into the open. In an effort to guide the helicopter that landed. That's right stood out. Wide open exposed every enemy weapon on the mountainside. Yet the effect pilots a point on the ground maneuver toward and then standing right there god. Once the pilots had eyes on his position. Crawford remained exposed. Despite having one of his radio went and shot off mere inches from space while walking Specter in the aircraft. In Crawford spotting more trouble moved across -- train and engaged enemy positions with is assault rifle. Called in age 64 Apache attack helicopters. On straightening it -- To defeat in ambushed and that allowed a -- teams to move move there casualties forward. All the -- that were being moved the team exposed position once again came under attack. From two enemy trucks that had moved into the area more threatening -- medical evacuations and the as one of the gate and that are teams was condemned by the enemy but -- by enemy fire the medical evacuation helicopter to direct hit small arms fire. And was forced to part with only four casualty. Leaving one wounded Afghan soldier on the ground. -- been persuaded transport helicopter in the area to land. The helicopter was not equipped for medevac but he convinced its crew of the soldiers dire medical condition. That Crawford -- also developed were made and execute the plan to suppress. Enemy fire prior to that helicopter. Coming in which enables the helicopter returned to that hot landing zone. And retrieve the last can't. Oh and while Wally was doing all that he was controlling -- fifteen Arum said. In the area in any one time taking out enemy position. Then walk after Crawford element -- traded affiliate. Yes all four and the assault were conducted a two kilometer movement over steep terrain. -- little or no cover. -- again engaged the enemy with its assault rifle while integrating. Age 64 Apache attack helicopter and F six F fifteen. -- -- air to ground attack plan. And include strafing runs along with 500 in 2000 pound bombs and hellfire missiles right. Through the course -- the ten hour firefight. Proper -- effective enemy fire and consciously pasting it placed himself -- grave risk four separate occasions. While controlling over 33 year program. And more than forty airstrikes. On a well trained well prepared. Work. Itself with actions and expert airpower employment neutralized and numerically superior enemy war. And enables an unrealistic so -- you're out and cancel. And what do you think he got when he found out. If you've been put in for an airport -- Well he said he thought they were joking when it. Translation. You -- only doing his job. While he knows that this is an individual war. He believes the success of the mission with the result the team efforts thing. It's all about my special forces team. -- Afghan commandos that we're fighting that day because if everyone didn't go above and beyond. Above and beyond that which was needed. We could suffer catastrophic care I probably wouldn't be here. He's probably right. But had not very Crawford gone way above and beyond beneath his teammates would have made it either. Proper complemented the UK Apache crew assisted him throughout the battle -- and thirty missiles and expanding -- thousands of rounds and it was obviously if he was obviously an example uncommon valor being common virtue. Of that battle. It is also that offer putting everything on the line more than one bit in his life. To ensure his comrades and -- -- to survive. And that's why buried in Crawford you're. Captain united states air force air combat controller. And awarded the air force cross for export rate. Under fire -- -- Afghanistan. Is someone. Russo struck listening that people who send Barry Crawford the combat can't agree on a single thing about any issue. And listening to you know him what he didn't teamwork and. You know I its leaders ordinary an image he's right you know he and he talked. A logistics are a little bird you know a helicopter that had no. Medevac capability whatsoever that's got set up their city got to wonder guy -- -- have again. I mean this is just. You know it happens every day. These guys do stuff like and and -- you know he's right they argued the air force -- but look at what these other guys -- and that's just typical. Well Bruce thanks to tell us about Mary Crawford and so many other people over the years and to find -- -- -- -- reviewed -- come into the someone you should -- category. Really appreciate Bruce we've learned so much from these stories well you know all -- don't. When was thrilled about that Bruce thanks we look for its -- into next week you bet they care thanks Bruce. When we come back after a quick commercial break David -- so the editorial page editor of the Washington examiner.