Vandenberg Airman awarded bronze star

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Raymond Hoy
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
A Vandenberg staff sergeant received a Bronze Star at a wing commander's call in the 76th Helicopter Squadron hangar here Thursday.

Staff Sgt. Shane Cronin, 30th Space Communications Squadron, received his Bronze Star for duties performed while deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I was extremely honored," Sergeant Cronin said. "This is something that is very meaningful to me and my family."

Sergeant Cronin served as a joint combat camera videographer for the Multi-National Corps-Iraq at a forward operating base in Tikrit from September 2006 to January 2007.

The accomplishments leading to his award included shooting video footage during more than 300 hours spent "outside the wire" while supporting the Army's 25th Infantry Division.

One event in particular occurred during his documentation of the 878th Combat Heavy Engineers upgrading an Iraqi Army traffic control point. During operations, the unit was attacked with three mortars. Immediately following the mortars, the unit began taking small-arms fire. Despite damage sustained to his camera, he continued to document the ensuing fight. His footage was later used to showcase the engineers' work and cooperation with Iraqi Army forces.

Other bouts of small-arms fire documented by Sergeant Cronin were later used by the 82nd Airborne Division as training tools for future operations.

"When you are put in situations like I was in, you just try to do what's right and remember why it is that you raised your right hand in the first place," Sergeant Cronin said. "The outstanding skill of the Soldiers I was with definitely shined through in the footage I shot."

Additionally, Sergeant Cronin took the opportunity to shoot footage of humanitarian missions, including school supply deliveries in Samarra and infrastructure repairs in Bayji. These videos were later used to inform the American public of the progress of operations within Iraq.

"I am continuously amazed at the work our Combat Camera folks accomplish in the field," said Senior Master Sgt. Vincent Aragona, 30th Space Communications Squadron. "While deployed in support of the Global War on Terror, each of them embarks on very dangerous missions. Sergeant Cronin is an awesome example of the professionalism and warrior mentality that each of them possess."

Sergeant Cronin received his medal from Col. Jack Weinstein , the then 30th Space Wing commander.

"The outstanding contributions of the Airmen from the 30th Space Wing in the Global War on Terror are proof positive of Vandenberg's importance in military operations around the world," Colonel Weinstein said. "To observe the professionalism and dedication to service of Vandenberg's Airmen, you don't have to look any further than the actions of Sergeant Cronin."

"He represents everything the 30th Space Wing is about," he added.