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
Andrew L. Martin
Technical Sergeant Andrew L. Martin distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in the Shahi Kot region, eastern Afghanistan, from 27 February to 4 Mar 2002.
Sergeant Martin was a key member of a five man sniper team during operation ANACONDA, this sustained special operation that located and identified countless and previously unseen enemy fortifications, ground patrols, and fighting positions throughout the Shahi Kut Valley region of Afghanistan.
His elite team achieved overwhelming operations effects on the battlefield completely out of proportion to its small size. He scaled an 11,000 foot peak carrying over 100 pounds of equipment, traversing over 19 kilometers of the most precipitous landscape the continent has to offer. Approaching the target area he spotted a large-caliber automatic weapon position manned by four enemy personnel. Under an incoming hail of enemy fire, his team assaulted the fortified position eliminating two enemy fighters with surgical rifle fire.
Anticipating enemy contact Sergeant Martin pre-briefed the AC-130 gunship with a fire mission and within seconds had eliminated the remaining enemy force. From this newly conquered, dominating land feature, Sergeant Martin called in a storm of close air support fire on a multitude of targets staged in offensive positions overlooking the valley below.
In a second enemy fire fight engagement Sergeant Martin was credited with five confirmed kills during an hour-long battle support a friendly force under attack. Sergeant Martin faced death from torturous terrain, debilitating effects of high altitude exposure and extreme cold weather, he survived two direct mortar attacks, and successfully executed two armed assaults of Al Qaeda positions killing the enemy at close range.
The strategic significance of the devastation Sergeant Martin delivered upon the enemy is beyond assessment. By conservative estimates his team killed 30 to 50 enemy fighters.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Martin has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.