14 Air Commandos with the 4th Special Operations Squadron were presented 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 12 Air Medals by Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, Mar. 2, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joseph P. Leveille)

Air Force Crew Receives Medals for ‘Legendary Airmanship’ in 9-Hour Firefight Against ISIS Stronghold in Afghanistan

An Air Force AC-130U crew was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and 12 Air Medals on Monday for phenomenal gunnery above a firefight against ISIS fighters in Afghanistan in April 2019.

The skill of the air crew made all the difference for the guys on the ground, explained Air Force Special Tactics Officer Maj. Jeffrey Wright, of the 24th Special Operations Wing, who led the fire support element of the firefight.

“I would have to reach for examples like Normandy, Iwo Jima or Hamburger Hill to appropriately convey the degree to which the enemy were prepared and ready for our assault,” Wright wrote in an account of the battle for the 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office.

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