Silver Star awarded to combat controller
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.
Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel presented Tech. Sgt. Clint Campbell the Silver Star for his actions during combat near Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 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 mm smoke grenade. Campbell directed an F-16 Fighting Falcon strafing run to neutralize the threat and enable evacuation of the wounded.
"His bravery in the face of withering enemy fire turned the tide of the battle, defeated the ambush, saved three teammates' lives and prevented certain additional casualties," according to the citation.
The Silver Star, the military's third-highest combat decoration, is given for gallantry and marked heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the U.S.
"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, the 23rd STS commander. "(Technical) Sergeant Campbell is like most of our Airmen ... it's what we're trained to do."
Larkin commanded his unit, the 23rd Expeditionary Special Tactics Squadron, throughout the six-month deployment to Afghanistan. His unit returned home in mid-December.
Article by Capt. Kristen D. Duncan, Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs