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Wed, Dec 27, 2023

Afghan Withdrawal Nets Distinguished Flying Crosses, Bronze Stars

Make No Mistake, We Should Have Done This Last Year Immediately After The Operation

The Air Force announced the issuance of a dozen Distinguished Flying Crosses and 4 Bronze Stars to airmen involved in Operation Allies Refuge.

Air Mobility Command approved the honors in a final awards board, along with 208 air medals and 73 Meritorious Service Medals. The awards will go to recognize the efforts of security forces, medical personnel, tanker crews, loadmasters, and maintainers vital to the pullout. Those recommended for the awards allowed thousands of Americans, Afghans, and partners to escape the fall of Kabul in relative safety. 

The Air Force clarified that a handful of recipients of the highest honor, the Distinguished Flying Cross, were crewmembers of previous recipients of the same for their evacuation actions previously. Additionally, many of the honors given will boast a combat "C", indicating combat conditions. One of the 3 Bronze Stars will include a "V", indicating specific valor.

The evacuation saw more than 120,000 Afghans and thousands of Americans leave the Hamid Karzai International Airport in August 2021. 

“The world witnessed history during that airlift, borne on the shoulders of mobility heroes,” said Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of the Air Mobility Command. “This recognition is long overdue for what our heroes did during those historic 17 days.Make no mistake, we should have done this last year immediately after the operation, and I recognize our Airmen’s frustration with the process,” Minihan said. “We’re making that right.”

FMI: www.af.mil

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