Two Air Force pararescuemen received the Silver Star medal during a Dec. 13 ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., for their acts of heroism during operations against the enemy in Afghanistan.
Records show that Tech. Sgt. Gavin Fisher and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen were responsible for saving the lives of some 40 comrades in arms, while eliminating more than 100 enemy combatants, during separate combat operations.
Fisher, of the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland based 350th Special Warfare Training Squadron, is credited with saving 10 critically injured soldiers and medically evacuating 20 casualties, while destroying 118 Taliban fighters in the process. The action took place in Ghazni City on Aug. 11 and 12, 2018, during a fight against more than 500 Taliban fighters who had attacked a task force with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. Fisher assisted his fellow combatants despite sustaining wounds himself.
Swensen, of the Nellis-based 58th Rescue Squadron, earned the honor during a Sept. 13-14, 2019 engagement in Farah province. During the mission, U.S. Special Forces soldiers conducted a helicopter assault against a district center and police headquarters that was under Taliban control. Swensen led the ground assault against the position, when Taliban fighters launched an ambush against them from roughly 100 yards away. Even though Swensen was injured and separated from his comrades, he returned fire against the enemy and ran into direct fire to rescue a wounded soldier. After helping load the solder on a medevac helicopter, Swensen and his comrades faced a second ambush. During this phase of the fight, he continued to fire back at his attackers and ensure that casualties were placed as far from harm’s way as possible. Even after a second medical evacuation helicopter arrived to remove the wounded, he remained behind and led efforts to recover four more wounded comrades.