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Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Award of Air Force Cross to Robert Gutierrez, Jr.

 
 
Award of Air Force Cross to Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
1. Award of Air Force Cross to Robert Gutierrez, Jr. Marker
Inscription.
Citation to Accompany the Award of
The Air Force Cross
to

Robert Gutierrez, Jr.

Staff Sergeant Robert Gutierrez, Jr. distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States in Heart Province, Afghanistan, on 5 October 2009. On that date, while assigned as a combat controller to an Army Special Forces Detachment, Sergeant Gutierrez and his team conducted a high-risk nighttime raid to capture the number two Taliban leader in the region. During the initial assault, the team was attacked with a barrage of rifle and heavy machine-gun fire from a numerically superior and determined enemy force. Sergeant Gutierrez was shot in the chest, his team leader was shot in the leg, and the ten-man element was pinned down in a building with no escape route. In great pain and confronting the very real possibility that he would die, Sergeant Gutierrez seized the initiative and refused to relinquish his duties as joint terminal attack controller. Under intense fire, he engaged Taliban fighters with his M-4 rifle and brought airpower to bear, controlling three "danger close" A-10 strafing runs with exceptional precision against enemy forces just 30 feet away. After the first A-10 attack, the team medic performed a needle decompression
Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
2. Wide view of AF Cross memorial plaques.
to re-inflate Sergeant Gutierrez's collapsed lung, allowing him to direct the next two strafe runs which decimated the enemy force and allowed the team to escape the kill zone without additional casualties. Throughout the four-hour battle, Sergeant Gutierrez's valorous actions, at great risk to his own life, helped save the lives of his teammates and dealt a crushing blow to the regional Taliban network. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Sergeant Gutierrez reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
 
Erected by the Combat Control Association.
 
Location. 32° 24.266′ N, 86° 14.98′ W. Marker is in Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of McDonald Street and Avenue D. Touch for map. Located at the USAF Senior NCO Academy on Gunter AFB and requires base access. Marker is at or near this postal address: 550 McDonald Street, Montgomery AL 36114, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Award of Air Force Cross to Ivan M. Ruiz (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Jason D. Cunningham (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Zachary J. Rhyner
SSgt Robert Gutierrez, Jr. image. Click for full size.
By USAF Photo
3. SSgt Robert Gutierrez, Jr.
(here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Dustin H. Temple (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to John A. Chapman (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Timothy A. Wilkinson (here, next to this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Jon D. Harston (a few steps from this marker); Award of Air Force Cross to Charles D. McGrath (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.
 
Also see . . .
1. Air Force Magazine article "Once More Unto the Breach.". (Submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Defense Media Network article on Robert Gutierrez. (Submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. HeroesWar, Afghanistan
 
Enlisted Air Force Cross Description image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, June 23, 2016
4. Enlisted Air Force Cross Description

The AF Cross is awarded for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy, to any person while serving with the U.S. Air Force, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing enemy force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces, engaged in conflict against an opposing force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. It is awarded for heroic actions second in precedence only to the Medal of Honor and is presented in the name of the President. It was established by Congress by Public Law 88-593 on 6 July 1960.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 29, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 27, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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