In recognition of his efforts during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Senior Master Sgt. Gary L. Meacham was presented the Bronze Star medal Feb. 24 by Brig. Gen. John Cooper, 309th Maintenance Wing commander.
Meacham received the award for meritorious achievement as squadron superintendent of the 52nd Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron, 321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing, Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, from August 2008 to July 2009. He is now assigned to the 573rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 309th Maintenance Wing.
During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Meacham served as a combat air advisor to the Iraqi air force leadership. He advised the leaders on fixed wing maintenance operations, phase-flow management, scheduling, quality assurance and production supervision. He oversaw the integration of six new aircraft -- four C-172 and two C-208 training aircraft -- into the flying training wing inventory and incorporated them into the maintenance production schedule. This increased the wing's inventory by 42 percent and increased the overall sortie production rate by 150 percent.
The work by the maintenance team generated more than 5,100 sorties encompassing more than 7,500 flight hours for the flying training wing, and enabled training for 117 new Iraqi pilots.
Meacham also earned certifications as a contract officer representative. He provided oversight to three logistics support contracts valued at more than $22 million. He worked with 18 civilians, overseeing contracts to ensure delivery and availability of mission critical parts.