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AMC Announces Additional Awards for Operation Allies Refuge

An Afghan girl lays on the floor of a C-17 Globemaster III near Kabul, Afghanistan. The blouse covering the girl belonged to U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Nicolas Baron, 305th Air Mobility Wing loadmaster, who was a member of the crew that airlifted refugees to safety. (Courtesy photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Mark Lawson)

SCOTT AFB, Ill. —  Air Mobility Command will award eight Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Star Medals, 229 Air Medals and 98 Meritorious Service Medals for actions taken during Operation Allies Refuge. Some of the medals will be presented during a private gathering at the 2023 Airlift Tanker Association Convention, in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 9, 2023.

Those being awarded include maintainers, loadmasters, Raven-trained security forces, aeromedical evacuation personnel and pilots across the total force, multiple major commands and services. The majority of the decorations were awarded with combat devices and seven of the Air Medals include valor devices.

“It is with great humility, gratitude and honor that I have the opportunity to recognize the actions of these mobility heroes,” said Air Force Gen. Mike Minihan, commander of AMC. “This recognition is long overdue but I hope everyone involved in this incredible operation knows our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice while saving more than 124,000 American and Afghan lives.”

The latest decorations were awarded from the sixth awards board reviewing the records of Airmen involved in OAR, the first hosted by AMC. A seventh board is scheduled at AMC next week.

“We continue to reveal incredible actions taken to carry out this mission and it is our duty to recognize each and every one of them,” said Minihan. “Airmen proved, once again, that they can make the impossible, possible. But, it came with great personal sacrifice and risk.”

Last year, in a historic announcement, AMC leadership announced 96 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 12 Bronze Star Medals, and a Gallant Unit Citation for those who supported the operation in 2021.

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