Wed, Apr 10, 2002
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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