New AF camp renamed in honor of JTAC

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. David Carbajal
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
The 451st Air Expeditionary Wing's newly acquired Canada 9 compound will soon be renamed to honor a joint terminal attack controller who was posthumously awarded a Silver Star for his actions in January 2010.

Recently approved by Kandahar Airfield officials, the compound was renamed Camp Bradley Smith in honor of Senior Airman Bradley Smith, who was awarded the Silver Star Nov. 9, 2011, for his actions while supporting operations near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy.

Kandahar's First Four Council, was instrumental in the selection of the new name. The organization's previous Vice President, Senior Airman Rachel Phillips, led the effort to find the right Airman to honor. "We wanted to name the camp after someone who had done something extraordinary and whose actions were heroic and courageous," said Senior Airman Joshua Leibold, First Four Council president. "We considered many outstanding Airmen, but Airman Smith was an obvious choice."

According to the citation, Smith's platoon was ambushed by simultaneous mortar, improvised explosive device, and machine gun fire while on foot patrol, leaving a Soldier and Airman immobilized in an adjacent creek and a second Soldier missing. While returning fire, Smith ran through lethal crossfire to save his comrades.

The citation further described that he also rescued the disoriented and blinded Airman from the water and recovered the mortally wounded Soldier. After administering first aid, Smith continued returning fire and coordinated close air support. While trying to recover the remains of another mortally wounded Soldier, a second improvised explosive device detonated killing him instantly.

"The ASOS community and the 807th EASOS are extremely proud of Senior Airman Bradley Smith and his actions on the battlefield," said Chief Master Sgt. Eric Kibby, 807th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron superintendent. "We're very proud to have one of our Air Force camps named after one of our finest."

Smith, a Troy, Ill., native, was assigned to the 10th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Riley, Kansas. This Air Force unit provides combat-mission-ready tactical air control parties for combat maneuver units of the 1st Infantry Division and 1st Armored Division. The TACPs act as the battlefield liaison between ground forces and aircraft weapon systems. A TACP is generally a two-man team working in an Army ground unit and directing close-air-support firepower toward enemy targets on the ground.

Wing leadership plans to hold a ceremony for the camp's memorial in March.