CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
Awarded for actions during the Global War on Terror
Operation Enduring Freedom - South and Central Asia - Afghanistan
SrA Mark A. Forester
Senior Airman A. Forester distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in the Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on 29 September 2010.
On that day, while performing duty as a Combat Controller for Special Operations Task Force - South East, Fire Base Tinsley, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan, Airman Forester demonstrated extreme valor while engaged in combat with a well equipped and tenacious enemy.
Airman Forester participated in a deliberate assault against an insurgent safe haven in Jangalak Village, supporting a team security for a mounted patrol. As the patrol moved into the village, it came under intense enemy machine gun and sniper fire. Airman Forester, without hesitation, exposed himself to enemy fire in order to identify enemy positions and coordinate close air support.
As the enemy fire became more accurate, the patrol was forced to bound through an open field in order to secure a defensive position in a compound. As they approached the compound, one of the Afghan Soldiers suffered a fatal gunshot wound from an enemy sniper. Airman Forester was able to quickly maneuver a pair of AH-64s over the enemy position which enabled the patrol to reach the safety of the compound. Once inside the compound, Airman Forester assisted in its clearing and moved into a position to flank the insurgents. As the team flanked the insurgent position, they again came under effective enemy machine gun and sniper fire.
When a United States Army Soldier was fatally injured by the sniper, Airman Forester again exposed himself to the enemy and immediately killed the sniper. Airman Forester then organized a team to retrieve the injured Soldier.
Airman Forester led the team back into the enemy's line of fire in a valiant effort to rescue a fallen comrade when he was fatally wounded by insurgent fire. Airman Forester's steadfast courage in the face of the enemy led to the elimination of twelve insurgents and the capture of multiple weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty in the dedication of his service to his country, Airman Forester has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.