Pararescueman Senior Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez deployed to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11, and he participated in direct action and combat search and rescue (CSAR) missions to capture or kill high value targets directly related to the recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and abroad. He also provided security for Hamid Kharzai, who was elected president of Afghanistan in 2004.
On March 11, 2004, Colon-Lopez was on an operation in Afghanistan to capture a high-value target -- a drug king-pin who was funding terrorism -- and to prevent the proliferation of chemical weapons. Colon-Lopez was on the first of four helicopters, which took sustained small-arms fire and was seriously damaged as it landed. Though he did not know the size of the enemy force, Colon-Lopez moved forward under fire, overrunning the enemy positions. His action suppressed enemy fire against the other three helicopters.
Colon-Lopez and the team drove the enemy away. They killed two of the enemy, captured 10, and destroyed a stash of rocket propelled grenade (RPG) rounds and small caliber weapons. Because of their quick reaction and suppression of the danger facing them, no Americans were killed.
Click here to return to the Warrior Airmen Overview.