HomeNewsArticle Display

AFIMSC engineer honored with Bronze Star Medal

Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander, stand with Capt. Shane Lockridge after awarding the Bronze Star to him at a commander’s call Feb. 13.

Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander, stand with Capt. Shane Lockridge after awarding the Bronze Star to him at a commander’s call Feb. 13. Lockridge received the award for his performance as director of operations and engineer advisor for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from March 2018 to February 2019. The Bronze Star is awarded to those who demonstrate heroic or meritorious achievement of service in a combat zone in connection with military operations against an armed enemy. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Christopher Campbell)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- Maj. Gen. Tom Wilcox, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center commander awarded the Bronze Star Medal to Capt. Shane Lockridge Feb. 13.

Capt. Shane Lockridge is the chief of military construction requirements for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, a subordinate unit of AFIMSC. He received the award for his performance as the director of operations and engineer adviser for Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from March 2018 to February 2019.

The Bronze Star is awarded to those who demonstrate heroic or meritorious achievement for service in a combat zone in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.

“It’s important for everybody in this center to know that this is what our folks do when they deploy each and every day … going out there, taking the fight to the enemy and taking care of our folks while doing it,” Wilcox said. “Capt. Lockridge, it is an honor to be standing with you.”

What makes the captain’s accomplishments even more impressive is he volunteered for the tour, which was also his first deployment. He gives credit and appreciation to the team he led.

“I had the honor of leading a team of 126 personnel tasked to bolster the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force’s engineering, security forces, logistics and communications squadrons,” Lockridge said. “Without their support and mentorship, I would have never been able to accomplish anything worth this honor.”

He and his team were assigned to the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, composed of more than 85 coalition members, including partners from the U.S., Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and Belgium. The group assists, trains and advises the Kandahar Air Wing in order to provide support to coalition counterinsurgency operations. Advisers mentor their Afghan counterparts across a range of functions including flight operations, aircraft maintenance, intelligence, logistics, personnel management, communications and base defense.

His squadron commander during his deployment, Maj. Kristina Sawtelle of the 443rd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, recalled the environment they were in and the work Lockridge performed.

“Our base was a significant target for attacks as it was a strategic base for the U.S. military, NATO and the Afghan National Army and Air Force,” Sawtelle said. “There were countless nights that were spent in bunkers with incoming sirens going off. Capt. Lockridge was asked to serve in two major roles during his deployment as lead engineering air advisor with one of the largest portfolios in Southern Afghanistan and the director of operations for the largest and most diverse air advisor squadron in the 738th.”

She emphasized that the level of work he performed further signified the level of achievement he demonstrated throughout his deployment.

“While exposed to significant threat streams to include rocket attacks, mortars and insider-threats, and the train, advise, assist mission put Capt. Lockridge shoulder-to-shoulder with our Afghan partners,” Sawtelle said. “His construction portfolio was extremely dynamic; however, one of his major projects was a multimillion-dollar Kandahar airfield renovation. The construction would allow for the successful build of the Afghan Air Force’s light attack, armed aircraft. The operating environment came with significant risk that was mitigated through continuous tactics, training and procedures exercises, live-fire drills and security assessments.”

As the only engineering officer in the 738th AEAG, he was also in charge of project development, funds procurement and construction execution of 12 projects worth $57 million. These projects included construction and renovation to assist in growing the Afghan Air Force mission by standing up the first Afghan UH-60 squadron 18 months ahead of schedule. In addition to bolstering the capabilities of the Afghan Air Force, Lockridge also participated in providing security and force protection to the entire 738th AEAG.

“We endured multiple rocket attacks,” Lockridge said. “We were in constant exposure for possible green-on-blue insider attacks, and we were able to perform 135 outside-the-wire missions, which were done at a time when we were facing opposing forces there at Kandahar Airfield.”

The airfield renovation was a significant accomplishment for Lockridge and his team. Enabling the beddown not only established the first-ever Afghan Air Force Blackhawk squadron ahead of schedule, but increased Afghan Air Force combat capabilities to progress toward operational independence.

“The challenges and adversity our engineers overcame during this project were tremendous and I was truly proud to be a member of the team,” he said. “I was part of something bigger than myself and am honored every day to work with some of the greatest people this world has ever seen.”

 

Engage

Facebook Twitter
Dept of the Air Force guidance on use of cloth face coverings can be found at https://t.co/vIzKyReNGx #COVID19USAF https://t.co/CLGFDbc2sX
.@AETCommand is thinking outside the box to keep pilots separate yet connected to ensure they are ready.… https://t.co/oQQs4uKq6D
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: "The mission comes first, but it starts and stops with people...." Hear more from USAFE-AFAFRICA Command Chief Master Se…
RT @AFResearchLab: #AFRL is working several efforts to support the total government response to COVID-19 in ensuring the availability of vi…
#Airmen from the @TeamFairchild and the @AKNationalGuard assist in packaging and distributing food at Second Harves… https://t.co/XZymXQHqQV
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @EsperDoD, #GenMilley, & #SEAC4 “CZ” Colon-Lopez hold a virtual town hall meeting. https://t.co/7TomydHOqD
Aircrew Flight Equipment Airmen are using their sewing skills to create thousands of cloth face covers. Pieces of c… https://t.co/x7VEkcDjSQ
RT @DeptofDefense: LIVE: @DepSecDef David L. Norquist & @thejointstaff Vice Chairman @usairforce update Pentagon reporters. https://t.co/Ed…
The Jolly Green II was tested to extremes, proving its capabilities in a #ReadyAF https://t.co/nVLtWcSi59
#Aviano AB shows what it means to be a #ReadyAF. https://t.co/qImS1jE0oS
RT @AirNatlGuard: #HeroesOfCOVID19: On March 18, Dr. Lorenzo Paladino— a seasoned emergency medicine physician in Brooklyn— enlisted into t…
April is Month of the Military Child. Here's to our little heroes. Post a picture of your little hero!… https://t.co/YV97FPAgG9
An F-35A Lightning II flies over @HAFB. Airmen continue to fly and train to maintain readiness during the current c… https://t.co/NPbfCy73t8
@AFSpecOpsCmd's 352d Special Operations Wing deployed to Norway to participate in exercise Cold Response 2020, whic… https://t.co/rqrkvSVwfp
RT @NORADCommand: #NORAD remains prepared to respond to security threats. We maintain ample capabilities to deter aggression and defeat att…
During the spread of #COVID19 we've modified operations to remain a #ReadyAF. https://t.co/w5PgP7YWV0
Huge thanks to all the medical Airmen and healthcare professionals who take care of us on this #WorldHealthDay. You… https://t.co/zrOdOrLAET
@AFGlobalStrike's newest acquisition, the MH-139A Grey Wolf, replaces the UH-1N Huey, which entered the operational… https://t.co/LWNsVLtmKN
"Just like the American spirit, our mentality in the military is always 'can do,' never say quit, and never say you… https://t.co/vPfWUoqWFE
“Staying fit is not only crucial for Airman readiness but is also vital in reducing our risk of illness like COVID-… https://t.co/PPXyfjV4iR