Hickam Airman receives Bronze Star with Valor
By Senior Airman Erin Smith
/ Published September 20, 2007
HICKAM AIR FORCE BASE, Hawaii --
The military awarded an Airman its eighth highest honor during a Sept. 13 ceremony at the Aloha Conference Center.
Special Agent Gregory Carmack, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, was presented The Bronze Star with Valor as his wife, Natalie, son, Joshua, and daughter, Melissa, watched with pride.
Brig. Gen. Dana Simmons, OSI commander, presented the Bronze star, awarded for service in combat, to Agent Carmack for saving many lives when he shot and killed a suicide bomber attempting to attack a convoy.
General Simmons explained that the mission of OSI is to identify, exploit and neutralize criminal, terrorist and intelligence threats and, Special Agent Carmack did just that as he distinguished himself by heroism while engaged in ground combat operations against the enemy at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq on June 14, 2006.
He saved lives and prevented the serious injury of numerous members of his convoy when he directly engaged and neutralized a terrorist who had broken through an Iraqi police cordon with his vehicle and rammed the explosive laden suicide vehicle into a convoy vehicle. Upon observing the terrorist vehicle run over an Iraqi policeman as it penetrated the convoy perimeter, Agent Carmack said his 'Training and instinct took over.'
"My gut instinct told me what it was," he said. "I recognized the threat. I brought my weapon up on line and started engaging the target."
He fired his weapon numerous times into the vehicle as it passed his position. Agent Carmack continued to fire into the vehicle even as it rammed an Army escort vehicle directly in front of him. Mortally wounded by Agent Carmack's fire, the terrorist was unable to detonate an explosives package later discovered in the passenger compartment of the vehicle.
Other convoy members quickly recovered, secured the scene and later accomplished a controlled detonation of the bomb without injuries to any friendly forces or further damage to property and equipment.
"I believe in what we are doing. I've been there, been on the ground every day for six months. What we do there is making a difference," Carmack said.