Maj. Devin Tomaseski recognized for service in Afghanistan overseeing 20 explosive ordnance disposal teams

U.S. Air Force Maj. Devin Tomaseski of Middletown was presented with the Bronze Star Medal by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, at ceremony on Friday at 166th Airlift Wing Headquarters in New Castle.

This was the third Bronze Star received by Maj. Tomaseski, who is the base civil engineer of 166th Civil Engineer Squadron, 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard.

He was awarded the latest medal after distinguishing himself by while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the executive officer of Joint Task Force Paladin Southwest, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, from Dec. 8, 2011 to June 1, 2012, according to a press release from the Delaware Air National Guard.

The task force had 20 explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams at eight forward operating locations and over 200 members responsible for identifying and disarming improvised explosive devices in southwest and western Afghanistan.

Maj. Tomaseski is an EOD-qualified civil engineer with over 15 years of service in the active duty Air Force and the Air National Guard. He has deployed six times in direct support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom.

He received his first Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious service in Iraq from January to June 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His second Bronze Star Medal was awarded for exceptionally meritorious service in Iraq from November 2007 to May 2008, also in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"Major Tomaseski provided outstanding leadership in the highly critical and stressful field of explosive ordnance disposal in multiple combat environments in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Vavala. “He displayed superior subject matter expertise and personnel management while tending to the needs of the Airmen who identify and disarm improvised explosive devices to successfully reduce one of the greatest threats to American troops. The fact that Major Tomaseski has earned the Bronze Star medal for the third time is testament to his dedication to his fellow Airmen and all U.S. service members, the Air Force and his nation.”

Maj. Tomaseski graduated from Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y. in 1998 with a B.S. in civil engineering and a concentration in environmental engineering. He received his commission through the ROTC in 1998 and entered Air Force active duty in July 1998. His assignments included various civil engineer, EOD and managerial positions. He left the active duty to join the Delaware Air National Guard in July 2010.

His six deployments include missions to Saudi Arabia for four months in 2001, to Baghdad, Iraq for five months in 2004, to Kirkuk, Iraq for six months in 2006, to Baghdad, Iraq for eight months from 2007-2008, then to multiple locations to include Afghanistan, Korea and Germany with the Defense Intelligence Agency for six months in 2010, then most recently to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan for six months from 2011-2012.

According to the Department of Defense, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to a person in any branch of the military service who, while serving in any capacity with the Armed Forces of the United States on or after December 7, 1941, shall have distinguished himself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy.