Friday, April 21, 2017

Two awarded Air Force Cross

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Two Special Tactics airmen Thursday received the Air Force's highest combat medal at the same time for separate missions in Afghanistan. One Air Force Cross was given to retired MSgt. Keary Miller, and the other was given to SSgt. Chris Baradat. Miller in 2002 was a pararescueman when his helicopter was shot down during a rescue. He care for critically wounded service members during a 17-hour battle against Al Qaeda forces. Baradat in 2013 was serving as a combat controller when he directed air strikes during three hours of fighting against the Taliban and came under intense enemy fire. Both were originally awarded a Silver Star, but during a review of awards they were upgraded to the Air Force Cross. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein presided over the ceremony, which included a flyover by the Air Force Thunderbirds. (Sources, multiple, including WEAR-TV, Northwest Florida Daily News, Fayetteville Observer, 04/20/17)