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TSgt Bradley T. Reilly

Operation Enduring Freedom

April 11, 2005
Khost-Gardez Pass, Afghanistan





The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star (Army Award) to Technical Sergeant Bradley T. Reilly, United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action.

Technical Sergeant Reilly distinguished himself by his exceptionally valorous actions as the Combat Controller from the 23d Special Tactics Squadron, 16th Special Operations Wing, assigned to Operational Detachment Alpha 163, Advanced Operational Base 160, forward Operational Base 12, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM VI, on 11 April 2005.

On that date, the detachment responded to a no-notice air Quick Reaction Force (QRF) in direct support of an Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) ambush. The target was General Khil Baz, the new Border Battalion Commander. The Khowst-Gardez pass (ambush site) is extremely rugged terrain and is a historical ACM ambush site. The detachment loaded two UH-60 aircraft; Technical Sergeant Reilly was in the second aircraft. Upon arrival at the ambush site the detachment was pointed in the direction of ACM egress. Once the aircraft flew over the area, the detachment was able to identify the suspected ACM. Technical Sergeant Reilly's aircraft landed and immediately began receiving a high rate of effective machine gun and small arms fire. The detachment returned fire and assaulted uphill to the enemy position, again while under heavy effective enemy machine-gun fire. The detachment overran the enemy machine gun position through the use of small arms, fragmentary grenades, and 40-mm. grenade fire.

Once the detachment secured the enemy position, they began to receive an additional high rate of effective fire from three sides. The ACM forces were extremely close, well supplied, well trained, and dedicated, allowing them to sustain effective fires against the detachment. The majority of enemy fire was coming from down an extremely steep cliff. Immediately Master Sergeant Cooper and Technical Sergeant Reilly assaulted down the cliff in the direction of fire. During the assault, Master Sergeant Cooper was critically wounded in both legs and Technical Sergeant Reilly were pinned down approximately 100 meters down the cliff and isolated from additional detachment members. Even though Technical Sergeant Reilly was shot, he continued to return fire. During the lulls in the heavy machine gun fire, Technical Sergeant Reilly treated Master Sergeant Cooper's wounds, saving his life, and continued to control the rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft, control fires against the enemy forces (2 x AH-64's, 2 @ A-10's, and 2 x UH-60's).

After the AH 64's departed the area, the still motivated enemy attempted to overrun Technical Sergeant Reilly and Master Sergeant Cooper's position. Technical Sergeant Reilly, additional detachment members, and a UH-60 provided suppressing fires to the advancing enemy forces, forcing them to retreat to cover ending up approximately 50 meters from Staff Sergeant Day, Master Sergeant Cooper, and Technical Sergeant Reilly's position.

Technical Sergeant Reilly provided life saving medical care, controlled aircraft fires, and provided suppressive fires for approximately three hours while being wounded. Throughout this time, they were still receiving effective machine gun fire. At one point, he was willing to have all other USSF move back up hill and call in A-10 ordnance danger close to his position (200 Meters) to save other lives.

Due to the stand-alone actions of Technical Sergeant Reilly, his medical expertise, marksmanship skills, and proficiency for controlling aircraft, Master Sergeant Cooper is alive today.

The distinctive and life saving actions of Technical Sergeant Reilly reflects great credit upon himself, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, and the United States Air Force.

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