CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR
Operation Enduring Freedom - South and Central Asia - Afghanistan
Staff Sergeant Alan T. Yoshida
Staff Sergeant Alan T. Yoshida distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States near Sayyd Alma Kalay, Afghanistan, from 30 November 2001 to 4 December 2001.
During this period, Sergeant Yoshida rode with the lead element of the Northern Alliance Commander Hamid Karmai's ground force as they advanced and seized the town of Sayyd Alma Kalay. On the night of 3 December 2001, in an attempt to reoccupy the town, Taliban forces launched a major counterattack across the Arghendab River forcing a majority of the Northern Alliance soldiers to retreat to the north.
Over the next eight hours, despite being outnumbered two to one and in grave danger of being overrun, Sergeant Yoshida orchestrated numerous dangerous close air strikes, crushing the Taliban attack and forcing the enemy to retreat to the southern side of the rise, saving both his team members and hundreds of Afghanis in the nearby town.
On 4 December 2001, Sergeant Yoshida, accompanied by friendly forces, attacked a critical hilltop overlooking the only bridge in the sector crossing the Arghendab River. While exposed to intense machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades, Sergeant Yoshida meticulously plotted out the enemy positions, developed aircraft attack restrictions and determined optimal munition selection, resulting in neutralization of the enemy threat, survival of friendly forces and ensuring the strategically vital bridge remained intact.
Sergeant Yoshida's heroic action belayed the fears of his Alliance comrades, prevented a second friendly retreat and directly resulted in the occupation of the critical hilltop by friendly forces.
Less than twenty-four hours later, the Taliban requested a cease-fire and sent a delegation to surrender the city Kandahar to Hamid Karmai.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Yoshida has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.