MacDill Airman awarded bronze star

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Gonterman
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
 Tech. Sgt. Andre Peters, 6th Security Forces Squadron military working dog NCO in charge, was awarded the nation's fourth highest medal, the bronze star medal, by the Department of the Army in August 2013, prior to returning to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Peters, a Chicago native, enlisted in December of 1999 as a Security Forces member. In September of 2002, he graduated from the MWD handler apprentice course. He has deployed six times, four of which pertained to the MWD section.

"Receiving the Bronze Star Medal was such an honor," said Peters. "I was in shock, but very thankful when I was awarded the medal."

A bronze star medal is awarded to individuals who, while serving in any capacity in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, distinguish themselves apart from their comrades by heroism, outstanding achievement or by meritorious service not involving aerial flight.

Peters was awarded the bronze star medal for his six-month deployment supporting Operation Enduring Freedom as the Regional Command-West military and contract working dog program manager, Herat Province, Afghanistan, from March 13, 2013 to September 5, 2013.

"My mission was to fulfill all requests for Explosives Detection MWD assistance for Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force, foreign military, and various U.S. government agencies in western Afghanistan," stated Peters. "I also coordinated the utilization of contract working dogs inside various forward operating, contingency operating, and fire bases."

During his tour, he was credited with the removal of 212 pounds of homemade explosives, nine improvised explosive devices, eight heavy assault weapons, 2,500 rounds of ammunition, and $4.7 million worth of narcotics, used to fund terrorist combat operations.

"His instrumental leadership ensured the safe return of all North Atlantic Treaty Organization and coalition forces during the 128 combat missions he planned and participated in," said Sgt. 1st Class Ilya Basyuk, Special Operations Task Force-West first sergeant.

"I was just doing what every person is expected to do, which is take care of your people and complete the mission," expressed Peters. "I was fulfilling my duties as a service member, nothing extraordinary for me."