SSgt Christopher F. Lewis
Operation Inherent Resolve
October 20, 2016
CITATION TO ACCOMPANY THE AWARD OF THE SILVER STAR MEDAL TO
CHRISTOPHER F. LEWIS
Staff Sergeant Christopher F. Lewis distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller attached to a Naval Special Warfare Platoon near Mosul, Iraq on 20 October 2016.
On that date, Sergeant Lewis' team escorted Kurdish Peshmerga Forces beyond the forward line of troops in an effort to clear two villages held by an unknown number of Da'esh fighters. Shortly after entering enemy-held territory, his element began receiving a high volume of effective fire, prompting Sergeant Lewis to call for immediate close air support in what would become a violent ten hour firefight. Attempting to break contact, his team took intense fire from enemy positions at which time the automated .50 Caliber turret system in Sergeant Lewis' vehicle became inoperable.
While receiving a heavy volume of accurate rocket propelled grenade, 81 millimeter mortar, and small arms fire, Sergeant Lewis selflessly exposed himself to grave danger in order to control airstrikes within 400 meters of his team's position destroying two enemy fighting positions and an unknown number of enemy fighters maneuvering.
Then, while manning a .50 Caliber machine gun in an open turret, Sergeant Lewis again selflessly exposed himself to enemy fire to engage and destroy an onrushing vehicle-borne improvised explosive device within 150 meters of his position driving at high speed directly towards his team and Peshmerga Forces. Shortly thereafter, the enemy attempted to open another avenue of attack from a concealed tunnel at close range to Sergeant Lewis' team.
Maneuvering from enemy fire, his team was halted after identifying multiple pressure-plate improvised explosive devices on their withdrawal route. Then a series of improvised explosive devices detonated, destroying one vehicle and mortally wounding a United States service member. While still under fire, Sergeant Lewis dismounted his vehicle and risked his life to provide life-sustaining medical care to his injured teammate who lay within five meters of an unexploded improvised explosive device.
He then pulled two remaining teammates from the damaged vehicle who were confused from the blast, controlled a hasty medical evacuation, and facilitated airstrikes resulting in 20 enemies killed in action.
By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Lewis has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.