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Wed, Apr 10, 2002

USAF Academy Grad Receives Jabara Award

Courage Under Fire Wins Much Deserved Recognition

Maj. Henry Thompson, a 1987 graduate of the US Air Force Academy, is the winner of the 2002 Jabara Award for Airmanship for his outstanding contributions to airpower during operations Northern Watch and Allied Force.

The Jabara Award, named in honor of Col. James Jabara, America’s first jet ace, is given annually to an academy graduate whose actions directly associated with an aerospace vehicle set him or her apart from contemporaries.

Thompson, chief of the tactical air support branch at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while serving as a strike mission commander and a weapons system officer during Operation Allied Force.

According to Thompson's award nomination, during this strike mission, "Thompson's flight was attacked by eleven surface-to-air missiles fired in rapid succession from all directions. While his pilot executed defensive maneuvers, Thompson dispensed countermeasures and visually tracked the airborne missiles.

"Despite numerous explosions directly in front of and above his own aircraft, he selflessly directed defensive reactions for the three other aircraft in his formation. Additionally, Thompson further directed both geographic and altitude deconflictions to ensure all aircraft were safely separated and later rejoined the formation during the return from enemy territory."



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