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Patriotic Article
Heroes and Patriots
By Navy MCS 2nd Class Michael R. Hinchcliffe

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Sailor Receives Bronze Star with Valor
(November 29, 2010)

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (NNS - 11/24/2010 ) -- An Assault Craft Unit 4 Sailor was presented the Bronze Star with Valor at an awards ceremony Nov. 23.

Chief Hull Technician Nathanael Crossett, who previously served with Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 1, received the award for his heroic achievements in connection with combat operations as a mission support site primary Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) for a Joint Task Force (JTF) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
A JTAC's responsibilities range from directing the action of combat aircraft, calling in artillery, mortar and naval surface fire missions, as well has handling close air support and other offensive air operations. JTACs are authorized to control and maneuver aircraft, and grant weapons release authority to attacking aircraft.

"It's a great honor to be able to be put in a position to be able to fight for our country," said Crossett.
"My five-year stay as an expeditionary Sailor was probably the best time of my career, I owe a lot to the expeditionary community."

While stationed with RIVRON 1 as a hull technician 1st class, Crossett was temporarily assigned to the JTF, where his Forward Operating Base was attacked by multiple enemy fighters, including bombardment of mortars, heavy machine gun fire,
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Nov. 23, 2010) Capt. K.C. Levins, commanding officer of Assault Craft Unit 4, awards Chief Hull Technician Nathanael Crossett a Bronze Star medal with Valor during an awards ceremony. Crossett, who was previously assigned to Riverine Squadron 1, earned the award following his actions during Operation Enduring Freedom where he was assigned to a Joint Task Force as a Joint Terminal Air Controller. Crossett wore a ceremonial River Patrol Black Beret, which was awarded to him by the Gamewardens of Vietnam Association during his tour with RIVRON 1. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael R. Hinchcliffe
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Nov. 23, 2010) Capt. K.C. Levins, commanding officer of Assault Craft Unit 4, awards Chief Hull Technician Nathanael Crossett a Bronze Star medal with Valor during an awards ceremony. Crossett, who was previously assigned to Riverine Squadron 1, earned the award following his actions during Operation Enduring Freedom where he was assigned to a Joint Task Force as a Joint Terminal Air Controller. Crossett wore a ceremonial River Patrol Black Beret, which was awarded to him by the Gamewardens of Vietnam Association during his tour with RIVRON 1.
rocket propelled grenades and sniper fire.
Crossett coordinated and directed separate close-air support assets and artillery fire to suppress the enemy attack. His actions saved the lives of Americans and Afghans, and resulted in an enemy withdrawal from the immediate area.

Crossett, now assigned to Assault Craft Unit 4, said the Riverine force is a multi-mission asset. When the Sailors are put into a position similar to the one in which Crossett found himself, they are prepared to take on the task.

"This Bronze Star with Valor is very significant because it is the first one awarded to a Riverine Sailor since Vietnam," said Riverine Group 1 Command Master Chief Jeffrey Covington. "Chief Crossett performed above and beyond, under direct fire and combat, saving the lives of his brothers in combat. He's a warrior and he's a hero."

Assigned to Riverine Group 1, under the command of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, Riverine Squadrons serve as a direct action unit, designated to serve as a maneuver element to conduct combat operations and augment land forces.

Article and photo by Navy MCS 2nd Class Michael R. Hinchcliffe
Camp LeJeune Base Public Affairs
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Navy News Service

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