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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Air Force pilot awarded for saving Green Berets surrounded by Taliban fighters in 2018 | Task & Purpose

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A detachment of 53 American and Afghan Special Forces had been clearing compounds of interest in Afghanistan’s Kapisa province in 2019 when they decided to spend the night in one of them. The next morning 80 Taliban and Haqqani Network fighters ambushed the detachment using small arms, machine gun and rocket-propelled grenade fire coming from positions to the east and south of them. Another group of quietly combatants approached them from another direction getting close enough to throw grenades into the compound.

While this was all taking place Air Force F-16 pilot Lt. Col. Michael Coloney was flying an orientation sortie for his wingman’s first combat mission. They got a distress call from then-Senior Airman Justin Prack, the Air Force Combat Controller who was a member of the team pinned down in the compound.

Coloney’s jet was the closest form of air support. When he made a few flyovers he was dismayed by how close the enemies were to friendly forces. He hoped the sound of the jet would be enough of a show of force to cause them to retreat. They did fall back to a nearby ridgeline that allowed Coloney to drop his ordinance safely. The blast was so precise it knocked the windows out of the friendly compound but did not injure anyone inside. The enemy force was decimated. Coloney received the nation’s 4th highest award for combat valor for his skill.

 

Source: https://taskandpurpose.com/news/air-force-distinguished-flying-cross/

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