by Airman 1st Class Timothy Kim
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/22/2015 - SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- A
senior master sergeant from the 52nd Civil Engineer Squadron received
two medals during a presentation ceremony before the 52nd Mission
Support Group commander's call April 16 at the Skelton Memorial Fitness
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Christopher Collins, 52nd CES
facilities systems superintendent, earned a Bronze Star Medal and a
Combat Action Medal for his actions during his deployment to Afghanistan
"These medals are a testament to Sergeant Collins' dedication and
training when he and his comrades needed it most," said U.S. Air Force
Col. Joe McFall, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. "This is a fantastic
example of air power in a way we are not accustomed to thinking about
it. Chris is a CE plumber by trade, but his professional skills,
fighting spirit and courage as an Airman transcend his [Air Force
Specialty Code] and highlight how critical air power has been to our
nation's efforts in Afghanistan. I am honored to call him a fellow
Saber. We couldn't be prouder of you, Sergeant Collins."
According to the medals' citations, Collins earned the Bronze Star Medal
for conducting more than 50 key leader engagements with Afghan leaders,
cultivating a rapport that would lead to more accurate human terrain
analysis and enhanced situational awareness of the region. He also
offered expert counsel to district government leaders, which led to the
establishment and development of a police presence into insurgent safe
havens, further increasing security.
Collins earned the Combat Action Medal during a humanitarian aid mission
in Afghanistan Dec. 6, 2013. While his unit came under fire, Collins
and his team managed to keep the enemy at bay and prevented further
damage until air support arrived, allowing them to return to base.
Despite earning these awards, Collins said he considers these not as a
recognition for doing something great, but for doing his job as a member
of the Afghanistan Pakistan Hands program, a cadre of financial
management service members and civilians with language and cultural
training focused on those regions.
"I really was just doing my assigned duties," Collins said. "I'm
thankful I was able to complete my second tour to Afghanistan as member
of the AFPAK program and return home to my family. I was able to work
side-by-side with some true professionals, and I wanted to do the best
job that I possibly could. I wouldn't say I went beyond my duty, but I
believe I made an impact."