Silver Star awarded to Combat Controller, Special Tactics Airmen receive more than 30 combat medals

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kristen D. Duncan
  • Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs
The commander of Air Force Special Operations Command presented the Silver Star medal to a combat controller and more than 30 other medals to Special Tactics Airmen during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Jan. 18.

Lieutenant Gen. Eric Fiel presented Tech. Sgt. Clint Campbell the Silver Star for his actions during combat near Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, August 4, 2010. According to the citation, Campbell "directed 22 air strikes, including multiple danger close employments, resulting in 13 enemy (fighters) killed.

"Without regard for his own safety, he ran 300 meters through a gauntlet of enemy fire...(and then again) exposed himself to enemy fire to mark insurgent positions with a 40 millimeter smoke grenade and directed an F-16 strafing run to neutralize the threat and enable evacuation of the wounded.  (His) bravery in the face of withering enemy fire turned the tideof the battle, defeated the ambush, saved three teammates' lives, and prevented certain additional casualties."

The Silver Star is the third highest medal, given for gallantry and marked heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United States.

"This is more of an accomplishment for the team," Campbell said. "You just help your friends that are hurt. They're your brothers and you'd do anything for them."

Fiel brought Campbell's parents on stage to take part in the presentation. Dwight and Sandy Campbell said their son acted true to form.

"I was just so proud of him," Sandy said. "It's just the kind of person he is."

In addition, more than 30 medals were presented for combat actions during the recent 23rd Special Tactics Squadron deployment. Special Tactics Airmen received six Bronze Star Medals with Valor, three Purple Heart Medals and 22 Air Force Combat Action Medals. One Airman, Staff Sgt. Joshua Craig, received two of the Bronze Stars for separate engagements.

"All of the Airmen in Special Tactics have incredible dedication and tenacity to serve our nation," said Lt. Col. Chris Larkin, 23 STS commander. "Tech. Sergeant Campbell is like most of our's what we're trained to do."

Larkin commanded his unit, the 23rd Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron, throughout the 6-month deployment to Afghanistan. His unit returned home in mid-December.

Special Tactics Airmen are among the most highly deployed in the Air Force and the most highly decorated. Combat controllers, pararescuemen, tactical air control party and special operations weather team members make up the Special Tactics field. They work with Special Operations Forces conducting the nation's most dangerous missions behind enemy lines.

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