The Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan always is an obvious target for insurgents.
On Sunday, Air Force Maj. Shawn Swarz of Mount Pleasant is getting a Bronze Star for making it safer.
Swarz, a reservist, will be honored at Joint Base Charleston for his involvement in a series of offensive and defensive measures in and around Bagram between September 2012 and March 2013.
Among the contributions listed in the Air Force's citation are the 13 miles of razor wire and other defenses he helped add "resulting in zero breaches in five months"; the collecting, sorting and sharing of intelligence that led to the capture or killing of 47 insurgents; and 16 combat patrols that curtailed attacks: and severely disrupted enemy activity.
Swarz, a retired Connecticut state trooper, is commander of Joint Base Charleston's 315th Security Forces Squadron. Other parts of his service included taking part in weekly "shuras," or consultations with Afghan leaders.
Swarz, who is married and has two sons, said the coordination of information across the differing security forces was key. Better communication sometimes led to the fact "they were tracking the same people," he said.
Another effort was in getting Afghan forces to saturate areas where the insurgents were firing from.
The Bronze Star, identified as the nation's fourth-highest military award, is given for heroism, bravery or meritorious service. Maj. Wayne Capps, public affairs officer for the 315th Air Wing, said few reservists at the base have received the decoration in recent times, estimating less than a dozen locally since the 9/11 terror attacks.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.
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