Ramstein Airman earns Bronze Star

Compiled by KA staff

***image1***Tech. Sgt. Kenneth D. Ahrens, 435th Civil Engineer Squadron, was recently awarded the Bronze Star medal for meritorious conduct in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

According to his citation, Sergeant Ahrens’ “personal courage and commitment to mission accomplishment in a combat zone, under the most extreme of circumstances, greatly contributed to the success of Operation Enduring Freedom.”

Sergeant Ahrens recently shared his award experiences with the KA.

KA: How did you feel when you found out you were to receive the Bronze Star?
Sergeant Ahrens: Honored. The legacy behind the medal makes me feel humbled to be in that group of military people. They are all heroes; I was just trying to come back home alive.

What was your role in your deployed location?
(I was the) EOD team leader for an Army route clearance team. Our specific job was to perform route clearance for convoy operations. We would clear the desired route of any improvised explosive devices and hazards in front of a convoy.

Where were you deployed to?
I roamed around over 15 different forward operating bases in Afghanistan, including Bagram and Kandahar air bases.
What were some of the defining moments of your deployment?
Working with the Army.  Performing combat missions.  Performing our wartime job. Working in the joint service community is always an interesting experience. It was eye-opening, and made me greatly appreciate my Air Force, my past and current leaders and their mentorship, and the responsibility and trust that the Air Force gives me while operating in these environments.