SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — A unique Air Force Reserve award and trophy have been created in the memory of Tech. Sgt. Anthony Campbell Jr., a 932nd Airlift Wing service member who lost his life during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. His recovery and destruction of more than 280 pieces of ordnance and bulk explosives stymied enemy bomb makers with the disposal of more than 2,500 pounds of explosives used to make IEDs. During a cordon and search mission in Afghanistan, the 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron member lost his life while attempting to steer his team clear of an improvised explosive device at an entry control point.
Headquarters, Fourth Air Force, March Air Reserve Base, Calif., the parent command to the 932nd Airlift Wing, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., has started a new category of award to recognize the best Mission Support Group each year.
December 15 marks the four-year anniversary of his sacrifice. Tech. Sgt. Anthony C. Campbell Jr., died Dec. 15, 2009, of wounds suffered from the detonation of an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Campbell was assigned to the 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron, Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
The commander of the Civil Engineer Squadron, Lt. Col. Lori Walden, was appreciative when hearing the news of the award with Campbell’s name attached to it.
“I’m pleased to see the memory of Tech. Sgt. Tony Campbell will remain at the forefront of our attention by remembering his dedication and sacrifice in the form of the 4th Air Force Mission Support Group Annual Award. Sergeant Campbell’s heroic actions and unselfish devotion to his country are a testament to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician he was,” said Walden, who is in charge of EOD.
The official name of the new trophy is: “the Fourth Air Force Technical Sergeant Anthony C. Campbell, Jr. Award for Mission Support Group Excellence.”
“He courageously cleared a safe path to the mission objective, provided security over-watch for his team and selflessly moved the team out of danger upon recognizing an improvised explosive device in the team’s path just before it detonated,” Walden said.
“His quick actions contributed to the safety of the other team members. Tech. Sgt. Campbell will never be forgotten by the Civil Engineer family and it’s an honor for this award to be named after him,” added Walden.
Announced Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, by Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., the first award goes to the 439th Airlift Wing, Westover ARB, Mass., for having the Mission Support Group that best exemplifies the excellence and sacrifice demonstrated by Tech. Sgt. Campbell.
The 439th AW also had the best Maintenance Group in the numbered Air Force and was awarded the Chief Master Sgt. James Clouse Trophy at the same time.
All awards were announced during two video teleconferences this week held at the NAF headquarters. The physical awards will be presented to the units in March 2014.