Intelligence analyst at Wright-Patt awarded Bronze Star

The Bronze Star was presented to Master Sgt. Timothy L. Heggedahl during a ceremony at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Feb. 26.

The award was given to Heggedahl by Brig. Gen. James Dienst, commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, for meritorious service. Heggedahl was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

Heggedahl’s citation states that he “distinguished himself by meritorious achievement as superintendent, Detachment 2, 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, 321st Air Expeditionary Wing, Bagdad Diplomatic Support Center, Iraq while engaged in military operations against an opposing armed force” from Nov. 18, 2018, to June 25, 2019.

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Heggedahl led 42 missions outside of coalition-controlled areas, traveling more than 250 miles of roadways with confirmed improvised explosive device threats, conducting 66 key leader engagements with a dozen Iraqi Air Force units and 24 Iraqi officers, the citation continued.

He also identified important gaps in Iraqi intelligence, and during an enemy rocket attack, coordinated the extraction of two air traffic control liaison officers, the citation states.

Dienst discussed the values of leadership and called Heggedahl “a selfless leader.”

“I’m very impressed that, at his level, he was doing the things he was – especially to the level he was doing them,” he said. “His actions down-range really demonstrated the kind of leadership and the initiative that truly save lives – the right kind of leadership at the right place, building stronger partnerships with our coalition forces and strengthening the overall United States Air Force and military mission in those ZIP codes.”

Dienst commended Heggedahl for exemplifying the Air Force core values.

Heggedahl, with 19 years of service, has been described as a seasoned all-source intelligence analyst with a wide range of experience in a variety of assignments. He currently serves as Air Combat Command’s manager for All-Source Intelligence Analysis Training Modernization, a key member of the ACC Intelligence Directorate’s Operating Location-U and is operationally aligned with the Airman Systems Directorate at the 711 HPW.

Heggedahl’s other major awards and decorations include the Air Force Commendation Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Force Achievement Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.

After receiving his medal, he said, “While you’re deployed, whatever comes your way comes your way. You do what you have to do. … I was put in a couple positions that allowed me to achieve this and be awarded this medal. It wasn’t me; it was my people. They got this for me.”

Paul Bryan II, deputy chief of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Training Modernization, ACC/A2, has worked with Heggedahl for two and a half years.

“Tim is the most humble, unassuming guy. He is an amazing craftsman at what he does. He is incredibly gifted,” he said. “He understands what teamwork is and how to make it work for everyone – not just locally but for the nation. It is a pleasure to serve with him.”

Heggedahl’s next assignment is at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB.

He is not the only person in his family to have been awarded the Bronze Star. So has his nephew, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Heggedahl, who was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions while deployed from 2012 to 2013 in Afghanistan as a combat engineer.

Now with 21 years of service, he is an engineer basic officer and leader course instructor at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

He said he is proud of his uncle for being awarded the Bronze Star.

“It shows the caliber of family we come from,” Sgt. Nathan Heggedahl said.

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