BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Maj. Myrone B. Gaffney was awarded a Bronze Star Medal by the Honorable Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisitions, logistics, and technology, during an awards ceremony here Jan. 15.

"Getting the award from Ms. Shyu was a surprise and very welcome," Gaffney said. "It was doubly pleasing to have [Major] General Green and my colleagues there. I humbly acknowledge that I could not have accomplished nearly as much without a superb staff."

Gaffney served 27 months as the Base Expeditionary Targeting Surveillance System-Combined officer in charge. He was responsible for fielding, sustaining and training personnel on BETSS-C which is a family of systems that provides mid-to-long range security monitoring, perimeter security, and interoperability in support of ground based surveillance and protection missions. It also provides interoperability with a wide range of detection sensors including counter mortar radars, gunshot detection devices, unattended ground sensors, and ground surveillance radars.

Gaffney said he originally deployed for a 12-month tour, but near the time he would have redeployed his program underwent a reorganization on how the equipment is disseminated and sustained and the how the Soldiers and contractors who operate the system are trained. Gaffney said a decision was made not to change leadership in theater in the midst of the reorganization, so he stayed for an additional 12 months. He then extended another three months to allow his replacement time to complete preparations to deploy.

Gaffney said he saw a "huge amount of growth and change" during his tour and added that they "streamlined operations to get equipment to the Soldiers in about half the time is used to take."

"BETSS-C is a force multiplier," he said. "It gives advance warning to Soldiers to protect themselves."