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AFOTEC Senior NCO receives Bronze Star

  • Published
  • By Katherine C Gandara, Public Affairs Advisor
  • Headquarters Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center

Master Sgt. Michelle Bresson received the Bronze Star Medal for her meritorious achievement while at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Maj. Gen. James R. Sears Jr., Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Commander, presented the medal during a June 14 ceremony at Eglin AFB, Fla.

Bresson is assigned to AFOTEC’s Detachment 5 Operating Location at Hurlburt Field, Fla., as a Special Missions Aviator for the MH-139 multi-mission helicopter operational test team.

From Dec. 10, 2018 to Nov. 28, 2019, Bresson served as the squadron superintendent and UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter air advisor with the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron. During this time, she led 95 advising missions outside of a coalition-controlled airfield and was responsible for training and advising the Afghan Air Force in 10 career specialties.

Bresson is credited with managing more than 800 hours of flight instruction for 256 Afghan aircrew members across four airframes resulting in the strengthening of the Afghan Air Force’s ability to conduct independent combat operations. Her actions supporting the Afghan Air Force’s UH-60A program developed combat mission ready aircrews in less than a year. The results were the safe delivery of 156,535 passengers, 13,251 casualty evacuations, and more than a million pounds of cargo supporting combat operations throughout Afghanistan.

She was selected as one of the only two air advisors that remained in southern Afghanistan during the centralization of the Train Advise Assist Command, or TAAC, mission to Kabul. In this role, Bresson led a combined team of contract and Coalition personnel that maintained the sustainability of the Kandahar Air Wing after the deactivation of the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group.

“Master Sgt. Bresson’s actions demonstrate the kind of leadership and initiative that build stronger partnerships with our coalition forces and strengthens the overall Air Force and military mission,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Sears, AFOTEC Commander. “Her professionalism and selfless service exemplify the Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.”

“The year I spent in Kandahar as an Air Advisor was the most rewarding year of  my Air Force career thus far,” said Master Sgt. Michelle Bresson. “I served with some amazing people and loved getting to help build and train a stronger, more independent Afghan Air Force.”

The Bronze Star became part of the military award catalog in 1944. It is the fourth-highest ranking award a service member can receive for a heroic and meritorious deed performed in an armed conflict.