SSgt Gabriel P. Brown
March 4, 2002
Staff Sergeant Gabriel P. Brown distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force near Marzak, Patkin Province, Afghanistan, on 4 March 2002.
On that proud date, Sergeant Brown was the primary Ground Forward Air Controller assigned to a Quick Reaction Force tasked to recover two American servicemen evading capture in austere terrain occupied by massed al Qaeda and Taliban forces. Shortly before landing, his MH-47 helicopter received accurate rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire, severely disabling the aircraft and causing it to crash land. Sergeant Brown and the remainder of the assault force formed a hasty defense and immediately suffered four fatalities and five critical casualties.
In spite of the battle's intensity, he held his position and directed Air Force fighter aircraft in eight separate strafing runs against multiple reinforced enemy positions. However, the enemy operated with seeming impunity, rebuffing two distinct friendly attempts to take a fortified bunker. In the direst of situations, he called in three Guided Bomb Unit-12 bombs
and two hellfire missiles within seventy-five meters of his own position, destroying the bunker. This decisive action allowed his small force to secure the high terrain. Meanwhile, an enemy patrol flanked the team from the south, mortally wounding one pararescueman in a twenty-minute barrage of fire. Sergeant Brown again directed close air support assets against these positions, eliminating the threat.
His boldness of spirit, drive, and technical lethality saved the lives of twenty-six American servicemen that day.
By his gallantry and devotions to duty in the dedication of his service to his country, Sergeant Brown has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.