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FB: Two heroic actions within weeks. Combat controller to receive Silver Star and a national award for two missions in September in Afghanistan.
When combat controller Tech. Sgt. Matthew Greiner was hit by an enemy grenade during an ambush in Afghanistan in September, he didn't stop working.
A medic pulled him to cover and began to provide aid while requesting a medical evacuation helicopter. Greiner, with a radio and map in one hand and a fentanyl lollipop for pain relief in the other, called in airstrikes — controlling multiple aircraft for 38 minutes to push the insurgents back and protect his own medevac.
Seven days later — five days after getting out of a Kandahar hospital — Greiner was back in a 48-hour battle to save a Special Forces Team under atta
Now Greiner, a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, is being recognized for his actions in both battles. Another combat controller, Senior Airman Goodie Goodman will also receive a Silver Star for the second fight.
When the Special Forces unit came under attack, and his group's combat controller was hit with a grenade, the Army ground force commander got on the radio to call in close air support.
But the controller, hit with shrapnel from the grenade and receiving aid, was already on the horn, controlling aircraft to help the unit get out of the ambush.
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Greiner, a combat controller with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida, He will receive the national Non Commissioned Officer Association Vanguard Award for the first September 2014 battle. The award is given for performing a heroic act that resulted in saving lives or preventing serious injury, according to Air Force Special Operations Command.
Greiner has already been awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions during the battle.
It is just one of two missions from September 2014 for which Greiner will be recognized. Later this year, Greiner will receive a Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for valor, for his actions during the second battle a two-day mission just five days after being released from the hospital in Afghanistan. Another combat controller, Senior Airman Goodie Goodman will also receive a Silver Star for the second fight.
"Tech. Sgt. Greiner truly epitomizes the amazing skill, proficiency and courage of Special Tactics Airmen in battle," Lt. Col. Jason Self, the commander of the 21stSpecial Tactics Squadron, said in a release. "Completely disregarding wounds suffered from an enemy grenade, he continued to provide crucial air support to protect his teammates. That's courage and perseverance under fire."
On Sept. 21, 2014, Greiner was assigned to an Army Special Forces team tasked with clearing an insurgent safe haven in Helmand province. His team was ambushed. An insurgent grenade exploded near Greiner, severely injuring him and the team's interpreter.
A medic pulled him to cover and began to provide aid while requesting a medical evacuation helicopter. The team commander used his radio to try to call for air support, but when he tried to speak, he heard Greiner already on the radio.
He was calling for air strikes with a radio and map in one hand, and a fentanyl lollipop in the other, according to an AFSOC news release. Greiner controlled multiple aircraft for 38 minutes to push the insurgents back and protect his own medevac.
Griener will receive the Vanguard Aaward during a July 16 banquet.
In the second fight, Greiner and Senior Airman Goodie Goodman will both receive Silver Stars for a 48-hour battle a week following this event. The airmen were assigned to a Special Forces team that assaulted a hostile bazaar in Helmand to try to disrupt insurgents. As the battle dragged on and the troops were low on ammo, more than 100 insurgents surged in an attempt to capture the Special Forces team. The airmen exposed themselves to heavy fire to call in precision strikes, controlling 70 air assets during the 48-hour fight, allowing the team to resupply and stop the insurgent advance.
Seven days after the mission, and just five days after getting out of a Kandahar hospital, Greiner was involved in a 48-hour battle in the Helmand River Valley.For his actions in the this battle, Greiner will receive the Silver Star, the nation's third highest award for valor.