Staff Sergeant Andrew W. Harvell was a Combat Controller assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, NC. Sergeant Harvell was born in Long Beach, California, on 26 September 1984; he was 26 years old. Sergeant Harvell attended Millikan High School in Long Beach. After graduating from high school in June 2002, Sergeant Harvell enlisted in the Air Force and arrived at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, in November 2002. Upon graduation from Basic Military Training, he immediately entered the Combat Control training pipeline. Over the next 24 months, Sergeant Harvell completed numerous Air Force and joint service training schools such as Army Airborne School, Air Force Survival School, Air Force Air Traffic Control School and Air Force Combat Control School. He was then assigned to the Special Tactics Training Squadron where he completed the Special Forces Combat Dive Course, Special Forces Military Freefall School and all upgrade requirements for combat-mission-ready status as a Combat Controller. In January 2006, Sergeant Harvell was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, where he completed four combat deployments in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, as well as numerous joint exercises and training events.
While at Pope, Sergeant Harvell successfully assessed for the 24th Special Tactics Squadron and was assigned to the unit in May of 2009. He was on his second deployment with the squadron in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. Sergeant Harvell‘s military awards include the Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Joint Service Commendation medal, the Join Service Achievement Medal, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He was a stat-line jumpmaster.
On the night of 6 August 2011, Sergeant Harvell was part of an elite special operations team executing a helicopter assault into the Tangi Valley, Wardak Province, Afghanistan. While approaching the target, their CH-47 helicopter was shot down, killing everyone on board.
Andy perished as a warrior, taking the fight to our nation‘s enemies. He is survived by his wife, Krista, two sons Hunter and Ethan, father John Harvell, mother Jane Maher, brother Technical Sergeant Sean Harvell, and sister Anales Eder.