By Elisha Sullivan, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- A Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) logistics specialist 1st class was awarded the Bronze Star Medal Aug. 11 for exceptional meritorious service in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and overseas contingency operations.
While deployed, LS1 David W. Judish served as a logistics noncommissioned officer, Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) Paladin, U.S. Forces Afghanistan.
Capt. Joe Beel, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific commanding officer, presented Judish with the medal in recognition of his leadership, commitment and exemplary performance of duty while serving as an individual augmentee in Afghanistan.
Initially deployed for 12 months, Judish volunteered for an additional 14, serving a total of 26 consecutive months from Sept. 6, 2008 to Nov. 1, 2010.
"Serving my country and saving lives was all the motivation I needed to voluntarily extend my deployment," said Judish.
Leading more than 20 remote forward operatiing base missions to resupply and evaluate CJTF Paladin's team needs, Judish was in constant threat of attack in the most dangerous areas on the front lines in Afghanistan.
Most missions were conducted in improvised explosive device (IED) areas, or hot spots, where Judish's logistical expertise and ability to attack the IED network while providing training in counter IED operations contributed to CJTF Paladin's success.
"Our mission was to attack the network, defeat the device and train the force," said Judish.
As a frequent first responder after attacks, he also assisted wounded service members and recovered troops killed in action.
Ensuring his teams were equipped with all necessary technologies needed to successfully defeat the IED network, Judish used SPAWAR's Keyhole kit and iRobot's Packbot while in theater. Sponsored by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) and managed by SPAWAR, the Keyhole program develops kits that are equipped with technologies that allow troops to conduct surveillance and target insurgents who are working to place IEDs. Packbot, developed by iRobot, is a rugged, all-terrain, man portable, all-weather, mobile robot that performs multiple counter-IED missions while keeping warfighters and first responders safe.
"These technologies were like gold to the troops," said Judish. "Saving the lives of countless warfighters, they made it possible to defeat the IED network as safely as possible."
Throughout his deployment, Judish demonstrated superior performance and was instrumental in planning and executing the supply, logistics and infrastructure support for a command of more than 1,200 personnel throughout 33 forward operating bases in Afghanistan.
As the Navy's Information Systems Dominance Command, SPAWAR is proud of Judish's dedication, hard work and unparalleled support to the warfighters. Through his outstanding accomplishments, Judish reflects great credit upon himself, CJTF Paladin, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, the Navy and the Department of Defense.