Cyber warrior recognized for combat leadership in Afghanistan

Maj. Gen. J. Kevin McLaughlin (Left), commander, 24th Air Force, presents the Bronze Star Medal to Lt. Col. William Rondeau (Right) at a medal ceremony July 25.  Rondeau was recognized for his role as 966th Air Expeditionary Squadron commander, part of the 9th Air And Space Expeditionary Task Force in Afghanistan.  (Courtesy Photo)

Maj. Gen. J. Kevin McLaughlin (Left), commander, 24th Air Force, presents the Bronze Star Medal to Lt. Col. William Rondeau (Right) at a medal ceremony July 25. Rondeau was recognized for his role as 966th Air Expeditionary Squadron commander, part of the 9th Air And Space Expeditionary Task Force in Afghanistan. (Courtesy Photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas -- Lt. Col. William Rondeau, the chief of the Strategy Division within the 624th Operations Center at Joint Base San Antonio - Lackland, received a Bronze Star Medal July 25, for his role as 966th Air Expeditionary Squadron commander, part of the 9th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force in Afghanistan.

From November 2012 to November 2013, Rondeau led 1,200 Airmen across 45 forward operating locations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Regarded as a from-the-front leader by those under his command, he transited the battle space frequently to keep his finger on the pulse of operations and to make face-to-face contact with Airmen at the tactical level.

Under his command, Rondeau's explosive ordnance disposal teams conducted 625 combat missions, cleared 17,000 miles of supply routes, destroyed 72 improvised explosive devices and ultimately removed 102,000 pounds of Taliban explosives from the battlefield.

Furthermore, Rondeau's combat medics performed 45 aeromedical evacuations, 175 convoys totaling more than 20,000 miles, and lifesaving response to 76 vehicle-born improvised explosive device attacks.

"This medal is certainly not only about me or what I did," Rondeau said. "It's a representation of the determination and accomplishments of the combat Airmen I had the opportunity to lead."

Rondeau received the medal at a ceremony at 24th Air Force headquarters on JBSA-Lackland.