An officer at 22 Wing/CFB North Bay has been awarded the United States Meritorious Service Medal.
Major Andrew Baier earned the honour while leading a 145-member coalition team in Qatar, which supported missions in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
“His leadership and guidance enabled nineteen nations across thirteen cells in the execution of 19,000 combat sorties and 191 air strikes, aiding the physical destruction of Da’esh networks and the protection of coalition forces throughout the region,” states the citation. “He steadfastly led the team in providing integrated air and missile defense and operational-level command and control across a four million square mile area of responsibility.”
Along with intercepts, the military says he supported real-time threat warning to a coalition partner that enabled the engagement and destruction of multiple hostile threats en route to strike friendly forces.
“The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Colonel Baier reflect great credit upon himself, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and his country,” reads the citation.
Major Baier says he’s honoured to be recognized with the US Meritorious Service Medal.
“II had the great opportunity to deploy on Operation FOUNDATION and serve with a strong coalition in support of Operations INHERENT RESOLVE, FREEDOM Sentinel, and RESOLUTE SUPPORT, the US
Central Command missions in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan,” he says. “I am proud to have contributed to such important work that ultimately ensured the safety of Canada and our partner nations.”
Major Baier was deployed to the US Combined Air and Space Operations Center Qatar in July 2020.
He was appointed Commanding Officer of 51 Aerospace Control & Warning (Operational Training) Squadron at 22 Wing in July 2021.
The Meritorious Service Medal was established in 1969 and is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or to any member of the Armed Forces of a friendly foreign nation who has distinguished himself or herself by outstanding meritorious achievement or service in a combat or non-combat area.