Captain Barry Crawford Jr. – Profiles in Courage

On May 4, 2010, Captain Barry Crawford Jr., then a special tactics officer assigned to the 23rd Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron in Afghanistan, and a team of approximately 100 Army Special Forces and Afghan commandos flew into the steep mountains of Laghman Province. When the team landed in darkness, they heard enemy chatter on their radios. Within 30 minutes of landing, they found a substantial weapons cache inside the village. Captain Crawford also received reports that armed enemy forces were maneuvering into fighting position in the high ground. As soon as the sun came up, the coalition team came under heavy enemy fire from all sides from over 100 fighters. The team was pinned down in the middle of the village and had no choice but to run the gauntlet of enemy fire. Enemy fighters used sniper and machine-gun fire to target the friendly forces, and as insurgent forces closed in, three Afghan commandos were gravely wounded and two others were killed. Recognizing that the wounded Afghan soldiers would die without medical evacuation (medevac), Captain Crawford ran into the open to guide a medevac helicopter to the landing zone.

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